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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: 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.

#WCC70: A prayer about health and healing

Dr Erlinda N. Senturias, from the Philippines, gives thanks that WCC has created safe spaces for the churches to talk about HIV and AIDS. She asks that the ecumenical movement continue to be a beacon of support for this ongoing journey of health and healing.

#WCC70: An Ecumenical Story from Australia: National Covenanting

The signing of the National Covenanting Document in Australia in 2004 was a significant ecumenical milestone. Ray Williamson Oam traces this journey towards deeper unity with its roots in the Canberra Statement of the WCC 7th Assembly.

#WCC70: A slice of African history: overcoming violence…

For Marijke van Duin it was culture shock on two levels: being in sub-Saharan Africa, attending a huge international conference. Both for the first time. The Dutch Mennonite experienced confrontation, transformation and hope at the WCC 8th Assembly in Harare…and made a friendship that transcended borders.

#WCC70: A story of life

In writing a story for the 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Elias Crisóstomo Abramides of Argentina, from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, is writing the story of his life. His service at the WCC opened for him the gate to meeting and loving “the very good Creation of God”: love, respect and admiration for the life of his neighbours and for all creation.

#WCC70: Chiara Lubich and the World Council of Churches

The relationship between the WCC and Chiara Lubich dates back to the time of the Second Vatican Council. On her death, Samuel Kobia paid tribute, saying: “Our love for Chiara and immense gratitude for the gift of God she has been to the ecumenical movement, will continue to motivate and inspire us in our work for the visible unity of the church”.

#WCC70: A chance to change

For Dame Mary Tanner it was the challenge of the Community Study that dramatically enlarged her understanding of the unity which is God’s gift and our calling. The years of reflection on experience and envisioning the church as a community of women and men offered a chance to change.

#WCC70: Churches as “freedom agents”

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. This story was written by Olle Eriksson, a Namibian who worked for 35 years (1968 – 2003) with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia, Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission and Lutheran World Federation.

#WCC70: A story of how we meet together

The adoption of consensus decision-making for WCC meetings was proposed in 2002. Dr Jill Tabart of the Uniting Church in Australia was consensus mentor as these new meeting procedures were introduced at the 9th Assembly and beyond.

#WCC70: Dr Agnes Abuom: “I dream of a world where every man and woman’s dignity will be upheld”

It’s 70 years since the World Council of Churches was founded in Amsterdam on 23 August. In addition to a commemoration service in Amsterdam on 23 August, the WCC, its member churches and partners are planning a variety of events to move forward on our ongoing Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, and at the same time honour and learn from these 70 years of ecumenical endeavour. Dr Abuom, from the Anglican Church of Kenya, is the moderator of the WCC Central Committee. She is the first woman and the first African in the position in WCC’s history. In an interview, she reflects on the evolution of the WCC in the past 70 years.

#WCC70: Remembering Orissa

In 2018 we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the WCC. In order to create a lively first-hand account of the ecumenical fellowship and of our shared journey, the WCC general secretary has invited all member churches to contribute stories, which we will bring to you throughout the coming year. The first story in our series was written by Gerard Willemsen, international director of the Uniting Church in Sweden.

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