International summit and Initial Training
Leading Document of the Summit
United Oromo Evangelical Churches Inc.
In Cooperation with
Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs
Washington DC .
The Rev. Gemechis D. Buba
United Oromo Evangelical Churches Inc
February 18, 2006
The meeting is expected to last from 9 AM to 5:30 PM. Thus far about 25 delegates are registered to be trained and to receive the necessary information for this work.
OBJECTIVES OF THE SUMMIT
- Getting the necessary training to acquire the basic skills for peace and justice advocacy on behalf of Oromo Churches.
- Learning the dynamics of advocacy in order to acquire the know-how to navigate the complex nature of the socio-political landscape of western governments and diplomatic structures.
- Learn how to compose and disseminate petitions, informational records, critical documents, human rights documents and official letters to enhance the cause of justice, peace and reconciliation.
- Learn how to test and verify authenticity of documents, records, rumors, reports and information before acting on it or prior to passing it on.
- Learn how to net work with other faith based organizations standing for the cause of freedom, human dignity and equality.
- Learn how to start and pursue grass roots organization and cultivate a broad based support to enhance the effect or impact of the work.
- Learn how to avoid:
- Legally wrong/vulnerable actions
- Politically divisive opinions
- Theologically or biblically unjustifiable positions
- Passing on misleading or unauthentic and unfounded rumors or information
- Targeting individuals, ethnic groups or religions
- Actions or measures which can contradict or undermine the values of Christian faith
- Elect a core group of 5-7 people, as official commissioners of peace and justice in United Oromo Evangelical Churches Inc.
- Taking back concrete messages and structural information to all Oromo congregations and initiate the grass roots organization and mobilization for peace and justice.
- Design and establish functional network for the flow of information among Oromo churches worldwide.
STRUCTURE OF THE SUMMIT
The day will be divided into five segments:
- Obbo Challa Gebissa Baro, coordinator of the UOEC Inc. welcomes all the delegates on behalf of the board and the council of UOEC Inc. During this time all the people participating on this summit will be introduced as;
- Representatives of the UOEC Inc, board and council
- Guests of honor, experts from Lutheran Office of Governmental affairs in Washington DC.
- Designated delegates from Oromo Churches through out America and Canada
- Observers from Philanthropic organizations and Oromo political leaders or activists
- The Rev. Gemechis D. Buba, President of the UOEC Inc. will speak on the significance and objectives of the summit. This presentation explicates the biblical, theological, ethical and moral framework for the work of the commission. A written document of this presentation will be distributed to all participants for future references and to be shared with members of our congregation and community.
- Mr. Andrew Genszler , Director of Domestic issues advocacy work and Ms. Annie Lynsen Director for Advocacy Communications, Grassroots and Network Development, from Lutheran Office for Governmental affairs will take the platform and lead the session until 1 PM. Lutheran office for Governmental affairs describes its mission as follows:
The Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs...
- Witnesses for social justice on domestic and foreign policy issues facing the nation.
- Represents the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's positions within the area of public debate.
- Educates, informs and enables effective interaction between the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the federal government.
- In the afternoon various records and documents delineating the state of human rights and justice in Ethiopia will be distributed for reflection and discussion. This segment will be highlighted by Dr. Gemechu Olana, Pastor of the Oromo Evangelical Church in Los Angeles. This brief discussion and reflection will help us to briefly perceive the magnitude of the problem.
- The final segment of this summit concentrates on the structural and functional organization of the commission. Once the organization and functional parameters are presented the seven commissioners will be nominated and appointed. This commission will be installed and commissioned for action immediately. This will be done by corporate prayer of the entire participants of the summit.
At this juncture I call upon all Oromo churches to join us in an intense and fervent prayer as we move to carry out such a monumental task. As called and commissioned people of God we are compelled by the values and traditions of our faith to act. As I conclude writing this document the words of Mordecai comes to my mind from the book of Esther 4:13, … "Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"
Living in the comfort and safety of the west is like living in a royal position compared to the misery of millions of our people. Have no doubt that we have come to this royal position for such a time as this!
However if we remain silent at this time relief and deliverance will surly come for the poor and down trodden from God in another way but our names will go down in history bearing witness to our negligence. May God send us his abundant grace to live up to the challenges of the moment!