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70 years of the World Council of Churches

The 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches in 2018 is an opportunity to mark the achievements of the past 70 years in working for Christian unity and action, and to look to the challenges ahead as a fellowship of churches responding to God’s call for unity, mission, justice and peace.
70 years of the World Council of Churches

US delegates to the founding Assembly of the WCC in 1948 watch as as Herbert Wing, 6, hands the president to the Federal Council of Churches one of 10'000 copies of the Gospel of St John to be presented to Dutch Sunday School children as gifts from New York boys and girls.

Walking together, serving justice and peace

In 2018 we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches and the fellowship that is its heart and soul. This is an opportunity to mark the achievements of the past 70 years in working for Christian unity and action, and to look to the challenges ahead as a fellowship of churches responding to God’s call for unity, mission, justice and peace.

Let's celebrate throughout the year!

The WCC, its member churches and partners are planning a variety of events to move us forward on our ongoing Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, and at the same time honour and learn from these 70 years of ecumenical endeavour.

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the WCC Central Committee meeting in Geneva in June, a joint consultation on sustainable development with the ACT Alliance in Uppsala, exactly 50 years after the WCC Assembly there: the anniversary year of 2018 will offer many opportunities to focus firmly on envisioning our common future: united in faith, eager for witness, and fearless in the quest for justice and peace.

We invite you, and all member churches and ecumenical partners, to take part in this important anniversary.  Here are some ways you can participate:

  • by sharing stories and prayers or songs related to our seven-decades-old common pilgrimage
  • by organizing or hosting events in your own context
  • by putting up the WCC anniversary poster at your venue or event
  • by choosing a day for celebrating the anniversary, preferably on 23 August, which marked the opening of the 1st Assembly in Amsterdam and the formal constitution of the WCC
  • by sharing anniversary greetings of thanksgiving and encouragement from member churches and partners.

Resources to download:

Related Events

20 years since the Ecumenical Decade in Solidarity with Women

20 years since the Ecumenical Decade in Solidarity with Women

01 - 06 October 2018 Kingston, Jamaica

In the context of the 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches, the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace and the 2030 sustainable development agenda, an international consultation will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the WCC’s Decade of the Churches in Solidarity with Women (1988-1998). The consultation will reflect on the achievements and challenges in building a just community of women and men and to strengthen ecumenical collaboration in reading the signs of our times in order to map the future direction of our work.

Related News

WCC receives 70th anniversary greetings

WCC receives 70th anniversary greetings

The WCC has received messages of thanksgiving and encouragement from member churches, sister organizations and the wider ecumenical movement as the fellowship marks 70 years in working for Christian unity and action.

Leadership of WCC Central Committee gathers in Geneva

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The leadership of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee met in Geneva on 16-17 September to prepare for the Executive Committee meeting and the joint day on Ecumenical Diakonia with ACT Alliance in Uppsala, Sweden, in November.

Tveit greets Community of Protestant Churches in Europe

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