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WCC commission gathers to focus on next generation of ecumenists

WCC commission gathers to focus on next generation of ecumenists

WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit and EFF Commission moderator Rev. Dr Rudolf von Sinner during the meeting in Bossey. Photo: Marcelo Schneider/WCC

28 October 2019

“What do the churches need today? And what does the world need from the churches?”, asked Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) as he reflected on the shrinking space for institutional ecumenical theological education in many contexts worldwide at the opening of the biannual meeting of the WCC’s Commission on Ecumenical Education and Formation, on 28 October.

The commission is meeting in Bossey, near Geneva, Switzerland, until 1 November. The agenda includes discussions on teaching ecumenism today and work on the commission’s contributions to the 11th Assembly of the WCC, to be held in Karlsruhe, Germany, 2021.

“As we prepare for the 11th Assembly, it is time for all of us to report on what have we done, but also point to what still needs to be done”, added Tveit. “Ecumenical education and formation are at the heart of our efforts to share with the next generation the vision of the ecumenical movement”, he said.

For the commission’s moderator, Rev. Dr Rudolf von Sinner, one of the highlights of the 2019 meeting will be the challenge of how ecumenical education answers the real questions asked today.  “To do ecumenical theological education is to equip, to nurture, to empower, sometimes to restrict, to ensure that we do our very best avoiding abuses and fostering good use of knowledge”, said von Sinner.

As the meeting opened, Prof. Esther Mombo, the commission’s co-moderator, honored the memory of recently passed Prof. John Samuel Mbiti, world-renowned Christian philosopher and writer, who served as director of the WCC’s Ecumenical Institute Bossey from 1974-1980.

Learn more about the WCC's EEF Commission

More photos of the meeting in Bossey