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Biennial Consultation on Urban Ministry
Wednesday, 17 August, 2016 @ 12:00 am - Saturday, 20 August, 2016 @ 6:00 pmR400
The 11th Biennial Consultation on Urban Ministry pulls together urban practitioners, activists, ordinary citizens, academics and students for inspiration, reﬂection and reinvigoration. Committed to love the city and draw from God’s abundance in the city, about 250 people gather from 5 continents and transcend socio-economic, political, denominational, generational, gender, racial, ethnic and language lines. For the ﬁrst time the Consultation weaves with the Feast of the Clowns, an inner city community festival celebrating arts and justice, God in the city and the city’s diversity. As a festival of justice and reconciliation, it seeks to heal, dream and confront. The 2016 Consultation culminates in the March of the Clowns.
This year’s theme, #WeMustRise: healers-dreamers-jesters, seeks to foster prophetic urban communities who take ownership to work for justice and reconciliation in our cities by being healers, dreamers and jesters.
As a backdrop to the Consultation, remembering 40 years since the 1976 Soweto uprisings and honouring the #MustFall movements of 2015, we recognise the power of ordinary people–citizens, churches, communities, people of faith–to rise up and tackle our country’s and city’s greatest challenges. Attuned to the historic winds of change, we also anticipate the 500th celebration of the Reformation in 2017 and consider the reformational urges for our contemporary cities. We are moved by the poetic and prayerful invocation of Pope Francis in his encyclical letter Laudato Si’, focusing “on care for our common home” (18.06.2015):
…creativity should be shown in integrating rundown neighbourhoods into a welcoming city: “How beautiful those cities which overcome paralysing mistrust, integrate those who are diﬀerent and make this very integration a new factor of development! How attractive are those cities which, even in their architectural design, are full of spaces which connect, relate and favour the recognition of others!”
#WeMustRise will include a number of movements to engage the hearts, heads and hands of communities, individuals and institutions. These orchestrated movements create spaces for building trust and cooperation and for deepening our spiritual and urban journeys. Elements will include devotional reﬂections, panel discussions, round-table conversations, workshops, vision walks, pilgrimages, keynote speakers, collective laments, play-spaces, pathways for sharing resources and the March of the Clowns. We are called to bring laughter in a sad world, but also to cry about and resist that which makes the world sad! Together, we will consider our personal, communal and institutional roles in erecting concrete signs of justice and reconciliation in particular places as we accept our calling to serve as healers, dreamers and jesters to creatively build cities of shalom.
- To create space for inspiring urban ministry practitioners to engage innovative transformational strategies.
- To equip urban citizens of good faith and good will with perspectives to help construct practices and processes embodying urban alternatives.
- To nurture urban ministry and theology network committed to work for just and reconciled cities in South Africa and beyond.