Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit speaks in Oslo. Photo courtesy of Church of Norway

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit speaks in Oslo. Photo courtesy of Church of Norway

Last week, around 500 youth workers and leaders from churches all over Norway gathered outside Oslo for a youth and faith conference to learn and to share knowledge and visions on Christian youth work.

The theme at this year’s conference, which is the 18th in a row, was “Holy common,” exploring what it means to live holy common lives and being a holy common church.

World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit was one of the keynote speakers elaborating on that subject. He sees “holy” and “common” as two very different things which at the same time are closely related.

“Our Christian faith not only tells us that God is holy, but that we – as commons – are holy too. What that means can be summarized in two sentences: First, we are loved by God and have become holy through the Gospel, baptism and faith. Second, we shall love God and our brothers and sisters in faith and live holy lives.

“Such unconditional love is what our God, the Creator, gives us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and his presence in today’s church through the Holy Spirit. This is what can – and should – be expressed in our lives as Christians and as churches”, Tveit said.

The question he also raised was: Can we learn to love and be loved?

“In light of what has been said here, could we consider using other words than ‘teaching faith’? Could we sometimes rather call it ‘love education’?, by and for holy, common humans, in a holy common church,” Tveit asked in conclusion.

WCC’s engagement for children was also covered at the conference and presented in a brochure translated into Norwegian.

Read the general secretary’s full speech (in Norwegian)

Youth in the Ecumenical Movement

WCC engagement for children