PROPOSALS FOR THE FUTURE OF THE GLOBAL CHRISTIAN FORUM
From the First Global Gathering of the Global Christian Forum, 6 – 9 November 2007, Limuru, Nairobi, Kenya
The Limuru meeting affirmed the Guiding Purpose of the Global Christian Forum:
To create an open space wherein representatives from a broad range of Christian churches and interchurch organizations, which confess the triune God and Jesus Christ as perfect in His divinity and humanity, can gather to foster mutual respect, to explore and address together common challenges. [Note: for full Guiding Purpose Statement, see below]
In addition the Limuru meeting offered the following proposals to guide the further work of the Global Christian Forum Committee:
1) affirmed the value of the Forum as an open space for developing new relationships and continuing conversations, and identifying common concerns, recognising that any resulting joint actions will be outworked through the participating churches and organisations
2) affirmed the need for the Forum to sustain its intentional commitment to gathering the largest possible representation of the Christian Churches worldwide around the table
3) affirmed that the Forum continue to be based on committed participation, rather than being a membership organization
4) proposed that the Forum process should continue to broaden and deepen the circle of participation (in terms of the numbers of individuals concerned, the breadth and inclusivity of constituencies, and with particular attention to under-represented groups, including women, youth, indigenous peoples and the physically challenged)
5) proposed that, to this end, the Forum should continue with the lightest structure possible, for example through a small secretariat at least at the current level,
6) requested participating church bodies to assume financial responsibility, as able, for this structure, and for the Forum
7) supported the GCF Committee in its efforts to establish a broad and sustainable financial basis for the Forum
In addition, the meeting
8) requested the GCF Committee to ensure a thorough evaluation is made of the Forum process after Limuru
9) proposed the GCF Committee facilitate a representative consultation to review the evaluation of the Forum process, and then reflect further on the future of the Forum
10) proposed that, in the light of these, the GCF Committee may facilitate further the Forum process and inter-church engagement at regional, national and local levels, as well as at the global level, and will encourage developments that promote the goals of the Forum at the regional and local level and within various traditions
11) proposed that the GCF Committee engage in dialogue with the church families and bodies represented in Limuru over the appointment of a new committee, ensuring both some measure of continuity and broad and inclusive representation
Global Christian Forum
Guiding Purpose Statement
To create an open space wherein representatives from a broad range of Christian churches and interchurch organizations, which confess the triune God and Jesus Christ as perfect in His divinity and humanity, can gather to foster mutual respect, to explore and address together common challenges.
In the spirit of John 17:21 “ that all of them may be one … so that the world may believe that you have sent me” and because of our faith in a reconciling God (2 Cor.5: 18-21) a forum could pursue the following:
- Deepen our commitment to God’s Word and mission in the world;
- Enhance our understanding of contemporary expressions of Christian mission;
- Pursue principles and practices that enable us to deal freely, responsibly and peaceably with our Christian differences and distinctive qualities;
- Engage in theological reflection in areas of mutual concern;
- Strengthen the wholeness of the church by encouraging communication and cooperation; and
- Foster relationships that may lead to common witness.
Limuru, November 2007
Explanatory note: This document was developed through discussions between leaders of the Orthodox Churches, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, the Evangelical and Pentecostal movements, the World Council of Churches and the Conference of Secretaries of Christian World Communions, and affirmed at the meeting of the Global Christian Forum, in Limuru from 6 to 9 November 2007.
The Guiding Purpose Statement above repeats the language of the Provisional Purpose Statement adopted in Pasadena in 2002.