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“What really matters is our shared humanity”

“What really matters is our shared humanity”

At the opening of the academic year at VID University in Oslo. Photo: Matthew Ross/WCC

14 August 2018

Matthew Ross, World Council of Churches programme executive for Diakonia and Capacity Building, spoke at the opening of the academic year at VID University in Oslo, Norway on 13 August.

No matter where he travels, Ross reflected, what really matters is our shared humanity.

“Irrespective of gender, faith, age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or anything else, the issue of how humans care for one another must be of paramount concern,” he said. “With this in mind, diakonia is the meeting point between the Christian faith and care for our fellow humanity.”

Ross defined diakonia as a church service for humanity. “For the church, diakonia is no optional extra,” he said. “It is part of the core of being church.”

He told the students that how they treat their fellow humans will be a sign of their desire to build a better world. “Your commitment, your attitude to your fellow humanity will make a difference – whether you are training to be a nurse, a social worker, a church worker in diakonia, a theologian or any other discipline,” he said. “Never think that you are too important to treat people with dignity and respect.”

Ross will speak under the same theme at the University of Stavanger, also in Norway, on 16 August.