Two Duke Divinity School students are representing the school at the World Council of Churches 10th Assembly in Busan, South Korea. The Assembly, which runs from Oct. 30 to Nov. 8, represents the most diverse gathering of Christians of its size in the world.
The students, Kayla Harward, M.Div. '14, and Carmen Gonzalez-McKernie, M.Div. '14, will be traveling to Korea as part of a directed study on the ecumenical movement with Christy Lohr Sapp, associate dean for religious life at Duke Chapel and a former staff member of the World Council of Churches (WCC). The delegation is sharing the experience through a blog , and will present a report on the assembly during a brown-bag lunch in early 2014.
At the assembly, Christians from more than 330 member churches from around the world will come together for prayer, worship, bible study, and to set the priorities and agenda for the WCC. “Since these assemblies happen only every seven years, this is a ‘once in a Div-school lifetime’ event,” said Lohr Sapp, who attended previous WCC assemblies in Harare, Zimbabwe, and Porto Allegre, Brazil. “The assembly will be a living classroom in which Kayla and Carmen can have a first-hand encounter of world Christianity in practice,” she said.
The theme for the assembly also stands as the orienting prayer for the event: “God of Life, lead us to justice and peace.” Reflecting on the theme, Gonzalez-McKernie wrote, “We are affirming that a life of justice and peace are only possible if God leads us there together.”
In preparation for the event, the students have studied the history of the ecumenical movement, read WCC preparatory materials and documents on church unity and reconciliation that will be presented for adoption, and studied the particularities of Christianity in the Asian and Korean contexts.