Ecumenical Ministry and Dialogue with other Churches
In the multiplurality of Nairobi, the collaboration among churches and other religions, what we call ecumenism is an important and meaningful ministry.
There are many things that unite all the believers. They share certain values, and the care for those in need. The desire to build a better society is basic to most religions. In the slums as in the rest of society problems are common to all believers, and it is important to come together to solve them for the good of the people.
This is the foundation that brings churches and other believers together. At the level of the country there is the Kenyan Religious Council where the leaders of the different religions: Christian Churches, Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs come together to collaborate in certain issues affecting the country and to solve problems wherever there are difficulties.
In Nairobi, since 1994, there has been ecumenical meetings and collaboration, especially between the Catholic St Paul's University Chapel and the Presbyterian Parish of St Andrew's. The first initiatives date from the year 1994.
Twice a year NEG organizes an Ecumenical Round Table on the general theme 'Christian Churches in the City'. Themes previously discussed include: Christians facing modern culture in the city; Poverty - a challenge to Christians; Building Christian solidarity in Nairobi; Politics as a service and Christian responsibility; Spirituality of unity; Social Justice; and Called in Christ to be healing and reconciling communities in Nairobi; God in your grace transform the World (Theme of the 9th General Assembly of the World Council of Churches. - WCC Geneva) ….
In January each year the NEG focuses its activities on an ecumenical prayer service held in turn in the two churches.
The Kibera Ecumenical Encounter
The Kibera Ecumenical Encounter brings together the pastors and representatives of several local parishes and communities such as the Anglican, Catholic, and Evangelical Lutheran parishes, Legion of Mary, several evangelical and Pentecostal communities and the Inter-religious Forum for Peace and Development, and the "African Peace Point" - Kibera .
They invite each other every month during their Encounter, in their local communities and Worship places, to join in Christian brotherhood. In a fraternal spirit they pray and share there common concerns.At their meeting, held on a regular base during the week, they share the Word of God, and Pray for their common needs. In a fraternal way the local news is shared at every encounter.
The core of the Ecumenical Encounter is their pastoral care for their local communities, stressing on some particular issue taken out of a social analysis worked out by "Christ the King Catholic Parish". (See "Parish transformation in Urban Slums. Voices of Kibera" Ed. Paulines 2005)
Spiritual subjects are shared such as "Prayer in a Christian Family", The Word of God in our Worship and Families" .
The regular meetings take place in turn at each of the different communities in an open and fraternal spirit. Info: Fr Jan Lenssen 020- 2717009