CCA mourns the passing of African ecumenical stalwart Dr Agnes Abuom

Programme Review and Programme Direction

Two key deliberative sessions during the 15th CCA General Assembly are the Programme Review and Programme Direction sessions.

The Programme Review and Programme Direction sessions will both be conducted in three groups relating to the CCA’s programme areas, namely, (i) General Secretariat (GS), (ii) Mission in Unity and Contextual Theology (MU) and Ecumenical Leadership Formation and Spirituality (EF); and (iii) Building Peace and Moving Beyond Conflicts (BP) and Prophetic Diakonia (PD).

Assembly participants will have the option to join one of three groups for both the Programme Review and Programme Direction sessions. For the sake of coherence, the assigned group will remain the same for both sessions.

General Secretariat

The General Secretariat oversees the coordination of programmatic, administrative, and financial activities of the organization. The GS comprises various departments such as church and ecumenical relations, relations with ecumenical partners, finance, administration, and communications, which provide crucial support and services for the implementation of programs and contribute to the overall functioning of the CCA.

Programmes: Relations with member churches and councils, ecumenical partners; advocacy at the United Nations; ecumenical responses to emerging issues in solidarity; income development and finance; and communications.

Mission in Unity and Contextual Theology (MU) and Ecumenical Leadership Formation and Spirituality (EF)

Under the MU programme area, the CCA accompanies Asian churches to strengthen their mission and witness in multi-religious contexts, revitalise and nurture church unity and the Asian ecumenical movement, and develop contextual theological foundations.

Programmes: Asian Movement for Christian Unity (AMCU); Congress of Asian Theologians (CATS); Asian women doing theology in the context of wider ecumenism; contextualisation of theology in Asia and ecumenical theological education.

The EF programme area focuses on nurturing and developing ecumenical leaders in Asia. The programme aims to enhance spiritual formation and theological understanding, enabling people to actively engage in ecumenical dialogue and collaboration.

Programmes: Ecumenical Enablers’ Training in Asia (EETA); Asian Ecumenical Institute (AEI); Youth and Women Leadership Development; Ecumenical Spirituality and Nurturing of Contextual Liturgical Traditions; Asia Sunday

Building Peace and Moving Beyond Conflicts (BP) and Prophetic Diakonia and Advocacy (PD)

The BP programme area is dedicated to promoting peace, justice, and reconciliation in Asia’s diverse contexts. Through training, advocacy, and dialogue, the programme addresses the root causes of conflicts, empowers communities, and fosters sustainable peacebuilding initiatives.

Programmes: Pastoral Solidarity Visits; Churches in Action for Moving Beyond Conflict and Resolution; Young Ambassadors of Peace in Asia (YAPA); Ecumenical Women’s Action Against Violence (EWAAV); Eco-Justice for Sustainable Peace in the Oikos.

The PD programme area focuses on promoting justice, human rights, and social transformation in Asia. Through advocacy, capacity-building, and raising awareness, the programme addresses systemic injustice, empowers marginalised communities, and advocates for prophetic actions and meaningful change.

Programmes: Human Rights advocacy; Migration, Statelessness, and Trafficking in Persons; Asian Ecumenical Disability Advocacy Network; Asian Advocacy Network on the Dignity and Rights of Children (AANDRoC); Ecumenical Solidarity Accompaniment and Diakonia in Asia (ESADA); Health and Healing; Good Governance; Action Together to Combat HIV and AIDS in Asia (ATCHAA).

No preference updated.

    Dr. Agnes Abuom at CCA headquarters in Chiangmai, Thailand during the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace ((PJP) Reference Group meeting in 2019

    Chiang Mai, Thailand: The Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) expressed deep condolences on the passing away of Dr Agnes Abuom, former Moderator of the World Council of Churches (WCC) from 2013–2022 and Africa President of WCC (1999–2006). 

    Dr Abuom passed away in the evening on 31 May 2023, in Kenya, her native country, following a brief illness.

    Dr Mathews George Chunakara, General Secretary of the CCA, in a condolence message stated that Dr Agnes Abuom was the voice of the global south in the ecumenical movement, that her leadership stretched beyond the church borders, and that she remained a well-respected African public persona for more than four decades.

    Recollecting the opportunities to work with Dr Abuom while he was on the staff of WCC, Dr Chunakara said that her deep commitment and passion for protecting human rights, upholding human dignity, building peace and reconciliation in conflict situations, as well as addressing issues related to poverty alleviation, diakonia, and development, were widely recognised even beyond African contexts.

    Dr Abuom, a member of the Anglican Church in Kenya, was actively involved in the church and ecumenical movement for about 50 years. She started her ecumenical journey as a youth steward at the WCC Assembly in 1975 held in Nairobi. She was the first woman and first African to serve as the Moderator of the WCC’s Central Committee, a position to which she was elected at the Busan Assembly in 2013 and continued until 2022. She served as the WCC Africa President from 1998–2006 and as a member and moderator of the policy reference committee from 2006–2013.

    She was also closely associated with the All Africa Conference of Churches, the National Council of Churches in Kenya, and various other church and ecumenical organisations in Africa as well as civil society organisations including Religions for Peace.

    She was given the position of ‘lay canon’ in her church, the Anglican Church in Kenya, and has also been the recipient of awards and recognitions such as the Lambeth Cross for Ecumenism, awarded by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 2017, and the National Council of Churches in the USA (NCCUSA) President’s Award for Excellent in Faithful Leadership.

    Dr Agnes Abuom visited the headquarters of CCA in Chiang Mai in 2019 during the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace (PJP) reference group meeting and attended programmes of several other churches and national church councils in Asia during her tenure as the WCC Moderator.

    She is survived by two daughters. Her husband passed away in 2014.