Communication is an essential part of every aspect of a church organisation and must occupy a central position. During a hearing called “Communication as a spider in the web called church” at the 13th CEC Assembly, organised by WACC (World Association for Christian Communication) some 40 participants had an intense discussion about what communication is and its position within churches.
“As everyone is in communication, we all have to consider the quality of communication”, Ingmar Lindqvist, former director of communication of the Church of Finland, explained. To communicate is to be in dialogue, being in dialogue can only occur under the condition of being willing to change. Simply telling the truth can not be communication.
One of the participants did not agree on the central position of communication. He underlined the fact that communication cannot be on an equal level with mission. “Communication lacks the values and ethics that mission includes.” Someone else reacted saying: ‘You are diminishing communication to a technical tool’. Another participant indicated that: “Communication is about God’s love for humanity, communication is central for the message.”
During the hearing a very critical remark was made about the decision of the Central Committee of CEC to freeze the vacancy for the position of the Executive Secretary for Communications and Information. By the end of the year the current Secretary will leave and the procedure to appoint a successor has already been done.
WACC supported a petition from the CEC Advisory Group on Communication to reconsider this decision with a letter signed by WACC Europe president, Juha Rajamäki, and WACC global vice-president, Praxedis Bouwman. The decision made by the central committee is a direct threat to the visibility of CEC and the collaboration with secular and church related media professionals around Europe. WACC, which has been working successfully with CEC in recent years, expressed its concern to the CEC president and general secretary. WACC is an advocate for strong communication, as it is stated in its principles for Christian communication: “Communication must be seen as central to the churches, as the process in which God's love is received and shared, thus establishing communion and community.”
The World Association for Christian Communication is a worldwide membership organisation for all people who are working in the broadest sense of Christian communication. WACC has a strong focus on communication rights, media and gender justice, communication and stigmatisation around HIV aids, communication for ecumenism, for peace, for ecumenism and communication and poverty.
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