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“We must see further than our own issues.”

“We must see further than our own issues.”

Bishop Reinhart Guib, Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Romania, ©WCC

14 December 2017

At the Church Leaders Meeting from 4-8 December at the Ecumenical Centre and Bossey Ecumenical Institute, representatives of faith communities across the world had the opportunity to interact with the World Council of Churches (WCC) and with each other. In a series of interviews with WCC Communication, church leaders shared their biggest challenges and the rewards of their dialogue.

Bishop Reinhart Guib, Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Romania

As he participated in prayers for peace on the Korean Peninsula and for a world free from nuclear weapons, Bishop Reinhart Guib (Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Romania) said when he visits the WCC, he sees the world as much bigger than he could imagine.

“We must see further than our own issues,” he said. “I’m very glad to learn about these other issues because we tend to think about our own country as our own world, our own social problems, our own Romanian problems. We don’t have a vision of life further way. But the WCC has opened that for me.”

As he participated in the Church Leaders Meeting, his ecumenical family grew, Guib added. “We  all realized we are not alone with our problems, and that many people have larger problems than we have. We can contribute with prayers, knowledge, worship, communion. For me this has been a very impressive experience.”

Ultimately, he said, you must take part in the changes of the life of your neighbor, whether that neighbor lives next door or is across the world. “In Romania, we have a system that happens with the neighbors. At the beginning of your life, your child is baptized; all the neighbors come together and bring something to the young family. They make a celebration; they bring what they have.”

Neighbors also help in times of need. “I had a friend whose house was burned,” he said. “So the neighborhood came the next day and built a house, and restored and repaired. You could do a lot because every participant brings something.”

The ecumenical family works that way as well, he said, “and this is our hope together. We feel it here in Geneva and Bossey. Faith and love exist here and go further. We take a stone and let it fall into the water to see the ripples.”

Guib said he was very glad to be at the gathering even if it meant struggling with what churches can better do in the world. “So long as this earth exists we will have problems,” he said. “After all,” he said. “We are human.”


Church Leaders Meeting nurtures sharing of challenges and rewards