The official communiqué from the October 2017 meeting of the Council of the Church in East Asia
From 11-16 October 2017, twenty-eight Anglican Archbishops and Bishops of the Council of the Church in East Asia including the Obispo Maximo of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente, met in Yangon, Myanmar with the theme ‘Living and Sharing Jesus-Shaped Life’ (Colossians 2.6) hosted by the Archbishop and Primate of the Church of the Province of Myanmar, The Most Reverend Stephen Than Myint Oo.
Joining them were their spouses and clergy who are members of the Executive Committee of the Council of the Church in East Asia. The delegates were from Japan, Myanmar, Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan and Australia.
The theme is inspired by the call to A Season of Intentional Discipleship and Disciple Making issued by the Anglican Consultative Council in 2016. The meeting reflected on four aspects of the theme: Church Responses to Global Extremisms, Church Responses to Peace and Reconciliation, Church Responses to Global Warming and Disasters and Church Responses to Intentional Discipleship. The speakers included Bishop Danilo Bustamante from the Episcopal Church in the Philippines, The Reverend Saw Shwe Lin from the Myanmar Council of Churches, The Reverend Michael Teh from the Diocese of Singapore and The Most Reverend Datuk Ng Moon Hing, Archbishop of the Province of South East Asia.
Besides reflecting on the theme of the conference, delegates also shared from the contexts in which their churches are ministering so that there can be mutual encouragement and prayer for the work of the churches across East Asia. The delegates were also given the opportunity to worship with local Anglican churches in the Yangon area and were greatly encouraged by the devotion of the congregations and their warm welcome.
It was encouraging to hear of the transition to democratic government in Myanmar, the increasing religious freedom and opportunities in this country and the commendable efforts by the government to build a stronger and just society including the peace and reconciliation endeavours. The conference committed its members to pray for the ongoing development of Myanmar and the positive spread of the gospel in that nation.
Delegates noted with concern the impact of climate change in the region but were heartened to hear of the efforts being made to reduce pollution and increase both recycling and the use of energy sources other than fossil fuels across the region.
The Archbishops and Bishops committed themselves to pray and work for peace and harmony in the world in the light of religious extremism and violence.
The meeting served to strengthen the bonds of affection between the Dioceses of East Asia and emphasised both the good news of Jesus Christ and our privilege to be disciples of Jesus Christ, shaped by Him as we live our lives.
We give thanks to God for his continual and abiding mercy and love in Jesus and for the welcome and hospitality of the Church of the Province of Myanmar.
To God be the glory, forever and ever. Amen.