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Delegation from the Church in China Attends the Fourth Global Gathering of the Global Christian Forum
2024-04-30 Source: this site

From April 15 to 20, 2024, a three-person delegation from the Church in China, including Mr. Gu Mengfei, Secretary General of National TSPM, Rev. Huang Tianhua from Guangdong Union Theological Seminary, and Mr. Du Peng, staff from Theological Education Department of CCC&TSPM, attended the Fourth Global Gathering of the Global Christian Forum in Accra, Ghana.

In the opening service, 240 participants from 60 countries gathered together for this vigorous and joyous moment at the Accra Ridge Church, which is an interdenominational congregation. The Rt Rev. Lydia Neshangwe, President of All African Conference of Churches (AACC) and Moderator of the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa (UPCSA), preached a sermon during the service. The Holy Spirit has brought together Barnabas and Saul, who are distinctively different. So it is hoped that everyone can be united and bear witness to Christ. Dr. Casely Essamuah, Secretary of the Global Christian Forum, welcomed all the participants.

The theme of the event was “That the World May Know” (cf. John 17:21). Denominational representatives cited John 17 to share their insights. Members of the group discussion exchanged ideas on the theme, based on the principles of deepening understanding, bridging differences, and practicing mutual respect. It was agreed that people know Christ through both the words and actions of Christians. Representatives of the Church in China elaborated on the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China, the union worship that has witnessed the unity of Chinese Christians, the faith testimonies of serving one other, as well as the background and results of the Chinanization of Christianity in China. In this session, many denominational representatives expressed gratitude for the unity of the Church in China and their expectation to know more about the development of Christianity in China.

The Fourth Global Gathering of the Global Christian Forum advocates Christians to lead a courageous and humble life that demonstrates God’s love, forgiveness, justice, healing, restoration, grace and salvation. Participants also went to the Cape Coast Castle, where they reviewed the horrific history of slavery trade and felt the desperation of millions of African women, children and men. Afterwards, people congregated at the Ghana Wesley United Methodist Church, listening to Jesus’ teaching on grief, healing, and reconciliation. They prayed for a life of justice, righteousness, and solidarity, truly witnessing the shape and form of God in one other.

Initiated by Konrad Raiser, the then-General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), during the eighth WCC assembly in 1998, the Global Christian Forum serves as a global Christian forum with broader representation. It aims to seek more opportunities to broaden dialogues, deepen understanding, and encourage conversations and connections among worldwide Christian fellowships. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Global Christian Forum, and it is also the second time that the Church in China sent delegates to the global gathering.

Translator & editor: Bei Feng