World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

You are here: Home / Resources / Documents / WCC general secretary / Messages and letters / Letter to the Pacific Conference of Churches' Assembly

Letter to the Pacific Conference of Churches' Assembly

30 August 2007

Geneva, 30 August 2007

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Grace to you and peace from God, the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! On behalf of the 347 member churches of the World Council of Churches, I have asked WCC President Dr John Doom, to convey our Christian greetings, our assurance of prayer and our best wishes for a successful 9th Assembly.

In the five years since the Pacific churches and councils last gathered in assembly in Rarotonga, the region has witnessed new challenges to political stability, environmental well-being and economic and cultural autonomy. The past five years have also offered many signs of hope as churches in the Pacific continue to bear witness to the Gospel and work together to address the issues that most concern the peoples of the region.

This assembly is the opportunity to focus the attention of the churches and councils on a common vision of unity and witness, and to coordinate strategies to address the critical issues within the region. Be assured that your sister churches around the world stand ready to accompany you and to express their solidarity in prayer and action.

The fellowship of WCC member churches also looks to this assembly and to the churches and councils in the Pacific for leadership in addressing the critical issues facing our environment, our communities and our ecumenical movement. The urgency to address such issues has never been greater - whether it be climate change and the threats posed to our very way of life; or the preservation of indigenous cultures and the value of inclusive communities where men, women and young people are able to shape together their common future; or to our own understanding of ecumenical formation and what this might mean for a vision of God's people who are empowered to grow, learn and be transformed!

Among the many gifts the Pacific churches have given to the ecumenical movement is the inspiring vision of the ‘Island of Hope'. The 9th Assembly of the World Council of Churches, meeting in Porto Alegre in 2006, was encouraged by this vision of life in fullness rooted in faith in Christ and the values of Fenua, handed down from generation to generation. The world has much to learn from the principles of community, kinship and culture that characterize the Pacific ‘Island of Hope'.

Indeed, we yearn for God, Atua, to empower us to be liberating communities, so that His glory will be fulfilled. We yearn to be agents of God's transforming presence in the world. We yearn to be signs of Christ's love to all we meet. We yearn for the Holy Spirit to empower us to be prophetic agents in our communities. With God's help, we yearn to share with all people the love and freedom that Christ offers.

May God richly bless your gathering in Kananafou,

Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia
General Secretary