General Assembly reviews programmes implemented since 2016, and recommends pathways for the future direction in changing demographic and ecclesial contexts in Asia

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.

    Kottayam, India: The 15th CCA General Assembly of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) reviewed programmes and activities undertaken by CCA since the post-Jakarta Assembly period, starting from 2016 and until mid-2023, prior to the Kottayam Assembly.

    During the  Deliberative Sessions held on 29 September in three different groups corresponding to the General Secretariat including Finance, Relationships and Communications, and four programme areas such as Mission in Unity and Contextual Theology (MU), Ecumenical Leadership Formation and Ecumenical Spirituality  (EF), Building Peace and Moving Beyond Conflicts and Prophetic Diakonia and Advocacy (PD) reviewed the implementation of strategic programme plans and the new programme structure evolved since 2016. The Review Sessions also discussed the findings of an external programme evaluation report, which was earlier shared with the participants.

    During the ‘Programme Direction’ deliberative sessions, the Assembly participants again met on 2 October in three separate groups to discuss future directions.

    The Review sessions and the Direction sessions were intended to envision the general direction of CCA programmes in the upcoming programme implementation period, from 2023–2028, including considering recommendations to the member churches and councils, based on various inputs and discussions during the General Assembly of the CCA.

    The discussions centred around the mandate, direction, and priorities of the CCA programmes for the coming five years, and the ways and means through which the CCA programmes could be an integral part of the life and witness of the CCA’s constituencies.

    The recommendations included aiming for more comprehensive engagement of the CCA constituencies, the development of second and third lines of leadership with the involvement of young people, periodic impact reviews and assessment of the programmes in CCA constituencies, and contextual biblical-theological studies on emerging concerns within and beyond Asia amidst changing demographic patterns and ecclesial landscapes.

    Concerns such as migration of the younger generation and isolation of aged communities leading to changing demographic patterns in Asian churches were also identified as priorities to be followed up in the future. Other priority concerns that need to be addressed were identified in areas such as peacebuilding and advocacy on geopolitical concerns, mission and witness in a pluralistic context, interreligious harmony, and health and healing.

    A key issue for discernment was the relocation of the CCA headquarters. Given the unviability of the current location of the CCA Offices in Thailand, especially the issues related to employment visa restrictions, and work permits of overseas staff, stringent rules related to foreign currency transactions through Thai Banks, the General Assembly discussed other options. The General Assembly authorised the incoming Executive Committee to consult with member churches and councils on the question of where the CCA office should be located in the future if the unfavourable situation continued.

    For more photos (photo gallery) please click here: CCA Future Directions, 2 Septemeber 2023