The book launch was held during the WCC 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany. Tveit, presiding bishop of the Church of Norway and former WCC general secretary, reflects on a volume that sketches an ecumenical movement, reveals a horizon of hope, and illumines many of our most pressing global challenges.
In the video, Tveit explains how, as he became WCC general secretary, one of his challenges was to make churches more aware that the WCC was, in fact, working for them. “Why was this a challenge?” Tveit asked. “Sometimes the churches are very much involved and very busy with their own agendas,” he says. “I think they also felt, some of them, that the council has a very strong agenda to work for justice and peace in the world—and an ongoing agenda to work for unity. Some of the churches were asking how these agendas related to one another.”
Tveit also speaks to the concept of a pilgrimage. “This recommendation from Busan opened up what was already there, in a way,” he says. “That became much more clear but also much more challenging.”
He describes the pilgrimage as how we move together as people of faith in a world in urgent need of justice and peace. “A pilgrimage is not only something we should construct for them but that they are longing for and able to make,” he says.
The dynamic pilgrimage, he adds, opened up new involvement in the WCC’s work, “not only for specialists but for anybody.”
He also comments on the early thinking behind the theme of the WCC 11th Assembly, “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity.”
The theme, he says, makes it clear why we are Christians—and why we are Christian churches together.
“I think there was an understanding that the theme should help people see why we as believe in Christ,” he says. “What does that mean in the time we live in now?”