FENZA Conference Report

FENZA held its last conference of the year on Saturday 7th December, under the theme: New Perspectives in Mission: the Challenge for New Paradigms.

We were expecting a big attendance, but on a day when there were other celebrations – namely religious profession and golden jubilee of religious life – taking place in Lusaka, only a few dozens of lay people, religious and priests could make it to the conference. Some MIMSAF members were present.

Three speakers shared their understanding of Mission, in relation to the theme. Fr Lastone Robert Lupupa, SJ, currently Parish Priest at Our Heavenly Father Parish in Chelstone, spoke about how he became interested in the mass media, and how he uses them to spread the Good News in Zambia and beyond. For him, the mass and social media are a great tool to reach out to more people who thirst for the Word of God. Reverend Pastor Ezron Z. Musonda, the Principal of the Baptist Theological Seminary of Zambia, shared his experience of “Evangelism” prior to his teaching career. He explained that for the Baptists the physical pastoral contact remains a fundamental way of evangelising.

As a way of synthesis, Fr. Marc Nsanzurwimo, a missiologist and member of FENZA gave an expansive academic comprehension of Mission today. He underlined the different approaches to mission that took place. He highlighted the challenges and opportunities that globalisation presents to Evangelisation. He ended his presentation by pointing out some fundamentals in evangelisation such as Justice and Peace, Reconciliation and the Care for Creation. His presentation can be found on FENZA website www.fenza.org

As usual, time was given to the participants to ask questions and to react to the presentations. This prompted a good sharing of views and experiences.

This conference made it clear once again, that today fast-changing world presents challenging opportunities to evangelise. Will we rise up to the challenge for new paradigms? And how? These will remain ongoing questions.

Next year, FENZA shall organise 3 conferences on pertinent issues, drawing hopefully as many even more participants.