For the 38th time the EECMY leaders and representatives of the partner organizations and churches are gathering at the Gudina Tumssa Wholistic Training Centre in Addis Ababa. The theme for this year’s Committee for Mutual Christian Responsibility (CMCR) meeting is ‘God’s Grace Liberates and Renews’. The Lutheran World Federation’s ‘Liberated by God’s Grace’, which marks the celebration of the 500-year’s anniversary of the Reformation (1517-2017), has inspired the theme of the CMCR.
Tuesday, the 31st of January 2017, afternoon the meeting began with all members gathering for worship and commemoration of the Reformation. At the worship service the EECMY President Rev. Dr. Wakseyoum Idossa preached over the text from John 1:14-18 and (the newly elected president) Rev. Yonas Yigezu led the liturgy. Rev. Dr. Fidon Mwobeki (Lutheran World Federation Director for Department of Mission and Development), the Ethiopian Catholic Church Cardinal Berhane Yesus as well as representatives from Meserethe Kristo Church (Menonites), Mulu Wongel Church (Pentecostals), Kale Hiwot Church (Baptist), and the Anglican Church participated in the commemoration service.
Rev. Dr. Wakseyoum Idossa shared in his commemoration speech the history of the relationship between the EECMY and the Ethiopian Catholic Church, and how these two churches especially during the time of the Communist Regime (1974-1991) were of great support to each other. The emeritus president Rev. Iteffa Gobena and Cardinal Berhane Yesus were both jailed for their faith during that time and even shared the prison cell. Likewise, the protestant churches supported each other mutually during the time of persecution and their history and growth is in many ways interlinked. The Cardinal as well as the other guest shared their appreciation of being invited for this special occasion and each underlined the importance of collaboration and support.
After the worship service, where also a choir from the EECMY Anuak Congregation in Addis Ababa sang and played their drums, all participants were invited for a special dinner program. The staff at Gudina Tumssa Wholistic Training Centre had provided beautifully with a campfire, candles, and delicious food. After the cutting of cake by the Guests of Honour, dinner was served. The evening program was accompanied by music performed by students from the EECMY Jazz Music School.