Chiang Mai, Thailand: The first meeting of the newly elected Executive Committee of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) is now underway at the CCA headquarters in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
The 15th General Assembly of the CCA, held from 27 September to 4 October 2023 in Kottayam, India, elected three Officers and seventeen members of the Executive Committee, including the Chairperson of the Programme Committee.
The Executive Committee is elected from among the delegates at the General Assembly. It meets annually and is responsible for ensuring the implementation of the General Assembly’s decisions as well as for reviewing and supervising the CCA’s programmes and budget. The term of the Executive Committee is till the end of the next regular meeting of the General Assembly, i.e. from 2023 to 2028.
Key decisions that the Executive Committee will take at its first meeting relate to the selection of the Programme Committee, the Finance Committee, the CCA Thailand Foundation, the Board of the CCA Hong Kong Company, and the CCA Investment Committee in Hong Kong.
Bishop Reuel Norman Marigza, who belongs to the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, delivered the CCA Moderator’s Opening Remarks.
Outlining the terrible situation faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, and in the context of violence in different parts of the world today, the CCA Moderator Bishop Reuel Norman Marigza stated, “In one sense, hope was all we had. Hold on––the pandemic will end. Hold on––the persecution will end. Hope makes us hold on in the darkest of circumstances. One day it will end, we need only to hold on. We need renewal, rebuilding, and restoration, with hope. Hope was what kept us going in the most difficult and trying period. Hope will energise us as we rebuild and restore our world.”
With these encouraging words, the CCA Moderator Bishop Marigza further stated, “The Asian churches and ecumenical movement must participate in the ministry of renewal and healing in this new normal. We must confront transgressions that are deemed normal, and transform the world into a new one in conformity with the vision of fuller life for all. For healing to take place, we must recognise wrong in our own selves and societies––whether by tacit approval, by being apathetic, or doing nothing about it. We can always look forward with hope in restoration and renewal in healing.”
“Hold on, pray expectantly. Let us pray that God will heal us, renew us in Spirit, and restore the creation,” said Bishop Marigza who was elected as the CCA Moderator at the 15th CCA General Assembly.
At the worship session, the biblical reflection was delivered by Ms Zion Chung, a CCA executive committee member who belongs to the Korean Christian Church in Japan and serves as a missionary with the United Church of Christ in Japan.
Ms Chung delivered a reflection on creation and the dissolution of boundaries. “To be made in the image of God does not simply mean the ‘shape’ of God, but the relationship with God. Every person is precious and cannot be replaced. But in today’s world, our preciousness feels replaceable, lost, and taken away,” she said.
“In Genesis 1:31, we read that ‘God saw all he made and behold, it was very good’. ‘Behold’ is a word that rouses interests and calls for attention. It indicates that God is satisfied with his work of creation, and it makes everyone that God created to know and take it to heart. No matter how chaotic reality is, there is a light that leads us to God. There is peace when we believe that all God created was good,” concluded Ms Chung.
The Executive Committee meets from 17–19 January 2024.