Bottle of hand sanitizer sits on wooden table in the foreground, in front of a blurred crucifix in the background.

A bottle of hand sanitizer sits on a small table at a church altar, a precaution and hygiene measure taken by many churches since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to help reduce the spread of infection.


WCC acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca met with the following leaders from Norwegian Church Aid: general secretary Dagfinn Høybråten, international director Arne Næss-Holm, and programme coordinator for Global Programmes Anne-Grete Larsen.

Sauca was accompanied in the meeting by WCC director of Communication Marianne Ejdersten, responsible contact person for the Nordic  churches in the WCC; and Rev. Nathan Day Wilson, WCC manager of Income Monitoring and Development, Planning, Evaluation and Reporting

Sauca expressed gratitude to Norwegian Church Aid for its longstanding commitment to the WCC and the ecumenical movement. He gave an overview of the WCCs ongoing work, including its increased digital presence and increased interest from WCC member churches in spiritual material, as well as an update on the WCC central committee meeting scheduled for 9-15 February.

Sauca and the WCC team also shared plans for a pre-assembly gathering of the WCCs partners in specialized ministries in March, as well as ongoing plans for the WCC 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany in August-September 2022.

WCC leaders also presented a summary of their ongoing work in the Middle East, with a focus on the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel, and peace-building efforts in Iraq.

We are grateful for the support and partnership from Norwegian Church Aid,” said Sauca. Such solidarity has proven invaluable as the WCC was able to keep growing its programmes while maintaining strong, competent leadership at the staff level amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and amid a transition to a new general secretary.”

Norwegian Church Aid presented a special observance of its 75th anniversary, and an overview of its presence in 41 countries. Like the WCC, Norwegian Church Aid has been able to change and enhance its responses to global needs amid COVID-19.

"The ecumenical family needs to come together now at the WCC 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe,” said Høybråten.

The 12 January visit with the WCC followed a meeting with the ACT Alliance on 11 January.

Norwegian Church Aid (NCA)