Global village. Shrinking world. And how does one become a Christian evangelizer in this situation? -- Apparently this is the context that members of the International Association of Catholic Missiologists or IACM had in mind when they decided as their theme "New Life in Jesus in the Areopagus of a Globalized World" (cf. Acts 17:22) for their 4th International Assembly and Conference at St. Scholastica's Center for Spirituality in Tagaytay City, Philippines from July 27 to August 2, 2010.
It can be recalled that in the Acts of the Apostles (17:22) Paul made a moving speech at the Areopagus in which he proclaimed to the Athenians who this unknown God is that they worshiped. Definitely, the globalized world is now the new Areopagus for missionaries and evangelizers -- a pressing topic that IACM members would like to discuss .
About 80 IACM members and guest delegates coming from different parts of the world are expected to participate in the said assembly and conference. Aside from the main theme there are also other sub-themes to be discussed, namely:
- Proclamation and Witness
- Dialogue and Religions
- Religious and Secular Fundamentalism
- Human Rights and Eco-justice
- Indigenous Peoples
The history of the IACM dates back in 1996 when professors of Missiology from the two Faculties of Missiology of the Pontifical Gregorian University (PUG) and the Pontifical Urban University -- both in Rome, Italy -- met and ventilated the idea of organizing an Association of Catholic Missiologists. Succeeding meetings took place in which the nature, scope and the statutes to govern the IACM were discussed, drafted and finalized.
The 1st General Assembly of the IACM was in Rome, Italy in 2000; 2nd in Cochabamba, Bolivia in 2004, and; 3rd in Pieniezno, Poland in 2007.