Yangon: The Diamond Jubilee of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) was celebrated in a grand ecumenical setting held in Yangon, Myanmar in the afternoon on Sunday 15 October. More than 6,000 people, including 600 delegates who have been attending the Asia Mission Conference since Thursday, attended the Thanksgiving Service and the Diamond Jubilee commemorative public meeting held at the Franc Auditorium of the Baptist Church.
A Homily by CCA the only living participant of the1957 Prapat Conference Bishop Dr Soritua Nababan delivered the homily based on the Biblical text, Acts. 1: 8.
“We are grateful to God as CCA marks the 60th anniversary of its founding at Prapat in 1957, as the first regional ecumenical organization in the world. The Diamond Jubilee commemoration is a celebration of the journeying together of the Asian Churches and all members of the wider ecumenical family and fellowship,” Dr. Mathews George Chunakara, General Secretary, CCA stated in the welcome address.
In his speech he stressed the importance of ecumenical movement while giving a brief background on CCA’s inception in 1957 in Prapat, Indonesia where, for the first time Protestant churches from 23 countries, discussed the theme, “Our common evangelistic tasks in Asia’.
“Celebrating the milestone of 60 years with 600 participants for a week-long conference and 6000 attendees in a thanksgiving service is remarkable for an organization. When a person reaches the age of 60, he/she completes one life cycle. The number 60 means ending one cycle and starting a new cycle in many Asian cultures. This reminds us of our task and the continuation of our journey together in prophetic witness to the truth and light in Asia as CCA enters into a new phase of its life cycle,” stated eloquently Mathews George the tenth General Secretary of CCA.
“We are reminded at this time of the Diamond Jubilee commemoration of our past, of the continuity of our common journey, the virtues of our resilience, ingenuity, commitment and trust in God’s unwavering support and divine guidance through the past 60 years of CCA’s history”, the CCA General Secretary said.
“The theme, “Journeying Together: Prophetic Witness to the Truth and Light, in Asia,” which was chosen for the Asia Mission Conference that coincided with the Diamond Jubilee, was linked to the role and relevance of the CCA in the Asian context. It resonates with contemporary situations in Asia and in the world, that stressed the hope and trust in God’s promises. The deliberations and the venue of the AMC, ‘Yangon’ and the Diamond Jubilee have great significance”.
“ ‘Yangon’ will be known , recorded and popular in future ecumenical and ecclesial history”, the tenth General Secretary of CCA stated in great confidence.
“As the theme resonates with the present realities in Asia, it will be helpful for Asian churches to reflect on the mission and prophetic witness of Asian churches in the midst of many adverse realities, and to emphasize the hope and trust in God’s promises for all God’s people in Asia,” Mathews George added.
Rev. Dr. Olav FykseTveit, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) delivered the Diamond Jubilee message at the public meeting held immediately after the Thanksgiving Service.
Archbishop Felix Anthony Machado of Vasai, chairman of the Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the Federation of Asian Bishop Conferences (FABC), and Dr.Ja Bu of Myanmar Council of Churches delivered greetings and felicitations at the meeting.
Cultural presentations by different ethnic groups added additional flavour to the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
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