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Congratulations to new EKD Council chairperson Margot Kässmann

29 October 2009

Geneva, 28 October 2009

Dear Bishop Kässmann,
Dear Margot,

The news of your election as chairperson of the EKD Council was greeted with spontaneous applause at this morning’s meeting of all WCC staff. This was a sign of the high esteem and recognition colleagues here have for the many years of commitment you have given to ecumenism and to the WCC.

Together with the wider fellowship, we are thankful that your first participation in a WCC Assembly in 1983 in Vancouver as a youth delegate was not your last. You have served as a member of the WCC central and executive committees for many years. You contributed significantly – also through your writing – to the work on Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation, the Decade of the Churches in Solidarity with Women and the Decade to Overcome Violence. I personally enjoyed our close co-operation when you were a commissioner of the Justice, Peace and Creation Unit of the WCC, and moderator of the JPC committee of the central committee.

We have followed with great interest the dedication and passion with which you carry out your duties as Bishop of the Church of Hanover and how close you are to the lives of people in Germany. In you they have found someone who shares in their joys and sorrows, and articulates their yearning for a life rooted in faith in ways they can understand and appreciate. We are sure that the Evangelical Church in Germany will continue to flourish and be a significant actor in German society in the years to come with you as the chairperson of the EKD Council.

It was in Vancouver in 1983 that the former WCC general secretary, Philip Potter, in recalling 1 Peter 2:4-5, invited us to become “living stones” built into a house (oikos) with Christ as the cornerstone and enlivened by the Spirit. All our efforts remain futile if they do not contribute to God’s common house of life (the oikoumene) in the power of the Holy Spirit. We know from our work together how much you share this conviction.

We are looking forward to welcoming you in your new role as the chairperson of the EKD Council. Given your exceptional participation in the WCC and other ecumenical organizations in the past, we trust that you will continue your relationship with the WCC for the benefit of the churches in Germany and their involvement in the ecumenical movement.

May God continue to bless you and the churches in Germany!

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia
WCC general secretary