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#WCC70: Prayers and songs to commemorate WCC’s 70th anniversary

#WCC70: Prayers and songs to commemorate WCC’s 70th anniversary

Service of celebration on 17 June 2018 to mark the WCC 70th anniversary. Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC

06 August 2018

“We’ve come a long way, Lord, a mighty long way…
you took your burdens in the heat of the day;
we know our God’s gonna find a way.
We’ve come a long way, Lord, a mighty long way.”

Prof. C. Michael Hawn submitted this song to the World Council of Churches (WCC) to commemorate the WCC’s 70th anniversary because he wanted to tell, through music, an important story from Liberia. Hawn is director of the Doctor of Pastoral Music Program at the Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas (USA).

He learned the song from several Liberian students at the Perkins School of Theology in 2003.

“They sang it in the context of the civil war that had ravished this country during the previous six or seven years,” Hawn wrote. “They literally fled Liberia during the civil war in 2003 when flights were cancelled out of Monrovia and travelled across Ivory Coast and, after staying in a refugee camp in Ghana, flew to the USA for study out of Accra.”

The song is one of a dozen songs available for use during the WCC anniversary as a way of giving thanks for achievements, asking for forgiveness for shortcomings and imploring God’s guidance and assistance in any future endeavours.

A number of prayers are also now available, prayers rising from the hearts of those who have had the privilege of participating in – and sometimes even leading – the ongoing, common pilgrimage.

The WCC fellowship and WCC friends and partners are encouraged to use these prayers and songs for anniversary celebrations, whether on 23 August – which marked the opening of the 1st Assembly in Amsterdam and the formal constitution of the WCC – or on another day during this anniversary year.

Praying together is a powerful source of unity, said WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit. “‘Praying together has been the source of our inspiration and of all our energy in walking together and in working together,” he said.

 

WCC 70th anniversary prayers and songs: www.oikoumene.org/en/wcc70/prayers-and-songs

More information about the WCC 70th anniversary: www.oikoumene.org/wcc70

If you have an anniversary prayer or song to share, please be in touch!