The Edinburgh 2010 conference will open on Wednesday with the aim of providing direction for Christian mission in the 21st century.
Hundreds of leaders from around the world will gather in Edinburgh, Scotland, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first-ever global mission conference, Edinburgh 1910.
From June 2 to 6, mission experts will convene to discuss nine major themes, including Christian mission among other faiths, mission and post-modernities, and Christian communities in contemporary contexts.
Unlike the original World Missionary Conference in 1910, however, the 2010 gathering will bring together Christians from different traditions – ranging from the Roman Catholic Church to evangelical and Pentecostal churches – and from nations worldwide.
Participants of Edinburgh 1910 were from Northern-based Protestant mission movements.
"Our world is groaning under the stress of violence and injustice, poverty and hopelessness, HIV/AIDS and ecological degradation," said Ruth Padilla DeBorst, general secretary of the Latin American Theological Fraternity, while explaining why Edinburgh 2010 is important. "Yet God's reconciling, healing work has not ceased. And God's people here, there and everywhere are called together to be part of that mission."
Organizers hope this week's conference will facilitate conversations between mission leaders from the older mission movements of the North and the new mission movements from the South and East.
Christian bodies that will be represented at Edinburgh 2010 include the Council for World Mission, the World Evangelical Alliance, the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, Latin American Theological Fraternity, Asian Pentecostal Society, and the World Council of Churches, among others.
Edinburgh 2010 attendees are expected to join some 900 local and international visitors for worship on the final day.