Chinese proverbs offered a Hong Kong-based group some helpful insights into ways Anglicans might best talk and work through their differences.
The group of lay and ordained men and women from the dioceses of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui met as a Resource Hub of the Communion project Continuing Indaba. The range of proverbs they considered included such injunctions as “Don’t speak quickly – listen and think first”.
“Insights from Chinese wisdom included the need to avoid labelling of others,” explained the group convener Revd Samson Fan, “and also the importance of mutual respect and finding common ground”.
The group, that comprised theologians, lawyers, a headmaster and a politician, continually returned to the core Chinese value of harmony. "It was explained to us that the Chinese character for harmony - 和 - is a combination of 'rice' and 'mouth'," said Canon Phil Groves Continuing Indaba project director
"The group emphasised that harmony is generated by eating together and that it creates the context for peace 安, which is the only context for prosperity. The group noted the parallels with the Eucharist where eating and drinking symbolise harmony with Christ and with one another."
The group, which met in early July, has since set up a Facebook Group to continue their work to produce theological resources and reflections on the theme of Indaba. They are also reviewing materials already presented by African theologians. All of these materials will be combined with insights from the Bible and Christian tradition from elsewhere in the Communion to develop further resources for mutual listening for the sake of mission.
The group, facilitated by CMS Asia director Kang-Sang Tan, was convened by Revd Fan at the request of the Most Revd Paul Kwong, Archbishop of Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui & Bishop of Hong Kong Island.
For more information visit www.anglicancommunion.org/ministry/continuingindaba/ or contact Mr Jan Butter email@example.com
Notes to Editors
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