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#WCC70: stories of our shared journey

In 2018 we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches. In order to create a lively firsthand account of the ecumenical fellowship and of our shared journey, member churches have contributed stories of people, events, achievements and even failures, all of which have deepened our collective search for Christian unity.

In 2018 we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches. In order to create a lively firsthand account of the ecumenical fellowship and of our shared journey, member churches have contributed stories of people, events, achievements and even failures, all of which have deepened our collective search for Christian unity.

#WCC70: At the end of an assembly

The date: 20 February 1991. The last day of the WCC 7th Assembly. The hours were packed with remaining agenda items, the assembly had acquired a second unofficial theme. As moderator, how was Bishop Heinz Joachim Held supposed to bring this incomplete, basically unfinished assembly to a close?

#WCC70 hymns resonate in Ecumenical Centre Chapel

Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches, 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.

#WCC70: Remembrances of an ecumenical workcamper

At WCC’s ecumenical workcamps in the late 1950s, a young Govaert Chr.Kok of the Netherlands would learn lessons for life – and encounter a very special person.

#WCC70: From ecumenical seeds

A conversation on the way home to Chile from the WCC 4th Assembly planted an ecumenical seed that grew into a wonderful experience of Christian unity – the partnership agreement between the Pentecostal Church of Chile and the United Church of Christ.

#WCC70: A night talk with Fidel Castro

A trip to Cuba in 2005 with a WCC delegation was undoubtedly a high point of German retired Bishop Rolf Koppe’s ecumenical career.

#WCC70 Amsterdam 1948 (4): Covenanting in Study: Communism, Capitalism and the Responsible Society

Have you ever thought of composing an oratorio about the ecumenical movement and dedicating it to the World Council of Churches?

#WCC70 أمستردام 1948 (4): الاجتماع من أجل التدارس: الشيوعية والرأسمالية والمجتمع المسؤول

هل سبق لك أن فكرت في تأليف أوراتوريو عن الحركة المسكونية وتخصصه لمجلس الكنائس العالمي؟

#WCC70 Амстердам 1948 г. (4). Клятва в учебе. Коммунизм, капитализм и ответственное общество

Вы когда-нибудь думали о том, чтобы написать ораторию об экуменистическом движении и посвятить ее Всемирному совету церквей?

#WCC70: Nathan Söderblom, ecumenical pioneer

The archbishop Dr Nathan Söderblom, an ecumenical forerunner and messenger of peace in war-torn Europe, challenged a deeply divided Christianity 100 years ago. Against all odds, the Stockholm Conference on Life and Work in 1925 gathered church leaders at a scale the world had not seen since Nicaea 1600 years earlier. And it did not end there.

#WCC70 Амстердам 1948 г. (3). Клятва в учебе. Вселенская церковь по Божьему замыслу

Вот скажите мне, как можно серьезно заинтересоваться темой этой ассамблеи — «Беспорядочность человека и Божий замысел», — если в понедельник вечером Карл Барт с тенью осуждения господина профессора Базельского университета заметил, что это неправильное выражение, и все должно быть с точностью наоборот: сначала «Божий замысел», и только потом «беспорядочность человека»?

#WCC70 Amsterdam 1948 (3): Covenanting in Study: The Universal Church in God’s Design

Tell me, how can you seriously engage with the theme of this assembly - “Man’s Disorder and God’s Design” - if on Monday afternoon Karl Barth, shaking a Basel Herr Professor finger prophesied that it is wrong, it should be the other way round, “God’s Design” first and only then “Man’s Disorder”?

#WCC70 أمستردام 1948 (3): الاجتماع من أجل التدارس: الكنيسة العالمية في ظل تصميم الله

قل لي، كيف يمكنك التعامل بجدية مع موضوع هذا الاجتماع - "اضطراب الإنسان وتصميم الله" - إذا كان "كارل بارت" قد تنبأ بعد ظهر يوم الاثنين أن ذلك من الخطأ، بل يجب أن يكون العكس، "تصميم الله" أولاً ثم بعد ذلك فقط "اضطراب الإنسان".

#WCC70: The life-changing gift of serving as a steward

By his own admission, John D. Lewis was a very “young” eighteen-year-old when he arrived at the WCC Central Committee meeting in Geneva 45 years ago this week to be a steward. What he discovered there, and serving again in Berlin the following year, he carries with him to this day.

#WCC70 Amsterdam 1948 (2): Covenanting in work: What on earth is the World Council of Churches?

Amsterdam Concert Hall, 23 August 1948, 10:00. Sunday worship leads to Monday work. So, as you enter the Concert Hall, don’t let your aesthetic imagination be captured by the bust of the sublime Johann Sebastian Bach.

#WCC70 Амстердам 1948 г. (2). Клятва в работе. Что такое Всемирный совет церквей?

Концертный зал Амстердама, 23 августа 1948 г., 10:00. Вслед за воскресной службой наступит трудовой понедельник. Итак, входя в концертный зал, не дайте своему эстетическому воображению слишком увлечься портретом великого Иоганна Себастьяна Баха.

#WCC70 أمستردام 1948 (2): الاجتماع من أجل العمل: ما هو مجلس الكنائس العالمي؟

قاعة أمستردام للحفلات الموسيقية، 23 أغسطس 1948، الساعة 10:00. بعد قداس يوم الأحد يأتي يوم الاثنين، يوم العمل. لذا، عند دخولك قاعة الحفلات الموسيقية، لا تدع خيالك الجمالي يخطفه التمثال النصفي للمبدع "يوهان سيباستيان باخ".

#WCC70 Amsterdam, 1948 (1): Covenanting in prayer

Dam Square, Amsterdam, 22 August, 03:00 PM. A considerable crowd is gathered outside the New Church, which unlike its name may suggest was built at the end of the 14th century and dedicated in 1409. The weather has improved after a grey morning of low clouds and light rain.

#WCC70: Fellowship of women and men – with ups and downs

I have experienced many good stories with the WCC, but unfortunately disappointing ones as well, says Rev. Dr Margot Käßmann, Lutheran theologian and former chairperson of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany. She was a member of the WCC Central and Executive Committees for many years, until her resignation in 2002. The story she contributed for the WCC 70th anniversary commemoration looks back to the 1998 WCC Assembly in Harare, which marked the end of the Ecumenical Decade of Churches in Solidarity with Women.

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

Prayers and songs are available for use during the WCC anniversary, 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, says WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit.

#WCC70: Educating pastors for ecumenical leadership for the 21st century

Whether as individual believers or as a community, it is our collective task to advocate for Christian unity, says Melanio L. Aoanan from the Philippines. A clear vision for religious and ecumenical theological education is needed that is relevant in the 21st century.

If you feel inspired to send us your WCC story, too, please be in touch!