God in your grace, transform the world
Sorry for not posting last night - it was a long day - full of riches.
Here are a few of my reflections on the assembly. There is more information updated throughout the assembly on the official website:
The tremendous diversity is a great privledge to be part of. Yet, I´ve been amazed to discover within this huge gathering of close to 4000 Christians from around the world, there are many familar faces, names (i´m trying not to be too star struck!), and shared experiences. The assembly is full of colour and conversation. During the opening worship, symbols from around the world were brought in and beautiful music from Tahiti, South Africa, Iona, Brazil and elsewhere sung with passion in many tongues. We offered prayers for the different regions of the world. Part of the prayer from Europe read:
We come aware of our rich heritage of civilization, culture, knowledge and spirituality - a tradition of life...but also are fully aware that we carry a tradition of death: war. conquests, exploitation, racism and genocide. Today (..) Europe stuggles to be a better place for all people
Pre-assembly conferences for women, indigenous people and youth helped increase the range of participants and helped those groups often marginalised to become comfortable in the surroundings and more willing to speak out once the assembly began.
The theme of the assembly was reflected in the opening words and greetings from church leaders who talked of grace and transformation. In his address during the opening worship, Archbishop Dr Anastasios of Tirana and All Albania commented, ´the term ´grace´ in Greek denotes, amongst other thingd, the brilliance of beauty and goodness..God did not create the world with truth, beauty and goodness seperated from one another.´
more later, and again, many thanks for your greetings and prayers for the conference.