"All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation" - 2 Corinthians 5:18 ESV
Reconciliation is about our relationships - with God and with each other. It involves people, communities and nations learning to live together with deeply-held differences – in a spirit of love and respect.
It is to work for justice and seek truth in the light of God’s mercy and peace. For Christians this is not optional: it’s the very heart of the gospel. As we are reconciled in Jesus we now share this gift of God with each other and the whole human family.
Reconciliation transforms how we live with the inevitable conflict life brings, while itself bringing us into conflict with all that excludes and diminishes people and communities. On the journey of reconciliation enemies become friends and hope replaces despair.
Reconciliation is a key priority for the Anglican Communion and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. The Communion currently has two ongoing initiatives promoting people's engagement with reconciliation: Continuing Indaba and Living Reconciliation. See below for more information and for links to the external websites.
The aim of Continuing Indaba is to enable Anglicans worldwide to live reconciliation by facing our own conflicts, celebrate our diversity and difference and so become agents of God’s reconciling mission in the world. It is an official ministry of the Anglican Communion.
The project has involved people from different dioceses worldwide visiting each other to learn about life and mission in the other contexts as a precursor to conversations about the similarities and differences they have encountered.
These meetings were underpinned by theological papers on a range of relevant issues by Anglicans and Episcopalian theologians from Tanzania to India, Kenya to Canada.
The pilot project resulted in process guides for anyone wanting to undertake an Indaba in their own context, and formed the foundation of the Living Reconciliation book and study guide.
Canon Dr Phil Groves is the Director. He has served in England and Tanzania, bringing people to faith as an evangelist, and developing leadership as a lecturer at a theological college. He is co-author of Living Reconciliation, (London 2014) and has published on partnership in mission.
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The active living out of Indaba has transformed communities as well as churches. It has resulted in dynamic evangelism, commitments to serve and reconciliation between communities in conflict.
It has also resulted in a book Living Reconciliation that challenges the reader to think about how they actively live a life of reconciliation. It is jointly published by SPCK in the UK and Forward Movement in North America.
The foreword is by the Archbishop of Canterbury and in it he describes reconciliation as a hallmark of Anglicanism. He believes that ordinary Anglicans Living Reconciliation can transform our world. This is the book to inspire and inform all those who are ready to join this journey.
The book draws upon stories from across the Anglican Communion and especially from Continuing Indaba.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has called on all Anglicans to study the book with the hope that as they do so ‘the church will be a reconciling community within itself and thus a reconciling community in the communities in which it lives and exists.’
The Living Reconciliation website offers