8th assembly/50th anniversary

Together on the Way
3.8. Programme Guidelines Committee

The work of the Programme Guidelines Committee
This committee, chaired by Agnes Abuom, was responsible for preparing a report assessing the WCC's work during the previous seven years, and making recommendations for the future. These become the primary policy directions for the next seven years.

Committee members divided themselves into sub-groups to attend and participate in the hearings, which occurred in two phases. The first set of hearings reviewed previous work; the second set looked towards the future. According to the assembly programme, Committee members were asked to attend selected Padare offerings, "listen to informal conversations and read comments participants have posted on newsprint or placed in the suggestion box..." They used this information as they moved into the second set of hearings, where they were asked to "present a synthesis of what they have heard in the Padare, report any specific suggestions regarding future WCC work, and comment on how this relates to the CUV policy statement..." They also served as resource persons in the second phase of the hearings process, answering and asking questions, to get the best possible overview. They then prepared their recommendations for consideration by the assembly. They received many recommendations in writing, and made many adjustments to the first draft of the text based on input from delegates which Agnes Abuom and Barry Rogerson reported in opening remarks.

The Programme Guidelines Committee report was approved (1 against, 5 abstentions).

Report of the Programme Guidelines Committee

Some points raised by delegates included the following: concern about whether the search for visible unity which has been addressed by the Faith and Order commission was given sufficient visible weight in the text, or whether it was inappropriately subsumed under the heading "spirituality"; appreciation that witness and evangelism are among the four principal foci of future WCC work; the need to glean from historic peace churches and the Christian pacifist tradition insights into the WCC Programme to Overcome Violence; gratitude for the WCC's leadership in assisting churches facing situations of war, conflict, and disaster; concern about whether the problems of proselytism are adequately understood by WCC member churches; anxiety about the extremely delicate and divisive nature of discussions about human sexuality and homosexuality; appreciation for the statement about globalization, but a need to study the resurgence of fundamentalism in the context of globalization since it is an obstacle to church unity and the source of many conflicts; and a plea for additional help for those in sub-Saharan Africa.

Go to the full Report of the Programme Guidelines Committee
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