world council of churches

Eighth Assembly
Assembly Committees

Report of Policy Reference Committee II
as adopted by the eighth assembly

Click to any of the following sections of the report:
I. Response to the Africa plenary (with appendix I: Background note on Sudan)
II. A jubilee call to end the stranglehold of debt on impoverished peoples
III. Globalization (with appendix II: Resisting domination - Affirming life: The challenge of globalization)
IV. Response to the plenary on the Ecumenical Decade of the Churches in Solidarity with Women (with appendix III: From Solidarity to Accountability)

Gathering in Zimbabwe has given the world church an opportunity to experience some of the realities of life in Southern Africa. We recalled how on arrival here the currency exchange was 34 Zimbabwe dollars to one US dollar. One week later it was 40 Zimbabwe dollars to one US dollar. What will it be next week and the weeks following? Each devaluing brings increased hardship for the local people.

Here are some images beyond the assembly setting that helped us to feel the pulse of Africa:

  • Sunday worship on the outskirts of Harare with hundreds of people sitting on sheets of plastic in a simple open shed as they listened attentively to the message;
  • a small boy who sheds his ill-fitting shabby shoes and walks barefoot (echoes of "grace goes barefoot" from the plenary theme presentation);
  • the woman marketing beautifully crafted products hand-made by women and unemployed school leavers. She warmly invites us to "feel free" to "take time" as she engages us in conversations about where we live and about the work we are doing here.
All human brings are created in the image of God and have the right to life with dignity in a free and just society: life in all its fullness. The church is called to be in solidarity with those who suffer deprivation, injustice and oppression. We are also called to celebrate life as a free gift from God, and rejoice in hope when we behold the acceptable year of the Lord.

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