Before accepting the position of programme executive for the World Council of Churches (WCC) Faith and Order Commission, Dr Ani Ghazaryan Drissi was involved with the WCC in several different ways.
She first visited the Ecumenical Centre in 2004, then participated in several WCC meetings and assemblies as a delegate from the Armenian Apostolic Church (Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin).
From 2010-2011, she served as a WCC intern in the area of eco-justice. “I had a wonderful year, and it was during this period that I knew I had to be involved in the ecumenical movement and serve the fellowship of churches.”
Her work with the Faith and Order Commission will center around Faith and Order’s convergence text “The Church: Towards a Common Vision” as the document continues to be discussed by churches on a journey toward revealing the unity of the church and how it is inextricably bound to a pilgrimage of justice and peace.
Amid the worldwide ongoing dialogue, Ghazaryan Drissi has a special tie to the convergence text: “I personally translated the document into Armenian,” she said.
The text isn’t just static words, Ghazaryan Drissi believes, but a dynamic way to discuss and identify new and emerging ways of being the church. “I also have a vision of establishing links between Faith and Order and the other units within WCC,” she said. “My vision allows me to build programmatic and transversal work through which I can contribute via biblical and theological reflections to the work of other WCC departments.”
Ghazaryan Drissi, as a theologian, studied in Armenia and Switzerland, then completed her doctorate in 2014 at the University of Lausanne, concentrating on the beatitudes of the gospel of Matthew and their interpretation in the Armenian Patristics.
She regards the time she spent at the WCC assemblies as formative in her vision for being part of the ecumenical movement. “I started to feel how united the church can be — and how divided it can be,” she said.
Ghazaryan Drissi said she deeply shares the WCC objective of working toward full Christian unity, and that she is pleased to work with theologians from 33 countries and five continents as part of the Faith and Order Commission.
“I consider it a privilege and honor to become fully part of the WCC’s success story,” she said. “I am ready to bring my own sense of passion and purpose on my spiritual journey to further build a fellowship of churches by leveraging my creativity, flexibility, responsibility, skills and experience to support the Faith and Order team, as well as the working groups of the Commission on Faith and Order.”