Aug 2, 2012
Delegates from 42 Countries Meet in Toronto: Migration & The Church
One of the great things about living in an Archdiocese and city as diverse as Toronto is that there's literally always something happening. Working in communications, we'd like to think we have a pulse on what's going on and in many ways we do but there are so many wonderful partnerships and activities taking place quietly in our community, it's hard to stay on top of it all.
One interesting event gearing up to take place in just a few days is the meeting of the International Association of Mission Studies (IAMS), scheduled to take place in Toronto August 15-20. The "assembly" as it's referred to will bring together 200 of the world’s leading thinkers on cultural and theological issues. With attendees from 42 countries, the conference will explore migration and the church, reflecting on how contemporary mobility shapes global Christianity.
The speakers and participants come from a variety of religious and ethnic backgrounds and will bring reflections from time spent in Sierra Leone, Guatemala and Nigeria to name just a few.
If you're looking for an opportunity to sit in a room of very smart folks with some incredible experiences, this is your chance. While the conference capacity is 200, the organizers have opened up a couple of sessions to the public at very little cost ($10).
From the organizers:
As a destination for refugees and migrants, Toronto provides an appropriate backdrop for the discussion. Dislocation, compelled and voluntary, continues to characterize our contemporary human story as people cross state boundaries or move within their own countries in search of safety or well-being. Christian mission, often a feature of large-scale movements of peoples, must continue to attend responsibly to these historic global realities.
Members of the public are welcome to presentations by distinguished international speakers on the evenings of August 16 & 18 at the University of St. Michael’s College Auditorium (cost $10). Keynote speakers include Carroll Rodas (Guatemala/USA), Father Dan Groody (USA), Jehu Hanciles (Sierra Leone/USA), Mojúbàolú Olúfúnké Okome (Nigeria/USA) and Emma Wild-Wood. (UK).
The International Association for Mission Studies is an international, interconfessional and interdisciplinary professional society for the scholarly study of Christian witness and its impact in the world and the related field of intercultural theology. After some preliminary meetings, IAMS was inaugurated in Driebergen, The Netherlands, in 1972.
Since then, every four years an international assembly has been held on the different continents. There are now more than 400 scholars who are members of IAMS as well as over 50 institutions that are corporate members.
You can visit the assembly website here for more information on this event.
While still on the migration issue, the Archdiocese of Toronto will host to the 2nd National Conference on Resettlement under the theme, "With One Voice, We Are The Hope", taking place December 3-6, 2012. Early bird registration ends September 30 and you can find all the details for this event here.
In many ways, we are all immigrants at one point in the journey. It's important for us to explore how the church is responding to these critical issues, especially when we consider how active parishes throughout the Archdiocese have been in sponsoring refugee families, especially those fleeing unrest in the Middle East.
These restful days of summer provide even more reason to give thanks for the freedom we do enjoy in our country and how so many risk their lives to find a new home on our shores. For all who continue this important work and for those they serve, we hold them close in prayer.
Posted by Neil MacCarthy at 4:02 PM