GENEVA—During the week of March 16-22, 2015 Commissioners from various Christian denominations and churches around the globe gathered at the World Council of Churches’ (WCC) Bossey Ecumenical Institute located outside of Geneva for a weeklong meeting to set forth the agenda for the work of the newly-assembled Commission on World Mission and Evangelism. Following the WCC’s General Assembly in South Korea in 2013, Vanna Kitsinian, Esq. was appointed to serve as a Commissioner for the Commission on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME) on behalf of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Holy See of Cilicia. This was the first meeting of the CWME which will convene and work together during the next seven year period.
The Commission on World Mission and Evangelism is the recognized and widely supported multilateral table of the churches and their mission agencies for ecumenical co-operation and reflection on mission. The contemporary missionary movement has been one of the major streams fostering ecumenism since the world mission conference in Edinburgh in 1910. When the International Missionary Council (IMC), one of the outcomes of Edinburgh, merged with the WCC in 1961, the programmatic work and responsibility of the IMC became entrusted to the WCC. One of the structures that was created as a result of the merger was the CWME. This Commission enjoys the full participation of delegates from the Roman Catholic Church, Evangelical, and Pentecostal churches or mission movements.
The commission will be a key player to implement the new mission statement of the CWME and will begin to prepare the next world mission conference with the inclusion of the implementation of the new mission ethos. One main objective of the work of CWME is to launch the missionary movement which will ecumenically put into practice the new understanding of mission and evangelism as expressed in “Together Towards Life,” the new WCC mission statement.
Kitsinian’s participation as a Commissioner will bring forth the Armenian Apostolic Church’s position and contribution to this important work on an international platform. The Commission is comprised of 35 commissioners and 7 advisors from all parts of the world who come together to strategize and implement global agenda on mission. This commission will have special working groups that focus on pilgrimage of justice and peace and transformative spirituality. Kitsinian is part of a special working group on evangelism and authentic discipleship, which has under its purview issues dealing with changing power structures that keep people marginalized, various issues dealing with of peace and issues of justice.
The activities of the CWME will assist the churches and mission bodies to put justice and peace at the heart of Christian mission. By strengthening the fellowship of the Churches, the CWME will contribute to WCC’s strategic objectives. The fellowship of churches is strengthened by the different traditions that are brought within a common forum, which helps Commissioners understand and practice within in their own contexts.
Previously, Kitsinian served as a Commissioner on the Commission of the Churches for International Affairs on behalf of the Catholicosate of Cilicia.