Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Global Christian Forum Meets Next Week

"The Novotel Hotel and Convention Center in Manado, 
on the island of Sulawesi, will host the second 
global gathering of the Global Christian Forum".
It is almost a year since Methodist Ecumenical News drew attention to next week's meeting of the Global Christian Forum.  So, it is time to review the progress of the planning for the meeting.

The event (4 - 7 October 2011) will be held at the Novotel Hotel and Convention Center in Manado, the capital of the Province of North Sulawesi. Manado is situated at the far north-eastern tip of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.

Gathering around the central theme of Life Together in Jesus Christ, Empowered by the Holy Spirit, some three hundred church leaders and representatives from every continent have been invited to attend.

The makeup of the conference comprises a 50-50 split between what could be conveniently called 'Evangelical' and 'Traditional' churches all chosen using a set of principles to ensure balance in representing the variety and diversity of world Christianity.

Two plenary sessions will work directly under the main theme, and out of it, a third plenary will, intentionally, be Listening to What the Spirit is Saying to the Churches.

As well as discussing changing trends, participants will hear first hand of the experiences of the churches from across the world and will seek discern the further vision for the Global Christian Forum.

The invitations include representation from Christian World Communions, Ecumenical organizations, Evangelical/Pentecostal/Charismatic organizations and churches, Orthodox Patriarchates, the Catholic Church, Regional Councils, Conferences, Alliances or Associations, and Churches, covering all geographic areas and all traditions, mega churches and migrant churches.

Participants will include both women and men, and will cover a range of age groups from young people to more experienced church leaders. The four national church bodies in Indonesia are supportive of the meeting in their country. The Communion of Churches – the Pentecostal Churches Fellowship – the Fellowship of Evangelical Churches and Institutions – and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, have all warmly welcomed the Global Christian Forum to hold its second gathering in their nation and have constituted a joint national organizing committee.

For more information, it is worth looking at the Forum website, where you will find a programme and an explanation of what they hope to achieve and how.  Doubtless more material will appear after the Forum has met.  One document in particular is worth a look, Introduction to Second Global Gathering, which offers a brief recap of the history of the Forum and then goes on to explain the purpose of the gathering, who will be there and how the programme is intended to work.

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