Friday, 6 May 2011

Communication Means Participation and Inclusion

The Whirlpool Galaxy (Spiral Galaxy M51, NGC 5...Image via Wikipedia
Methodist Ecumenical News makes a modest contribution to communication in the ecumenical movement.  This article, from the April edition of  CTE News, places this in a European context.

Reconfiguring communication in the ecumenical movement means discovering, seeking and implementing new forms of communication, the General Secretary of the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) has told a gathering in Frankfurt, Germany. "As communicators we have become pilgrims in space - and sometimes in cyberspace - who have embarked on a long journey, by no means complete, from the old concept of uni-dimensional, one-way communication to the current multi-dimensional, multi-way approach that emphasizes reciprocity and equality," said the WACC General Secretary, Revd Karin Achtelstetter, in her 31 March address.

Achtelstetter was giving the opening presentation - on "reconfiguring communication in the ecumenical movement" - at a seminar organized by the WACC Europe Region as part of its one-every-three-years general assembly. WACC is a Toronto-headquartered global organization that promotes communication for social change. The Frankfurt seminar - from 31 March to 1 April - has as its theme, "Communication and Reconfiguration in Faith, Media, Society and Economy". The aim of the seminar is to take stock of recent changes in the media, church, societal and economic landscape in Europe, and focus on the implications of these changes for WACC’s principles of communication as well as the communication tasks for churches and Christian organizations and the coverage of religion in the media.

In her address, Achtelstetter noted that the word configuration is often used in astrophysics and she compared the ecumenical movement to the Milky Way. "Despite its diversity and its vastness the elements are held together by a large-scale magnetic field," she stated. "The galaxy is in constant movement and in rotation - doesn't this description remind you of the ecumenical movement?" With this image in mind, she continued, reconfiguring communication in the ecumenical movement suggests "discovering, seeking and implementing new forms of communication with an openness to new shapes and constellations". She said, "If we want to reflect about how to reconfigure communication in the ecumenical movement, then the first thing to do is to identify our communication barriers and then in a second step to dismantle them."

A full account of the talk can be found on the WACC website.
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