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Congratulatory message for CEC general secretary elect

Congratulatory message by Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, WCC general secretary for Fr Heikki Huttunen, new general secretary elect of the Conference of European Churches.

14 October 2015

Dear Fr Heikki Huttunen,
General secretary-elect
Conference of European Churches

“The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-13)

I write to offer my congratulations on your appointment as General Secretary of the Conference of European Churches. You are an ecumenist of remarkable dedication and experience. I am delighted to have you as a colleague in the work for unity to which we are called in Christ, particularly as the World Council of Churches and the Conference of European Churches serve many common member churches within Europe. You have already been a tremendous asset to the WCC, as a staff member, active participant in our working groups as well as through the Finnish Ecumenical Council, and we welcome the ways in which we can develop further partnerships in our work together.

The ecumenical landscape is ever changing, just as is the global socio-economic and political landscape. The refugee crisis unfolding in Europe is but one example of why the call to common witness and service is so vital for our churches. The Unity Statement, adopted at the Busan Assembly, emphasizes that the unity of the church cannot be considered separately from the unity of humanity and all of creation. In embracing this perspective, the WCC and CEC are both challenged and emboldened, sharing as we do this vision that the gifts of all are essential for our participation in God’s mission.

Again, please be assured of my congratulations and support as you take up your new role. I look forward to the possibility to meet for discussion of how we might reinforce the coherence in our work with the churches in Europe, and so to communicate the message of Christ’s call to unity, and to witness and service within the region.

Yours in our Common Lord,

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
WCC general secretary