MECC welcomes the return of ATIME

With the blessing of the Presidents of the Churches in the Middle East, the Association of Theological Institutes in the Middle East (ATIME) was relaunched after a strenuous endeavor of the MECC Theological and Ecumenical Department.

Eighteen deans, directors, and delegates from all the faculties and institutes member in ATIME from Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq held their first meeting between 17 and 18 of May at the Saint Augustine Center-Lebanon, after ten years of suspension of the ATIME activities.

During the meeting, the executive board of the ATIME was elected and included representatives of the four families: Rev.Fr Tanios Khalil as President, Rev. Fr Edgar Al Haybi as Executive Secretary General, and Rev. Fr. Bishoy Hilmi Ibrahim Abdelmalek, Rev. Fr Bassam Nassif, and Rev. Samuel Razfi as associate executive secretary generals.

In turn, The Middle East Council of Churches congratulated the participants and considered that the Association’s return to its activities had achieved a fundamental goal of building bridges and promoting joint ecumenical action in the fields of theological formation, and emphasized that the Theological and Ecumenical Department will increase its efforts to support the Association and to motivate its ecumenical work.

Furthermore, the participants from different Church families and theological institutes stressed on the necessity of elaborating a common ecumenical vision in order to meet the needs of the churches in the Middle East, in this delicate phase of our times. This could be implemented through collaboration in education, research, and ministry.

In conclusion, participants established recommendations for the road map that will launch the work of ATIME and its objectives, and the next meeting was set for October 2019, in Egypt.