Thursday 7 November 2013

Blogging From Busan - Final Reflection on Peace From the WCC Assembly in Korea

Tomorrow we have the closing plenary and sending-off prayers and after these reflective and enriching days at the WCC assembly, Lungi and I will be travelling back home.

Thanks for your prayers, the peace plenary happened and we will leave it to those who attended to evaluate it. In Sepedi we say, "Ngoana wa Mosotho, senne o ipolela, Motho o motle, ha a bolelwa ke ba bang." In sum, you can't promote yourself, or you need to allow others to critique you.

But I felt privileged to moderate this last plenary on peace as part of the assembly theme, "God of life, lead us to justice and peace." Ms Leymah Gbowee, a Nobel peace laureate, and Korean theologian Prof Chang Yoon Jae shared their perspectives on peacemaking and the underlying issues that undermine peace.

Ms Gbowee shared the situation in her country, Liberia, that led women to march and present a petition to the former leader, Charles Taylor. Prof Chang raised his concerns about the lack of peace in Korea and the need to be critical of nuclear power. He gave theological insights important for understanding the politics of nuclear energy and its dangers.

We also listened to Stan Noffsinger from the Church of the Brethren, a peace church in the US, and two young members, Agatha Abrahamian from Iran and Fabian Corrales from Costa Rica shared their personal stories. Then the young people broke into song and dance, holding placards carrying peace messages.

We formed a human chain across the auditorium, reflected on the message we heard today and resolved to be peacemakers as we leave BUSAN. After a short peace greeting, we offered one another the sign of peace.

Thank you all for reading these reflections, I hope they gave you a little glimpse of what took place at the WCC 10th assembly. You could follow in depth the proceedings on the WCC Twitter feed and website.

The God of peace who raised Jesus from the dead, make you strong and courageous in all you do as you pursue peace in the world and with God's creation.

God bless
+ Thabo

PHOTOS: Liberian Nobel laureate Leymah Gbowee spoke at the peace plenary on Thursday (top photo) and Archbishop Thabo (below) moderated discussions. (Photos by Teresiah Njoki/WCC)