Having already hosted three successful international consultations in 2013 (Albania), 2014 (Albania) and 2015 (Finland), this year the LOI are taking a new step as we plan our first regional consultation. This will enable us to work on Orthodox-Evangelical relationships in a more contextual way and to build relationships ‘on the ground’ which can then continue afterwards as working partnerships for the mission of the Church.
The first regional consultation will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 11-14 October 2016 serving the nations of East Africa and the Horn of Africa. Although the majority of the participants will be evangelical and Orthodox leaders from within this region there will also be a number coming from India as well as from Europe and North America. The gathering will be hosted by His Holiness Patriarch Mathias and leaders of the evangelical community in Ethiopia. During the consultation participants will deal with the challenging issues of peace building, relationships between different faith communities and the building of unity within the Body of Christ.
There are now 250 leaders worldwide, from Orthodox and evangelical communities, who have been part of the LOI journey in one way or another. Sadly it was impossible to invite everyone to Ethiopia this year but we hope to engage with a different group next year (2017) when we will meet in the UK to consider the formation and training of missional leaders for our churches. There is also a possibility of a fourth international consultation in 2018.