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#WCC70 hymns resonate in Ecumenical Centre Chapel

#WCC70 hymns resonate in Ecumenical Centre Chapel

Sing-along concert with the Anders-Frostenson Foundation. Photo: Ivars Kupcis/WCC

02 October 2018

By Camille Vianin*

Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), the board of the Anders-Frostenson Foundation led a sing-along concert at the Ecumenical Centre Chapel on 28 September, offering participants a unique experience full of emotion.

Pastor, composer and hymn writer, Per Harling, together with the six other members of the foundation’s board offered a one-hour program centred on Swedish hymns and on songs from around the world celebrating the anniversary. Introducing his new song ”For friendship”, Per Harling explained that he understands the WCC’s 70th anniversary as a friendship pilgrimage of 70 years in the ecumenical circle.

“Words and music are one language together. Swedish hymns like ‘Many Are the Light beams’ by Anders Frostenson are spread all over the world”, Harling told the group of enthusiastic staff and visitors who had gathered to participate in the sing-along. “Let’s sing together as one church!”

The board of the Anders-Frostenson Foundation was visiting the Ecumenical Centre to find inspiration and receive updates from the global “singing church”. As a former worship consultant to the WCC, the Lutheran World Federation and the Conference of European Churches, among other international organizations, Per Harling say he hopes this visit will have benefited the members of the board.

Per Harling recalls that “the purpose of the Anders-Frostenson Foundation is to encourage new hymn writers by offering scholarships and inviting small groups of hymn writers to take part in a two-year hymn school”. In its uniqueness, the foundation positions itself as a “spearhead” in the global church, he says.

The Indonesian pastor, musician and liturgist, Ester Pudjo Widiasih, who is leaving WCC after four years of service heading the Spiritual Life Team, was delighted that the concert marked her last day.

“What the members of the foundation do, is very important. Their songs are contextual and depict both the positive and negative in society. This sing-along concert on my last day of work at the WCC gives me momentum on my way. It is both a wrap up of who I am and an inspiration to how I will continue my ministry of worship back home in Indonesia.”

* Camille Vianin, WCC Communication

Learn more about the WCC 70 anniversary: www.oikoumene.org/wcc70

Prayers and songs for WCC 70 anniversary

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