MECC Partners Meeting-Day Two: Kairos for a Church Global Compact in time
Dhour Chweir Evangelical Center was very active early in the morning. At 8:30, everything was set for the morning prayer. Taize hymns shed peace in the air, followed by a worship from one of the Partners.
Project “Kairos ME Towards a Church Global Compact”
This second day was moderated by Rev. Fr Rouphael Zougheib, national director of the Pontifical Mission in Lebanon gave the floor to Rev. Fr Gaby Hachem, MECC Director of the theological and Ecumenical Department and to Mr. Ziad El Sayegh, MECC Policies and Communication Advisor. The abstract for a “Kairos ME Towards a Church Global Compact”, comes in response to the persisting political, security, demographic, and social turmoil with its impacts on the dramatic reduction of Christians in the Middle East. The idea is to have a proactive information plan to prevent bad situations from developing instead of just reacting. A number of experts will lead studies in Arab countries on a four phased plan. There will be efforts to improve cooperation between MECC, international churches, and MECC’s friends to lay a white paper of the compact on primary issues in the region. The draft will come up with recommendations after several studies among 8 countries which include Arab Gulf states.
Then Father Gaby Hashem spoke on the importance of renewing the Church’s approach to the humanitarian relief, saying that it should transcend human rights. According to the Christian anthropological concept, every human being is created in the image of Christ. Hashem explained that the document will open the door to all churches to search together for solutions to Christian problems, stressing that the biggest challenge is how to persuade the Churches to abide by a unified document. “It is like trying to develop a prophetic position to serve the people and help them make their decisions,” Hashem said.
In turn, Mr. Ziad Al Sayegh considered that the time has come to avoid devastation in the hell of the Middle East, pointing out that the problem is in taking a clear position. Al Sayegh stressed that the compact to be issued will include a joint opinion between MECC and all participating churches.
Al Sayegh explained that “Kairos” is not a single word, but it’s a part of Incarnation and has a specificity in the theological context, adding that “we need a simulation of the studies by the research centers in the United States and Europe. He stressed that the aim of this initiative is “to propose a unified compact for the Eastern and Western Churches in order to address it to the General Assembly of the United Nations”.
Then Act Alliance Secretary General Mr. Rudelmar Bueno De Faria had a word where he considered that all the international organizations, among which the UN are facing the dilemma of quick changing environment in the Middle East. He deplored that the Churches do not collaborate and stay silent before the violations against human dignity”. Rudelmar warned that “not changing the Churches action there will be a big problem which will affect the poorest communities”.
After that, the workshops started for the three main MECC departments. Partners chose each their fields of interest: Communication, Theology and Ecumenism, or Diakonia.
A discussion followed where the Partners shared their opinion on what they witnessed as both reports and workshops.
The Meeting ended on a thankful note by the Secretary General to God first, then to the Partners and MECC staff. There was an agreement for more collaboration and support to MECC’s project. Moreover, there was a common declaration by the World Council of Churches, the MECC, and Act Alliance entitled: “Violence is destructive. We are called upon to respect and protect Human Dignity”.