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World Council of Churches postpones its assembly in order to be more inclusive of the wider fellowship amid COVID-19

The executive committee, on behalf of the central committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC), has decided, in close consultation with the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) and other host churches and local partners, to postpone the 11th assembly, originally planned for September 2021 in Karlsruhe, Germany, until 2022.

Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca confirmed interim WCC general secretary

Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca has been confirmed interim WCC general secretary by the executive committee at an online meeting held on 3 June. Sauca will hold the post until the WCC central committee meets in June 2021.

WCC executive committee issues “Statement on Racial Justice in the USA”

The World Council of Churches (WCC) executive committee has issued a statement reiterating its call for a conversion that will end all forms of racism and racial discrimination.

WCC executive committee releases statement on role of churches during COVID-19

The World Council of Churches executive committee released a public statement on the role of churches in the context of COVID-19. Focused on love, steadfastness, hope and courage, the statement reflects on the damage COVID has wreaked over the last five months—and how churches can offer hope.

WCC service will remember life of Rev. Prof. Dr Mary-Anne Plaatjies-van Huffel

The World Council of Churches (WCC) will remember the life and work of Rev. Prof. Dr Mary-Anne Plaatjies van Huffel with an online memorial service on 4 June at 4pm CET.

South African Council of Churches releases church COVID readiness guidelines

The South African Council of Churches released guidelines for member churches as they prepare for the COVID readiness of their congregations.

Churches amplify urgent calls to address violent racism in US

As protests erupted in more than 30 cities across the US in the wake of the death of George Floyd, churches in the US collectively expressed anger combined with a clarion call for a change—once and for all—in a nation that has tolerated violent racism for too long.

Pope Francis joins UK church leaders in Pentecost online service

His Holiness Pope Francis took part in an online church service on 31 May alongside the archbishops of Canterbury and York and a number of presidents of Churches Together in England.

WCC Executive Committee to hold virtual meeting, pray for world burdened by COVID-19

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Executive Committee will meet virtually on 1-3 June, offering solidarity to a world in which many find themselves in critical situations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

WCC presidents on Pentecost: “Waves of despair, tongues of fire”

In a message on Pentecost, entitled “Waves of despair, tongues of fire,” the regional presidents of the World Council of Churches reflect on the mighty presence of God.

WCC condemns violence, racism in US—and calls for justice

The World Council of Churches (WCC) condemned violence, racism and police brutality in the US, following the death of George Floyd, a black man who was unarmed, at the hands of a police officer.

Memorial service honors the late Rev. Prof. Dr Mary-Anne Plaatjies-van Huffel, ‘pioneer and visionary leader’

An online memorial service for Rev. Prof. Dr Mary-Anne Plaatjies-van Huffel drew family members, friends, colleagues and students who mourned the passing of the World Council of Churches (WCC) president for Africa. Plaatjies van Huffel, known as a transformative church leader in sub-Saharan Africa, passed away on 19 May.

WCC COVID-19 support team addresses questions from the fellowship, highlight good practices

As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be felt around the globe, a WCC website Q&A now provides guidance and highlights good practices on key concerns from member churches and partners all over the world.

Season of Creation 2020 Celebration Guide, “Jubilee for the Earth,” now available

A new guide for eco-theological worship resources and activities for the 2020 Season of Creation is now available, thanks to a wide array of ecumenical partners, including the World Council of Churches (WCC). A webinar, “Jubilee for the Earth: New Rhythms, New Hope,” is also planned for 8 June.

Orthodox and Anglican appeals from 1920 remain inspiration for unity

One of the foundational moments in the modern ecumenical movement is an encyclical letter issued 100 years ago by the Ecumenical Patriarchate on 1 January 1920. As its opening words state, it was addressed “Unto the Churches of Christ everywhere” and sent as a letter to the leaders of key Christian churches. Its first words are an appeal to “Love one another earnestly from the heart,” quoting from 1 Peter 1:22. The thrust of the letter is the suggestion that doctrinal differences among Christian churches do not, or at least should not, prevent “rapprochement” between Christians.

Young Ugandan man ‘an agent of change’ in HIV care and gender justice

Hillary Nuwamanya, 24, was born HIV-positive, and has chosen to live his life setting an example for other young people who are struggling to find hope. As an important part of the World Council of Churches Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy programme, the Ugandan has trained people in how to lead their communities in gender equality, gender justice and zero tolerance for sexual and gender-based violence. He often participates in or facilitates intergenerational workshops on HIV and gender justice.

WCC reflects on ‘common humanity, common Korean-ness’ as pursuit for peace continues

In remarks at an event commemorating the 40th anniversary of the May 18 Democratic Uprising, World Council of Churches director for International Affairs Peter Prove reflected on “The Prospective Future of the Korean Peninsula After Peaceful Reunification.”

USA churches offer “A Time to Mourn" as COVID-19 deaths near 100,000

As the names of thousands of loved ones scrolled across their computer screens, many in the USA paused to mourn as the nation observed Memorial Day weekend. On 24 May, the National Council of Churches (USA) hosted “A Time to Mourn,” an online ecumenical memorial service for lives lost to COVID-19.

WCC honours legacy of Rev. Norman Bent

“It was with sorrow that we received the news about the passing of Rev. Norman Bent,” said Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca, acting general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC). “Through his tireless ministry for reconciliation, justice and peace, Rev. Bent leaves behind an inspiring legacy for the global ecumenical movement.”

Women bishops offer candid look at what drives their leadership

Bishop Mary Ann Swenson, a retired United Methodist bishop from the USA, has spent her career voicing the need for a church that includes all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity. And, throughout her career, she’s never been afraid to say that out loud.