WCC, CCA grieve and pray with churches in India as COVID-19 surges

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.

    In a pastoral letter, the World Council of Churches (WCC) and Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) expressed their concern, grief, and prayerful solidarity with the churches in India as COVID-19 surges in South Asian countries.

    “We stand with you in solidarity and prayer in the midst of the suffering and loss of thousands of lives in India,” reads the letter. “We grieve with you before God, for the loss of so many family members, friends, pastors, teachers and healthcare workers who have been taken by this pandemic.”

    The letter also expresses grief for the pain of those who are sick and suffering. “It is our hope and prayer that during this period of crisis, God Almighty will continue to accompany you, as you uphold each other in the struggle for healing and recovery,” reads the letter. “We particularly lift up and pray for the healthcare personnel, hospitals, clinics and community health initiatives of the churches which are being overwhelmed and stretched to their limits, serving and caring for the flood of sick and suffering people.”

    The WCC and the Christian Conference of Asia will join churches in India in observing 7 May as a Day of Praying and Fasting for the healing of India, called for by three church bodies in India: the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, National Council of Churches in India, and Evangelical Fellowship of India.

    “We are also encouraging the members of the global ecumenical fellowship—individuals, communities and institutions—to mobilise resources and to extend support for the work of the churches in India in accompanying and healing the coronavirus-affected people and communities,” reads the letter. “In a situation like this, where we all live amidst fear, anxiety, and uncertainty, may our faith and spiritual values sustain us to live with hope in God’s abundant mercies, love, care and protection.”

    Read the full text of the joint pastoral letter of the WCC and CCA here.