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WCC planning committee: 11th Assembly in 2021 “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity”

As it concluded its meeting in Cyprus, held from 9-16 January, the WCC Assembly Planning Committee released a report to the WCC Executive Committee detailing building blocks for the 11th WCC Assembly, to be held in Karlsruhe, Germany in 2021.

“Toward a Common Vision” focus of study group

A study group from the World Council of Churches Faith and Order Commission met at the Bossey Ecumenical Institute from 8-12 January to continue ongoing work on the reception of response to “The Church Toward a Common Vision”.

WCC general secretary extends prayers for victims of the Nairobi attack

The WCC general secretary, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, denounced the terror attack in Nairobi, Kenya, on 15 January and mourned the loss of life, extending prayers for the victims and their families and friends.

Eco-friendly locomotive will be “rolling ambassador” for German Protestant festival

A special locomotive bearing the motto of the 2019 Kirchentag, Germany’s biggest regular Protestant festival, will travel the length and breadth of the country as a “rolling ambassador” for the event that takes place this year in June in the western German city of Dortmund.

Joint staff meeting WCC-Vatican to strengthen the Interreligious dialogue in the world

The annual meeting with the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) and the World Council of Churches was held in Rome from 10-11 January. Staff of both the PCID and the Office of Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation of the World Council of Churches participated.

Discarding the ‘baggage’ of America’s South, Maxine Ankrah has forged a life in Africa

At the swimming pool in Maxine Ankrah’s home town when she was growing up, there was a sign that stated, “Whites Only.” Also, churches there were separated by colour. She did not grow up in apartheid South Africa, but in the “deep South” of the United States of America before the Second World War.

WCC responds to misleading report by NGO Monitor and its criticism of EAPPI

The WCC published an open letter to media in response to the new report released by the NGO Monitor criticizing the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel.

WCC urges peaceful transition of power in Democratic Republic of Congo

Following presidential and parliamentary elections conducted in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on 30 December 2018, the World Council of Churches (WCC) is calling for a peaceful democratic transition of power.

“Humanitarian corridors” collaborators vow to continue welcoming ways

Shortly after Sea-Watch saw a legal victory in being allowed to rescue stranded migrants, the moderator of the Waldensian board expressed thanks and vowed to press forward in welcoming so-called strangers.

WCC general secretary reflects on the ecumenical movement of Love

In a speech at the World Council of Churches (WCC) Assembly Planning Committee (APC) meeting in Cyprus this week, WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit reflected on the theme of the upcoming WCC 11th Assembly, “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity.”

WCC releases theme for 11th Assembly: “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity”

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee has decided upon the theme for its 11th Assembly, to be held in Karlsruhe, Germany in 2021. “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity” will be the theme used in development of programmes and other preparations.

Forum on Modern Slavery: “Liberate them from tyranny and exploitation”

In an opening address at a Forum on Modern Slavery in Istanbul on 7 January, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew spoke on “Awareness, Action and Impact.” After many centuries of progress and advancement, we still live in a world where injustice and slavery continue to thrive, and where human dignity is exchanged for the sole purpose of greed, gain, and profit, reflected Bartholomew.

Online training courses focus on freedom of religion

The Freedom of Religion or Belief (FORB) Learning Platform continues to offer resources and opportunities. FORB has begun the process of developing three online training courses on Freedom of Religion or Belief (FORB) – one for FORB trainers, one for community leaders and one for development professionals working in contexts of gross violations of FORB.

Message of unity: New cathedral and new mosque inaugurated in Egypt

A new Cathedral of the Nativity for Egypt’s Coptic Church of Alexandria was inaugurated near Cairo on 6 January, the eve of Coptic Christmas. The Al-Fattah Al-Aleem Mosque was inaugurated the same day.

Churches across the globe prepare for Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

From 18-25 January, Christians will embark on the largest prayer gathering in the world, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Whether praying together, exchanging preachers or planning ecumenical services, they will bear witness to Jesus’s prayer for his disciples that “they may be one so that the world may believe.”

WCC Assembly Planning Committee meets in Cyprus

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Assembly Planning Committee (APC) is meeting in Cyprus from 9-16 January to develop central building blocks of the WCC 11th Assembly. The APC will also discuss the allocation of seats, input to the spiritual life of the assembly, communication strategies and the local programme.

Russian Orthodox Christmas message

Orthodox Christians in central and eastern Europe and other parts of the world celebrated Christmas on 6-7 January. The WCC General Secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, Deputy General Secretary Fr Ioan Sauca and H E Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic from the Holy See attended the Holy Feast of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ at the Russian Orthodox church in Geneva on 7th January. The Orthodox liturgy was led by Fr. Mikhail Goundiaev, Representative of the Moscow Patriarchate at the World Council of Churches and International organizations in Geneva.

Tveit ”The story of the magi unites the human family”

During a sermon at the Ecumenical Centre on 7 January, World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit opened 2019 with words on the magoi, or “the wise” unidentified worshippers of the newborn baby Jesus.

WCC-EAPPI nurtures partnerships for just peace

The WCC-EAPPI works for just peace in the Holy Land. And as peace cannot be a one-sided process, efforts are made continuously to build partnerships along the full range of the spectrum.

Metropolitan Gabriel on refugees in Greece: 'The stranger is an opportunity to see God'

Dealing with people on the move is crucial to the work of the Church in the 21st century says Greek Metropolitan Gabriel of Nea Ionia and Filadelfia. More than 31,000 irregular migrants arrived in Greece by sea in 2018 and almost 17,000 arrived by land, according to the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM).

WCC condemns attack in Egypt

The World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit condemned an attack on a bus in Egypt carrying tourists on Friday near the Giza Pyramids, killing four Vietnamese tourists and their Egyptian guide. The blast wounded 11 other Vietnamese tourists as well as the Egyptian driver.

WCC sends greetings as Taize youth reflect on hospitality

World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit sent greetings to hundreds of young people from the Taize community as they gathered in Madrid from 28 December to 1 January to reflect on the theme “Let Us Not Forget Hospitality!”

WCC mourns passing of Nelly Ritchie

Bishop Emeritus Nélida Ritchie, from the Evangelical Methodist Church of Argentina (IEMA), passed away on 22 December. She served as vice-moderator of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee between 1991 and 1998.

WCC offers condolences in wake of Indonesia tsunami

After the tsunami hit the coast on Indonesia's Sunda Strait, the World Council of Churches (WCC) reached out with condolences to people who have lost loved ones. More than 200 people have been killed and 750 injured after a tsunami hit the coast on Indonesia's Sunda Strait, government officials say.

South Sudan Council of Churches sends Christmas message

The South Sudan Council of Churches, on 21 December, released a Christmas Message of Hope. The Republic of South Sudan is experiencing a new era of peace, the message reads. “We bring it before God to bless it, to purify it, to reformulate it according to his will,” the message reads. “Peace is the gift from on high.”