Our last letter of information (N° 3) was issued in March 2017,
Our first intent was to issue this letter after the meeting of the Brazilian preparation team originally scheduled in Aparecida on September 9th. Since that meeting has been postponed until September 30th, an additional letter will be set up taking into account the report of that meeting.
The main topics developed in this letter are the following:
- Preparation of Aparecida Forum, meeting of June 25th, 2017
- Other events (Year of Laity in Brazil, Synod of the Youth, …)
- Contacts with other organizations
- Proceedings of the 1st Forum of the People of God (Council 50)
- Finances and Fund raising
Aparecida 2018 (2nd Forum of the People of God)
On June 25th, we held two meetings at the same time, one in Sao Paulo and one in Paris with liaison through teleconference. J.P. Schmitz attended the meeting in Sao Paulo organized by the GCN Brazilian team.
In Paris, François Becker led the meeting with participants from various European countries and one from Africa (Cameroun).
Main topics discussed:
- General theme and title of the 2nd Forum
Inspired by the Gospel, hailed the experiences and reflections of fathers and masters, inspired by the Vatican II Conference and Medellin, build with faith a Synodal and universal Church, open to diversity and culture to build a world of peace, solidarity, liberation, social and economic justice by giving hope to humanity.
“Gospel, social and economic justice, democracy and globalization,
The People of God challenged.”
"Sharing the decision-making in the Church which goes forth"
Taking into account the meeting venue and accommodation facilities, the participants would mostly be delegates from their organization. Anticipated numbers are:
100 from Brazil
50 from other Latin America countries
10 from North America
10 from Africa
10 from Asia
10 from Europe
10 from Oceania
- Forum time table
The Forum will start on Thursday November 15, 2018 at 2PM and close on Sunday Nov 18 after lunch.
Tentative time table has been established: plenary sessions, lectures, round tables, workshops, social events, prayers and celebrations, …
- Aparecida facilities
On June 26, we went Aparecida (2 hours drive from Sao Paulo) to visit the meeting venue and accommodation facilities and review the logistics questions.
Meeting building comprises one auditorium for 200 maxi and 8 small conference rooms for workshops (20 to 40 persons each). On the same premises is the hotel with self restaurant and the chapel.
We are still expecting formal confirmation of the reservations.
- Kind of document to end with
Still to be decided update of the Council 50 declaration, other document, letter to Pope Francis, ….
- Year of Laity
The Brazilian bishops have announced a celebration of the Year of the Laity beginning on the feast of Christ the King, Nov. 26, 2017 and ending on the same feast in November, 2018. Its purpose is to increase awareness of the laity's mission and encourage involvement of lay people in the church and in society. The theme chosen for this Year of the Laity is “Christian Lay Men and Lay Women, Agents of the ‘Church Going Out to the Streets’ in Service of the Kingdom”. The bishops hope to encourage the presence and the action of Christians, 'true ecclesial agents, as ‘salt, light and leavening’ in the Church and in Society.
The interpretation of that event must be clarified since it appears that positions on the way to envisage the role of laity can be extremely diversified, even in opposition. Even though there are limitations and reservations on the part of the ordained ministers, this should be an opportunity to move forward. GCN Brazil, who is in liaison with the preparation team of the Year of Laity, will issue a report on it.
- Youth Synod
The way GCN may participate to the preparation of the Youth Synod of 2018 is to be decided
- Londrina conference
The Commission on the Laity to promote their conference initiated by the Base Christian Communities of Brazil (CEBs) to be held in Londrina in January 2018.
- AYA/ATF (Asian Youth Academy/Asian Theology Forum) annual conference occurred in Indonesia last July under leadership from Paul Hwang (Korea). Martha Heizer, vice WAC Intl chair, was invited as delegate of that organization.
Contacts with other organizations
EN-RE (European Network Church on the move) gives full support to GCN. Detailed report on GCN activities was delivered at The EN-RE general meeting held end of last May in Strasbourg.
WAC Intl (We Are Church International) also supports GCN. The following organizations recently applied for membership to WAC Intl :
Nos Somos a Igreja - Sao Paolo
The Active Youth Group in Sahiwal, Pakistan.
Paul Hwang (as individual)
As GCN, we maintain contacts with other organizations in various countries (USA, India, New Zealand, Kenya) through participation to weekly teleconferences arranged by CCRI (Catholic Church Reform Intl)
Council 50 Proceedings
The Proceedings of the 1st Forum of the People of God (Council 50) have been finalized after a huge work under François Becker’s leadership to collect all documents. This includes the speeches and reports from workshops as well as the final declaration. Both English and French versions are available on the website :
A paper copy has been sent to Pope Francis with cover letter asking for a contact.
We strongly hope to be able to get Spanish and Portuguese versions. Any suggestions on the way to get translations at reasonable cost would be more than welcome.
The following communication means are implemented:
Information letters N° 1, 2, 3 already published and available on the website
The Council 50 Global Council Network: https://www.globalcouncilnetwork.org/145/
Webmaster: Valerie Stroud
Page facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GCN15/
The GCN Google group
Dedicated website for Aparecida http://www.globalforumaparecida.net/
Finances and fund raising
At present stage, we cannot give a precise cost estimate for the Aparecida forum, including the preparation activities. Together with the Brazilian team, we are working on that issue which will be critical for the success of the event.
The main expenses are the following:
- Administrative and logistic costs
- Costs related to invited speakers and others
- Financial support to participants coming from remote places who could not afford travel and accommodation expenses
Fund raising actions have already been initiated, mainly in France. Up to now, the financial contributions represent only a small part of what will be needed.
We need to have more details on expected costs prior to restarting and broadening our fund-raising campaign. Everyone should be aware of that situation and try to help our fundraising efforts.
Bank transfers can be made to the GCN bank account (continuation of the Council 50 account):
Account’s Owner : Reseau Européen Eglise et Liberté (EN-RE) Concile 50
Bank : CCM Seine Ouest (France)
IBAN : FR76 1027 8060 7500 0210 5210 423
BIC : CMCIFR2A
A GCN account will be created in Brazil for local activities