Good News in Addis Ababa by John Coatney

Communique

Good News in Addis Ababa

The Lausanne-Orthodox Initiative's 2016 Consultation by John Coatney

As I walked into the Ghion Hotel in Addis Ababa on the afternoon of Tuesday, October 11, 2016, I could hardly mistake the group gathered there to register for this consultation. The Orthodox clergy in their variegated dress—priests and deacons from Ethiopia, India, and Kenya, alongside Coptic, Malankara, Ethiopian, and -Kenyan bishops, archbishops, and metropolitans—intermingled with an equal number of Evangelicals from many of the same places, called for immediate notice, even in the heart of Ethiopia, where clerical dress is ubiquitous.

The mood was joyous, excited, and hopeful (though a tad drowsy—travel to Ethiopia is, for most, an exhausting venture), and especially so for Dr. Tim Grass, the newly appointed Lausanne Facilitator for Lausanne-Orthodox Relations. Dr. Grass's tall figure could be easily spotted amid the registrants, welcoming all as they arrived, assuaging concerns, and encouraging participants to pray and prepare for a successful meeting, one that had been in the thoughts and prayers of many Ethiopian Orthodox and Evangelicals for some time.

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