Nachlese 10. ICMA Weltkonferenz:
Theology and the reality of ICMA
A story is told of a young academic visiting Cambridge University to deliver a paper. Being young and it being Cambridge, one of the universities internationally, the young professor would of course have been inclined to pull out all the stops to impress. The host professor at Cambridge, when introducing the visiting speaker, put his arm around the young man and said: “We’re all clever here. As I’m sure you are. So don’t let’s try to be clever. Just be kind. Be kind to us.”
Well, I am today relying on your kindness. And I pray that you will forgive me for being more kind than clever. For what I have to say is more from the heart than from the head, and is perhaps less theology than faith. But then, I am reassured that if it was an academic treatise the organisers wanted, they might have chosen any number of you for this presentation. I am aware that there are many gifted theologians in this room who would, then, have been better suited to this task. But I am also encouraged by a letter I received from Estonian Seamen’s Mission’s Eerik Joks, who composed that beautiful chant at the opening ceremony especially for our conference. Eerik is very involved with the ecumenical movement in Estonia. And what Eerik wrote was basically that I should be kind, more than clever. That today should be a celebration of the miracle of ICMA, rather than a cold-blooded academic exercise. Well, Eerik, I hope that I shall achieve that.