Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus the Christ.
It is my great joy and privilege to welcome you as delegates to this Fourth South to South Encounter in Singapore. The first two "South to South Encounters" of "Anglican churches in the South" took place in Limuru in 1994 and in Kuala Lumpur in 1997. The conference aims were described by our founding fathers as follows:
- To meet, to know and to encourage one another in our faith and mission as Christians of the 'South'.
- To listen to God and to listen to one another.
- To share our stories, our needs, our resources, our vision.
- To explore and encourage ways of offering ourselves and our unique gifts as Christians of the South for the enrichment of the whole Church and for world mission.
- To discover our unique identity as Anglican Christians of the non-western world.
- To encourage qualitative and relevant leadership development for our rapidly growing churches so as to secure the future of the Church in the South and worldwide. To enable partnership, both South to South and South to North on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
- To explore ways of being authentically Christian in our cultural milieu while remaining universally connected to the global Anglican Communion.
Our third meeting took place Egypt in 2005 where the theme was “One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic: Being a Faithful Church for such a Time As This.” Now we gather together for the Fourth Global South to South Encounter under the theme: “The Gospel of Jesus Christ<Covenant for the People; Light for the Nations.”
Each of these meetings has proved to be a wonderful opportunity to strengthen our relationships with one another, to explore ways in which we can be more effective witnesses of Jesus the Christ in our varying cultural contexts and to seek to be faithful to the original aims and purposes of the Encounter. More importantly, however, these Encounters have given us the opportunity to proclaim a prophetic word to the world and to the church through the blowing of the trumpet.
It is to this charge that I wish to call you. The apostle Paul reminds us that, “If the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?” (1 Cor. 14:8) There is a battle going on in our beloved Communion and so there is a desperate need for an authentic and passionate proclamation of the truth of God. People are perishing and we dare not remain silent. We must proclaim the Word that brings life and hope. I pray that we will have the inspiration and courage to do so.
Global South Primates Steering Committee