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“Come and See” text exemplifies ‘a new way of working’

“Come and See” text exemplifies ‘a new way of working’

Rev. Dr Susan Durber, moderator of the WCC Commission on Faith and Order presenting "Come and See" during the WCC CWME meeting in Helsinki, 17 May 2019, Photo: WCC

17 May 2019

Come and See - A Theological invitation to the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace,” a text newly published by the World Council of Churches (WCC) Faith and Order Commission, draws from different traditions in order to make the case for common witness. The document was presented and launched at the meeting with the WCC Commission on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME). The CWME Commission gather in Helsinki, Finland 16-22 May, 2019 to evaluate and reflect on the Conference of World Mission and Evangelism that took place in Arusha (Tanzania) and its future work.

“Its ecumenicity lies in its method rather than in its object,” explained Susan Durber, moderator of the commission. "We wanted to bring together the best of our various traditions, and the complexity of our contexts, to offer a theological foundation, a road on which the churches might go on pilgrimage together.”

“Come and See,” as a theological invitation, is designed to show churches that unity is bound up with their care for the world.

“Through the two years of the document’s preparation our members struggled with all the things that humans face: family crises, personal illness, overwhelming work demands, visas denied,” Durber said. “The whole group took ownership of reviewing and editing the text.”

Each time the study group had a new draft in hand, they read it together, taking turns reading the paragraphs aloud. “Reading aloud brought the text off the page, and helped to keep us mindful of how it would sound in the ears of listeners in our own contexts and traditions,” said Durber. “The work of finding the best sources, the right words, the best phrase, was a challenge but also a wonderful gift. We felt that we achieved among ourselves a lovely foretaste of that pilgrim unity to which the text calls us.”

“Come and See” exemplifies a new way of working for Faith and Order, added Durber. “Do not fear theological discussion at the deepest levels,” she said. “If you stifle it, it will arise, and it is a necessary part of our journey into unity for mission.”

Durber urged people to continue to celebrate diversity. “I pray that we may walk more closely together,” she said.

Metropolitan Geevarghese Coorilos, moderator of the CWME Commission expressed his gratitude to the Faith and Order Commission to launch the very important document Come and See at the CWME Commission. "This is a positive sign for closer collaboration."

Photo gallery from the WCC CWME meeting in Helsinki