KAIRÓS 30th ANNIVERSARY
DANGEROUS MEMORY AND HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
Kairos 30th Anniversary: Dangerous Memory and Hope for the Future.
“May your movement -- our movement -- continue to grow in strength and spirit.” These words were written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, welcoming participants of the 30 year anniversary conference of the South African Kairos document to Johannesburg in August 2015. The conference commemorated and celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the 1985 Kairos document, a document that had a significant influence on the Christian community’s theology and response to Apartheid, as well as involvement in social justice issues worldwide.
The conference also sought to lift up the struggles for justice that still persist in South Africa and around the world.
We gathered in Johannesburg (near Cottesloe) from 17 to 20 August 2015, to celebrate how the 1985 South African Kairos document, “Challenge to the Church,” responded to a moment of truth in the most painful days of Apartheid.
That Kairos document inspired three decades of Kairos movements in many different contexts. This celebration has now re-inspired us toward a common humanity and a concern for human dignity and our environment.
The pain of Marikana and the reasons behind it (multinational profit before people and corporate greed) hovered over our conference.
The 2009 Kairos Palestine document, “A Moment of Truth,” a cry from the Palestinian Christian community, carries a disturbing echo of the dangerous memory of the South African story of Apartheid. Kairos Palestine has evoked a powerful global response from Kairos contexts around the world. The catalyzing power of Kairos Palestine was deeply felt in our gathering. We were inspired by this renewed energy. Palestine is the space where our sacred texts are contested.
There was much to celebrate in this gathering. Our Kairos conversations were intentionally multi-generational and broadly international. We were grateful to engage deeply with Muslim and Jewish perspectives. We found much joy in our solidarity and shared struggles. We were particularly encouraged by the inter-generational nature of this gathering and how that can be nurtured and encouraged. We are particularly inspired by the birth Zinzi Kairos Mbenenge during the conference.
“… for unto us a child is given”!
A NEW KAIROS