Sunday, October 11, 2009

The emerging church in Latin America: Christ present in the other 2

" One proposal of evangelizing practice that appears in the evangelical ranks at the end of the 70s is worth highlighting. It is the pastoral of coexistence [39]. Inspired in Roman Catholic models, as for example the experience of labour fathers or the theology of the hoe that took place in the countryside of the Northeast [Brazil], or more remotely in the communities of evangelical life of the moravian bretheren, many groups of evangelicals sought to embed themselves in the popular milieus to try a new form of evangelizing presence. They ranked students, members of communities and pastors [male & female]. There were groups that left to live in neighbourhoods and urban suburbs, maintaining themselfs with the work in factories, other chose to live in rural zones, practicing subsistence agriculture, fostering the associations and cooperation, besides participating in worker's unions. One third option was the work alongside indigenous communities, developing this way a redefinition of traditional mission. [...]

The pastoral of coexistence was understood as process of missionary reeducation, through which the christian mission seeks to embed itself in the world from the viewpoint of the other, committing to his life and drawing from there all the consequences [40]. They sought to renew not only the sense of the mission, but to recup part of the lost credibility with the centuries of oppression and devaluation of the other. [...] The spirit of the gospel guided missionaries [men and wonen] to walk together with the other, sharing their struggles, pains, weaknesses and victories, and celebrating all that in a new liturgy/koinonia. The coexistence and the solidarity triggered a series of other services. In some cases, the work yielded the formation of ecumenical communities that still today present a challenge. The pastoral of coexistence assumes an act of trust in the other. The dialog as method overcomes the mentality of conquest, for it happens starting from symetric and solidary relations which have as base the struggle for the rescue of life. Among its unfoldings are the rereading of the biblical witness and a new valuation of the gospel as a way/message of liberty and liberation.

[39]Cf. Roberto E. Zwetsch, Missão e alteridade, p. 159-175; [...]
[40] Cf. Lori Altmann, Convivência e solidariedade, p. 47-49"

Roberto E. Zwetsch "Missão no horizonte do Reino" in "Teologia Prática no Contexto da América Latina"
ISBN 85-233-0467-3
ASTE, Sinodal Press

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