A FAMOUS CUP OF TEA
The Singapore Consultation and beyond
The first seeds of what became ICCOWE were sown in the hills of Limuru, Kenya. SOMA (Sharing of Ministries Abroad), an organisation which had been networking Anglicans since 1980, had organised a conference there for African leaders, at which two of the speakers were Revd Larry Christenson and Father Tom Forrest.
Larry was networking Lutherans from the US, and Tom Forrest was the Director of ICCRO (International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Office), in Rome. Michael Harper, director of SOMA, suggested that they meet for a cup of tea, to chat about how these three networks might share in the future.
The next step was the first meeting of what became known as the gang of nine, which met in May 1984 in Rome. They included Terry Fullam, Kevin Ranaghan, Bishop Arne Rudvin, Archbishop Bill Burnett, and the original three. At this meeting Tom Forrest first shared his vision for a Decade of Evangelism in the 90s. It was immediately accepted by this group, and has since formed the centre piece of their meetings.
In England in 1985 the representation was widened to include leaders from the Pentecostal and Non-denominational movements. Invitations to a meeting in Singapore in February 1987 were sent by Larry Christenson to about 80 leaders from these streams of renewal, and most attended. This became known as the Singapore Consultation, which met again the following year, and began to receive a vision for a possible world conference to launch the Decade of Evangelism.
This and the on-going vision for the 90s were tested at a Prayer Vigil in Jerusalem. More than 100 leaders from all over the world met, and received clear confirmation that they were on the right track for the Decade of Evangelism, and a conference for 3000 world leaders in Brighton, England in the summer of 1991.
The Continuing Committee met in Jerusalem, and decided to change the name from Singapore Consultation to the International Charismatic Consultation on World Evangelisation. Quite a mouthful! But it describes what it is all about, and particularly the emphasis on world evangelisation, which has been top of the agenda for us from day one. We believe the Holy Spirit put it there.