Archbishop Roham represented Syriac Orthodox Church on Assembly of Planning Committee of the WCC in Busan, Korea from 27 Sep. to 1st Oct. 2011
- The 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) will take place in
Busan, Republic of Korea, from 30 October to 8 November 2013 under the
“God of life, lead us to justice and peace”.
The Assembly Planning
Committee (APC), which includes WCC Central Committee members and ecumenical
partner representatives, met in Busan from 27 September to 1st October 2011 at
the assembly venue – the Busan Exhibition and Conference Centre (BEXCO).
Eminence Mor Eustathius Matta Roham, Archbishop of Jazirah and Euphrates, member
of the WCC Central Committee, and member of the Assembly Planning Committee,
represented our Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch in APC meeting in Busan. On
the first day of the meeting, Archbishop Roham delivered a Bible study on John
15:1-17. It was gratefully accepted by the participants, and we are pleased to
publish it on our website for the benefit of our readers.
Roham return to Syria, he received an email of thanks from the WCC office in
Geneva. Mr. Douglas L. Chial of Church and Ecumenical Relations wrote the
“Your Eminence, I hope you have enjoyed your time in Seoul and
will be returning safely home. I wanted to thank you again for your
participation and leadership in the APC, both of which made the meeting more
successful. Thank you in particular for leading Bible study. Your presentation
really helped to set the tone for the meeting - a spiritual tone, deeply rooted
in the theme and our task. I am very pleased with the results of the meeting. We
have the direction we need to develop more elaborate proposals”.
gathered to offer direction for the development of the assembly spiritual life,
the assembly programme, assembly business and the partnership needed to
strengthen preparations over the next two years.
The WCC Central Committee
has directed that the next assembly provide greater space for a participatory
"togetherness" among the whole ecumenical movement, with more possibilities than
in the past for initiatives proposed by partners. Representatives of partner
organizations as well as member churches serve on the assembly planning
The APC met with leaders and members of local churches in Busan
and had the opportunity to attend early morning prayer with one local
congregation. The APC was welcomed by the leadership of the National Host
Committee in Korea during a special reception at Nurimaru APEC house overlooking
the Busan coast.
During the meeting, the APC considered the Korean concept
of madang as a way to root the assembly in the host context and also give shape
and meaning to the gathering. Madang is the traditional Korean “courtyard”
connecting different parts of a house; a space for discussion, deliberation,
celebration and fellowship; a traditional centre of family and community life.
The APC visited a number of traditional madang spaces in the city of Kyung-ju in
order to understand the concept better.
The APC affirmed that the next
assembly should be prepared in a spirit of madang, inviting participants into a
common space of discussion and celebration. Previous WCC assemblies have used
similar concepts to help shape the meeting – padare at the Harare Assembly in
1998 and mutirão at the Porto Alegre Assembly in 2006.
The APC discussed the
assembly theme, which takes the form of a prayer, “God of life, lead us to
justice and peace”, and suggested different ways to engage the fellowship of
member churches in reflection and spiritual preparation for the assembly.
The APC will meet again in July 2012 to finalize its proposals to the WCC
Central Committee which meets in August 2012.
The dates for the assembly
were revised by the WCC Executive Committee at its meeting in September in
Ethiopia to ensure the exclusive use of the venue by the assembly