CCA expresses condolences on the demise of Dr Helen M Hill, a well-known ecumenist, educator, and human rights defender

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).

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    Dr Helen M Hill, a well-known ecumenist, educator, and human rights defender from Australia passed away in Melbourne on Monday 7 May 2024. She was 79 years old.

    Through her academic career and ecumenical enabler training programmes facilitation, Dr Hill was instrumental in developing the leadership skills of many young people in different countries in the Asia Pacific regions as well as advocating for the rights and dignity of oppressed people in the colonized countries.

    The General Secretary of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) Dr Mathews George Chunakara expressed deep condolences on the demise of Dr Helen M Hill.

    “With Helen Hill’s passing away, the Asia and the Pacific ecumenical communities have lost a committed and trusted advocate of social justice, crusader for decolonization and an ecumenical accompanier who stood with the oppressed and the marginalized people in Asia and the Pacific regions during their struggle for human rights and right to self-determination,’ said Dr Mathews George Chunakara.

    The CCA General Secretary added that Dr Hill was his long-time friend and fellow ecumenical traveler since his student days through the Student Christian Movement/World Student Christian Federation as well as through CCA and WCC youth programmes.

    Dr Helen Hill was involved in the WSCF, Frontier Internship Mission (FIM) and in other ecumenical events which brought her closer to the global ecumenical movement, especially in CCA and WCC programmes at different times during the past five decades.

    She taught at the Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia for more than two decades where she introduced Pacific sociology units and the BA degree courses on Asia-Pacific Community Development.

    Dr Hill was actively involved in international advocacy for the independence of Timor Leste (earlier known as East Timor). Her postgraduate degree thesis was on decolonization in Portuguese Timor, and this led her, after Timor-Leste's independence, to start researching the transition to Independence in that country. After retirement, she started working in Timor Leste as a Consultant to the Deputy Minister for Education, Sports and Youth, and continued research on Education and Development, and the Solidarity Economy.

    During Dr Hill’s stay in Timor Leste since early 2000, she became an active participant at the Hosana Church of the Protestant Church in the Timor Leste (IPTL) in Dili. She helped the IPTL to establish its Centre of Theological Formation and regularly conducted courses on community development, gender justice and ecology.

    Helen Hill earlier worked in Fiji and conducted studies on the situations in the US Trust Territory of Micronesia and New Caledonia.

    The IPTL Synod organized a special prayer service at IPTL Teological Formation Center in Dili this afternoon in memory of the late Dr Hellen M Hill.