Several world Methodist leaders attended the Sant’Egidio International Meeting of Peace in Rome from 23-25 October, under the theme ‘The Cry of Peace’. The Rev Prof Jong Chun Park, president of the World Methodist Council, Ms. Gillian Kingston, vice president of the World Methodist Council, and the Rev Matthew A. Laferty, director of the Methodist Ecumenical Office Rome, were members of the Methodist delegation. During the opening plenary on Sunday, 23 October, Mr. Sergio Matterella, president of the Republic of Italy, and Mr. Emmanuel Macron, president of the Republic of France, addressed the audience.
On Monday, 24 October, the Sant’Egidio International Meeting of Peace held various plenary sessions on the meeting’s theme. Prof Park spoke on a panel on “The Word of God Generates Vision” and Ms. Kingston spoke on a panel on “Mother Earth: One Planet, One Humanity.” Rev Laferty was a discussant on the panel “The Great Opportunity: Migrations and the Future.” Throughout the day, the Methodist delegation met a number of religious leaders from various faith communities and built new friendships.
On the morning of Tuesday, 25 October, the Sant’Egidio International Meeting of Peace continued, with Prof Park and Rev Laferty attending. Ms. Kingston was unable to extend her trip to attend the proceedings on Tuesday and returned home. Rev Dn. Alessandra Trotta, moderator of the Waldensian Evangelical Church, also joined the Methodist delegation. Following lunch, Prof Park and Rev Laferty were joined by Rev Luca Anziani, president of the Methodist Churches in Italy, at the Colosseum for Christian prayers for peace as organized by the Sant’Egidio Community. Prof Park was among a small group of senior church leaders from various Christian confessions to lead the prayers alongside Pope Francis. Prior to the prayers, Pope Francis personally greeted Prof Park. After the prayers, the delegation joined other leaders from various religious traditions for the closing ceremony of the Sant’Egidio International Meeting of Peace. A special dinner was held in the Palace of Exhibitions in central Rome for invited participants.
The Methodist delegation would like to thank the Sant’Egidio Community for their gracious hospitality, excellent organization, and passion for dialogue.