Sokoni is a Kiswahili term for a community marketplace where people gather to exchange commodities and products, and is a communal space for sharing ideas and stories about life in that community. Globally, community marketplaces are shared spaces mainly popularised by women and children as sellers as well as buyers of the community’s produce. In this world mission gathering the Sokoni is a mission marketplace of ideas, stories, and activities that articulate the responses of marginalised groups to the signs of the times from the perspectives of the margins.
It is a mission marketplace that values prophetic mission thinking and practice. It recognises the transforming agency of the marginalised as they speak to the current realities of the world, whilst seeking to inform future mission thinking and experience within the Church and the wider ecumenical movement.
Sokoni Theological Framing
The WCC Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, the conference theme, and mission from the margins perspectives constitute the theological framework of the Sokoni. As such, the Sokoni takes seriously the WCC call to acommon pilgrimage of justice and peace, living and witnessing to the Busan Assembly prayer, “God of life, lead us to justice and peace”. Our Sokoni activities involve sharing the stories of mission from the margins in small groups and plenary discussions – inviting people to journey with us as we celebrate the gifts, lament the wounds, and work towards the transformation of injustice. They aspire to be ‘…signs of God’s reign to come which is already visible here and now wherever reconciliation and healing are seen.
The Sokoni provides space and time to share our journeys and movements of love testimonies to God’s promise of justice and peace. It provides opportunities for challenging one another on what it means to move in a spirit of discipleship, to be transformed in the power of the Holy Spirit, and to join the Spirit in transforming and healing a broken world. Our Sokoni stories articulate the voices of the vulnerable and the alienated, those at the margins, who God empowers as primary agents of God’s mission to work for a world where the fullness of life is available for all.
The Sokoni is designed to impact and inform the whole mission conference and its outcome. The message and flavour of the Sokoni are intended to visibly infuse the conference statement, and offer inspirational and best practice ideas for mission and evangelism beyond the world mission conference. Therefore, the Sokoni shall be a mission marketplace that is well-structured to frame a space of innovation and creativity. In the Sokoni space, technology and media tools are utilised to enhance the underlying message of the conference whilst enriching the experiences for the participants.
The Sokoni is a space where our ideas, stories, and activities strive to reflect mission thinking and praxis that de-centre imperial colonial centrist and patriarchal approaches. In this space authentic, contextual, and kindom building activities aspire to be true to the mission of God at the margins, transforming peoples, situations, and institutions. We aim to be provocative and evocative. At the Sokoni we share embodied, holistic, and interconnected experiences of life at the margins mindful of the margins’ complexities.