Conference on World Mission and Evangelism embraces the cross
“We can embrace the cross when we hold that there is no spirituality without life and spirituality is impatient life against the disorder of humanity,” said Rev. Dr Vuyani Vellem, one of the speakers at a plenary on the theology of the cross at the Conference on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME).
Vellem was invited to speak about the spiritual dimensions of embracing the cross in the last thematic plenary of the CWME, being held in Arusha, Tanzania, 8-13 March.
Moderated by His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Kenya, the plenary opened with a strong testimony from His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, the Supreme Head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church, about the ongoing work of the church in a country marked by persecution, destruction and violence.
The patriarch’s testimony was seconded by a short reflection on poverty in Latin America and the theology of the cross, by Rev. Dr Roberto Zwetsch, from Brazil.
“More than ever we need to pray and trust in the strength and power of the spirit of Christ. And thus empowered, we need to concretely embrace the pain, the struggle and the hope of our peoples”, he said. “One must take up the cross of Christ as the cross of the crucified, of yesterday and of today”, added Zwetsch.
The plenary, “Embracing the Cross”, which aimed to provide the participants with essential missiological aspects of theology of the cross and its focus on life-giving, hope and resurrection, was closed with a reading of excerpts from Rev. Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream” speech, delivered in Washington D.C., 28 August 1963.