Meeting of Global Christian Forum International Committee

21 Apr 2022

On 20 April 2022 Reverend Andrzej Choromanski, staff member for multilateral relations, represented the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity at an online meeting of the International Committee of the Global Christian Forum (GCF). The meeting began with prayer time, followed by sharing from the participants on theme “Easter at a time like this”. The practice of sharing faith stories, either personal or ecclesial, during meetings is a distinguishing mark of the GCF. The participants received information from the Secretary on preparations for regional forum-like meetings planned for 2022 and 2023 in Asia, Middle East, Latin America and Africa. The Secretary also presented the 2022 budget which was discussed and approved. Time was also dedicated to planning for the fourth global gathering of the GCF scheduled in Ghana for April 2024 on the theme “…so that the world may know…” (John 17,23b). The participants addressed aspects such as programme, size, list of participants and funding of the event. After discussion the Committee set up two task forces to continue the planning, one on recruitment and invitations, and the other on programme and content. The next meeting of the Committee, combined with a regional gathering for Asia, is planned to take place in‒person in Seoul, South Korea, in October 2022.

The GCF is an ecumenical initiative that emerged at the end of the 20th century. Based on the principle of participation rather than formal membership, it gathers together Christian leaders to pray, to nurture mutual respect and spirit of unity, and to address issues of common interest. Crucial to its meetings is a balanced participation of representatives from “historic churches” and “new churches”. The four so-called pillars of the GCF are the World Council of Churches, World Evangelical Alliance, Pentecostal World Fellowship and Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. The International Committee is composed of around 25 members. The last GCF Committee meeting took place online in 2021. The GCF secretary is Reverend Dr Casely Essamuah (Methodist Church, Ghana/USA). The previous global gatherings took place in Limuru, Kenya, in 2007, in Manado, Indonesia, in 2011, and in Bogotá, Colombia, in 2018.