United Methodist Committee on Relief

Global Ministries to Host World Council of Churches Public Event on ‘Mission from the Margins’ in January

Glenn Kellum*

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ATLANTA, Jan. 11, 2016--Friday evening, Jan. 13, 2017, from 7-9 p.m., the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church will host in Atlanta a public lecture and panel discussion by the World Council of Churches’ Commission on World Mission and Evangelism.


This public event will feature reflection and discussion on “mission from the margins” in anticipation of the World Council of Churches’ next world mission conference, “Moving in the Spirit: Called to Transforming Discipleship,” which will be held in Arusha, Tanzania, in March 2018. The Commission’s visit to Atlanta, including approximately 40 of its members, will focus on planning for the 2018 conference.


The public event in Atlanta on Jan. 13 will be held in Global Ministries’ sanctuary at 458 Ponce de Leon Avenue, NE. Global Ministries is the mission and development agency of The United Methodist Church, which relocated to Atlanta this year after being in New York City for nearly 200 years.


The keynote speaker Jan. 13 will be the Rev. Dr. Deenabandhu Manchala, Asia Area Executive for the United Church of Christ. Manchala has been one of the key world church leaders in inspiring “mission from the margins” and its importance to the ecumenical community. In his work on behalf of the World Council of Churches, in addition to his leadership with the United Church of Christ, Manchala has overseen theological and mission outreach among networks of marginalized people worldwide who seek to challenge discrimination and exclusion. Manchala was formerly a professor of theology at United Theological College, Bangalore, India.


Panelists from the Commission will include: Bishop Geevarghese Mor Coorilos of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church of India, moderator of the Commission, whose scholarly work focuses on mission, ecology, and social justice; the Rev. Dr. Janet Enid Corlett of the Methodist Church in Britain, vice moderator of the Commission, who formerly was a mission partner in Honduras and research scientist in India, Italy, Philippines, and Zimbabwe; Professor Emeritus Steve Bevans, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, appointed to the Commission by the Vatican, former missionary in the Philippines, and a scholar of contextual and global theology; and Professor Deanna Ferree Womack, Candler School of Theology, Presbyterian Church, USA, former missionary in Egypt and Lebanon, whose research combines commitments to interreligious understanding, Christian-Muslim dialogue, and American-Arab relations.


The Commission traces its history to the 1910 World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh, which was the first global gathering of representatives linked to the Western missionary movement. Since 1910, in an extraordinary expansion of ecumenism, the Commission has grown to encompass the mission traditions and involve the mission movements of all major Christian groups worldwide, including ecumenical and evangelical Protestants, Catholics, Orthodox (Eastern and Oriental), Pentecostals, and Independents. The World Council of Churches now represents more than half a billion Christians around the world in 110 countries, encompassing 350 different churches.


Glenn Kellum, Special Assistant, Office of the General Secretary, 404.460.7160