CHIANG MAI: The Christian Conference of Asia’s (CCA) annual month-long ecumenical formation and leadership training programme, the Asian Ecumenical Institute (AEI)–2021, concluded with the valedictory session held on 19 November 2021.
The 25 students, representing different member churches of the CCA, attended the month-long ecumenical leadership development training and expressed their renewed commitments to wider ecumenism, while also stating that the course had prompted them to “walk together on the uneasy path towards the unity of all creation” and helped them “find the hope for the healing of wounds”.
They further appreciated the change in their perspectives during the different sessions conducted by 18 internationally reputed AEI faculty members, as they began to formulate and contextualise independent theological thinking.
The CCA General Secretary, Dr Mathews George Chunakara, offered words of encouragement and inspiration to the students during the valedictory ceremony.
“This month-long leadership training programme can be considered as your initiation into the horizons of the ecumenical movement. The beauty of the ecumenical movement is that we expand our networks of fellowship and friendship each time we meet—and this is evinced in the small community you have formed over the past month. As part of this international fraternity, you now embark on a lifelong journey. The training you received will undergird your future leadership roles in the Asian ecumenical movement or even at the global level. May God bless you all to become great church and ecumenical leaders wherever you are placed,” said Dr Mathews George Chunakara.
The training programme, held from 18 October to 19 November 2021, addressed two distinct areas; the first being ecumenism and the ecumenical movement in Asia, grounded in biblical-theological bases, and the second being the specific thematic thrust, ‘God’s Assurance of Healing and Restoration’.
The students received opportunities to learn from and speak with eminent leaders of the Asian ecumenical movement through intergenerational interactions termed ‘Ecumenical Conversations’ during the training programme, and also attended the CCA’s Good Governance training programme from 9 to 11 November 2021.