Church leaders present at the Third Global Gathering of the GCF in Bogota released a message to the churches reflecting the nature and work of the four day meeting. Here are some snapshots from the Message.
The theme, "let mutual love continue," expresses the spirit and practice of the Global Christian Forum since its inception in August 1998 ... (in accordance to its founding principle), "To create an open space wherein representatives from a broad range of Christian churches and interchurch organizations, which confess the triune God and Jesus Christ as perfect in His divinity and humanity, can gather to foster mutual respect, to explore and address together common challenges."
Witness to peace in Colombia:
“Gathered in Jesus' name, praying together has nourished and sustained us ... Indeed Jesus has been present among us as we have praised God and prayed for peace, reconciliation and all those who suffer persecution, poverty and injustice (Matthew 18:20) ... we have listened to and been inspired by witnesses working for peace. We pray that the peace process may continue in Colombia and bring hope and reconciliation."
Witness with historic Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification:
We have heard testimony from the Lutheran World Federation, the Catholic Church, the World Methodist Council, the World Communion of Reformed Churches and the Anglican Communion about their Churches' journeys to embracing the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (1999). We hope and pray that retelling our histories and our stories together may lead our Churches to a fuller recognition of each other as Christians.
Suffering and sacrifice:
We call on all Christians to remember ... our brothers and sisters in the Middle East. We also call Christians to join with those who pray for peace and justice in Jerusalem.
In the bond of Christian unity, we call on all Christian communities to remember in their daily prayers all who suffer persecution and martyrdom.
Let Mutual Love Continue in a life-generating work of the spirit:
"We cannot be content with ‘polite ecumenism,’ but rather let our narratives be redeemed in the Spirit, confessing that our division openly contradicts the will of Jesus Christ, scandalizes the world and harms our mission to share the Gospel.
"In our sharing the struggle of authentic Christian witness in our world, we heard and applauded strong warnings to resist the captivity of the Gospel by any national or ideological Gospel by any national or ideological powers. We desire to hold one another in support and accountability united in one body, transcending all attempts to weaken the truth of our witness to Jesus Christ."
Photos © Albin Hillert/WCC