The General Synod of the Church of Ireland has formally received the World Council of Churches’ Arusha Call to Discipleship, which arose out of discussion at last year’s WCC conference on world mission and evangelism in Tanzania.
The motion from the Council for Mission was proposed by the Rector of the Stranorlar Group of Parishes, Rev Adam Pullen, who represented the Church of Ireland at the conference.
“The ‘Arusha Call to Discipleship’ represents a call to us, disciples in the Church of Ireland,” Rev Pullen said. “Part of the body of Christ across the world in our various traditions and ways of worship to find it within ourselves a solidarity with those on the margins, be it, persecution, poverty, geography, economics or climate challenges. Together we are disciples of Christ and all parts of the body of Christ,” he said.
The Arusha Call to Discipleship reads as follows:
“As disciples of Jesus Christ, both individually and collectively:
We are called by our baptism to transforming discipleship: a Christ–connected way of life in a world where many face despair, rejection, loneliness, and worthlessness.
We are called to worship the one Triune God—the God of justice, love, and grace—at a time when many worship the false god of the market system (Luke 16:13).
We are called to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ—the fullness of life, the repentance and forgiveness of sin, and the promise of eternal life—in word and deed, in a violent world where many are sacrificed to the idols of death (Jeremiah 32:35) and where many have not yet heard the gospel.
We are called to joyfully engage in the ways of the Holy Spirit, who empowers people from the margins with agency, in the search for justice and dignity (Acts 1:8; 4:31).
We are called to discern the word of God in a world that communicates many contradictory, false, and confusing messages.
We are called to care for God’s creation, and to be in solidarity with nations severely affected by climate change in the face of a ruthless human–centred exploitation of the environment for consumerism and greed.
We are called as disciples to belong together in just and inclusive communities, in our quest for unity and on our ecumenical journey, in a world that is based upon marginalization and exclusion.
We are called to be faithful witnesses of God’s transforming love in dialogue with people of other faiths in a world where the politicization of religious identities often causes conflict.
We are called to be formed as servant leaders who demonstrate the way of Christ in a world that privileges power, wealth, and the culture of money (Luke 22:25–27).
We are called to break down walls and seek justice with people who are dispossessed and displaced from their lands—including migrants, refugees and asylum seekers—and to resist new frontiers and borders that separate and kill (Isaiah 58:6–8).
We are called to follow the way of the cross, which challenges elitism, privilege, personal and structural power (Luke 1 9:23).
We are called to live in the light of the resurrection, which offers hope–filled possibilities for transformation.
This is a call to transforming discipleship.”