Hospitality – a way into understanding
‘It is through this hospitable listening that our mission takes direction and responds to the challenges and opportunities expressed therein as we participate in God’s mission.’ Bishop James Tengatenga of Southern Malawi opening World Missions Conference on Monday 30th October at the Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick Derbyshire.
Nearly 200 members from the global Anglican community attended the opening session of the annual event which has been expanded since 2004 to incorporate World Mission issues as well as companion relationships between dioceses. As well as guests from UK, Partnership for World Mission (PWM) is delighted to welcome delegates from and representing Botswana, Canada, Estonia, Kenya, India, Ireland, Malawi, Malaysia, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Uganda, US, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.
It is hoped that the diversity of the conference will aid the discussion and further understanding the universal nature of hospitality as well as the cultural differences that can either enrich or divide us. As Bishop James noted in the first keynote address (Hospitality that Listens), ‘when hospitality has opened doors for listening we all get a chance to hear the other’s story as it is.’
Over the four days the aim of the conference will be to explore ways of sharing experiences of giving and receiving hospitality in the context of mission both as guests and as hosts. This will be achieved through keynote addresses including Kenneth Kearon on Tuesday (Hospitality which Reconciles) and Bishop James concluding on Wednesday (Hospitality that Transforms). This years’ conference has been designed to allow participants to take time out to reflect and listen to the reaction of others to the key speakers in small groups.
For the first time this year the conference has been extended to include a meeting of the World Development Advisers Network. Fifteen different workshops focusing not just on hospitality but the issues of slavery in today’s world, hospitality in a war zone and trade justice will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday. There will be a particular emphasis on listening to others and ‘the other’ in a context of hospitality.
PWM website: http://www.pwm-web.org.uk/