At Lusaka we recognized the MIWC was being shaped in a new direction.  While its basic purposes were affirmed, we also recognized God was shaping something more in our midst.  You will find attached several reports on the Lusaka meetings.  One is from Al Roxburgh in preparation for reports he needs to make in NA.  This contains a summary of the previous meetings as well as the Lusaka meetings.  A second report is from Colin Greene written for Lifewords in the UK.  In the days ahead we will be asking others to write some their reflections and make these available to everyone. 

Some of the highlights of the meetings were as follows (abstracted from Al Roxburgh’s report):

A.    Focus and direction of the project is tentatively stated in these terms:

1.    God is calling forth a new world.
2.    As Christians from a variety of nations shaped by Western, modern cultures we all find ourselves in a clearing where none of us have been before.
3.    Our calling (the work of this Project) is:
a.    Discerning the mission of the Spirit of God, by
b.    Hearing the local voices of God’s people
c.    Amidst globalized cultures.

B.    The decision we made in terms of the go-forward were:

1.    Over the next twelve months the Project will be jointly chaired by:
a.    Japhet Ndhlovu (Africa)
b.    Neil Crosbie (UK)
c.    Alan Roxburgh (North America)

The group will meet on Skype and through email to oversee the next steps.  This is pro tem proposal in order to appropriately move the Project forward.

2.    The Chairs ask each country to identify several potential sites for the initiation of the Project within the next six months.

3.    A team comprised of Andrew Menzies, Steve Taylor, D T Banda and Frederick Marais work to develop the protocols and method elements required for initiating the project in the local contexts.  What we are looking for is not a pre-determined set of research protocols that rigidly define how every location must engage the Project but the ways we can present process that move across all the contexts to allow for research to take place.

4.    A team comprised of Dr X Simon (Stellenbosch) and Dr S Savage (Cambridge) design the research protocols for that will enable the project to read the framing questions it will bring to the table.

5.    The Chairs identify the initial small number of locations to beta test 3 and 4.

Japhet, Neil and Al reviewed these commitments on our initial Skype call a couple of week.  We agreed that our role in this coming year is to:

  • Assure we facilitate the continual dialogue among us all across our diverse contexts.
  • As quickly as possible, put into place the processes for the continuation of this vital dialogue in each of the national, local contexts.
  • Oversee the actioning of the 2 – 4 above.
  • Discern and continue to cultivate the atmosphere of our work together, especially as this was formed through the indaba process.
  • Work at the development of the theological and biblical engagements we all saw as vital to the intellectual work that must shape our way forward.

Over the next several weeks we will be assembling all of the notes taken in Lusaka in order to create a detailed process of our steps forward.  You will receive a second, follow up, communication piece later this month that proposes the way forward based on our agreements.   We are also working with ways to use the Allelon web site for our continuing communications with one another so that we can produce an environment for interactive and ongoing communication.

Attached are the two reports mentioned above.

We are also being asked already about the dates for our 2009 meetings.  These will be in July or August 2009 and we will seek to have a set of proposed dates to you as soon as possible.

Thanks again for making Lusaka a time when we experienced the leading of the Spirit.

Japhet, Neil, Al