Churches to attend CCC Assembly in Panamá
The Caribbean Conference of Churches (CCC) is currently preparing for its 7th General Assembly carded for June 9 to 16, 2005 in Panama .
The CCC is the recognized Regional Ecumenical Organization (REO) of the Caribbean and one of the major development agencies at work in the Caribbean today. The Organisation is currently comprised of 34 member churches in 33 territories across the region.
In striving to be faithful to its mandate - "Promoting Ecumenism and Social Change in Obedience to Jesus Christ and in Solidarity with the Poor" - the CCC has been serving the peoples of the Region for over three decades, operating in all four linguistic constituencies of the region, viz the Dutch, English, French, and Spanish-speaking territories. The Organisation's General Secretariat is currently located in Port of Spain, Trinidad .
The Assembly, which is the top policy-making body of the CCC, meets every five years and is an important event in the life of the ecumenical movement of the Region. Key decisions regarding the work, foci and programmatic initiatives of the organization are taken there. The theme of the up-coming General Assembly is " Healing and Transformation - given in Christ, fulfilled through the Spirit".
The Assembly will also be a time for delegates, in light of the CCC's mandate and the contemporary context of the region, to evaluate the work of the organisation over the last period between Assemblies and to elect a new Board to run its affairs over the next five year term.
At the Assembly there will be several eminent speakers and resource persons from around the Region. The Keynote Address will be delivered by Rev. Prof. Kortright Davis, of the Divinity School , Howard University, Washington D.C., while the daily Bible Study Sessions will be led by Rev. Dr. Ofelia Ortega.
Dr. Ortega - an ordained Presbyterian Minister - is a World Council of Churches (WCC) Commissioner, and former Principal of the Theological College , Matanzas , Cuba . Also assisting the delegates to come to a deeper appreciation of issues of the contemporary Caribbean context will be the renowned Prof. Neville Duncan of the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER), University of the West Indies , Mona , Jamaica .
Speaking of the importance of this particular Assembly to the life of the CCC, General Secretary, Gerard Granado noted: "It is hoped that at this Assembly, decisions will be taken which would endorse initiatives and directions recently being pursued by the organization, thus enabling the CCC to respond more effectively to the many new challenges of the contemporary Caribbean context, while also enhancing the quality of relationships among its member churches."
"The truth is", concluded General Secretary Granado, "it's more about refounding the organization than about restructuring it."