Swedish churches prepare for commemoration of “Life and Work” and Nicaea

Rev. Dr Sofia Camnerin, general secretary of the Christian Council of Sweden, expressed excitement and anticipation about celebrating the Ecumenical Year in Stockholm in 2025 with the theme Time for God´s peace.” Churches and partners from different parts of our world, friends from other religions, and all people of good will will be invited to gather.

We are planning for a joint Pentecostal celebration in 2025, locally, in hopefully all places,” said Camnerin. We inspire each other to take a step forward for unity and peace in local communities.”

The Ecumenical Week in Stockholm” is scheduled for 19-23 August 2025. 

That will include seminars, a youth conference, prayers in different churches, an interreligious opening, an ecumenical celebration, worship service, public events, and festive worship,” said Camnerin. It was a great joy to meet so many of you from the World Council of Churches—so much experience and knowledge you bring in.”

She thanked the WCC for its commitment to walking together with the churches and people in Sweden. Let us keep on working together, and praying for justice, unity, and peace, in a world that needs it more than ever,” she said.

Petter Jakobsson, advisor for Mission and Theology, Religion and Development for Faith in Development, at the Swedish Mission Council,  noted that Faith in Development is planning a hybrid seminar talking about how to make the best out of the long-term engagement that churches have for justice, peace. and development and combine this stamina with the professional experience of faith based agencies working for the same causes. We call this ecumenical diakonia.”

Rev. Dr Kuzipa Nalwamba, WCC programme director for Unity, Mission, and Ecumenical Formation, described some of the ways in which the WCC is planning to commemorate these important milestones.

In the period leading to the sixth Faith and Order World conference, the WCC has thematically cohered programmatic activities around Nicaea 2025, deriving impetus from the commemoration of the 1700th anniversary of the Nicaea Council to ask what it means to confess the apostolic faith today,” she said. During this period, the Faith and Order commission—whose vocation in the WCC is to focus on reflections on the mystery of the God-given union of Christ with his Church’ will engage with the Nicaea legacy from constructive and critical perspectives intersecting the cofounding legacies of the WCC, namely, the Life and Work tradition and the Commission for World Mission and Evangelism standpoint.”

Swedish churches prepare for commemoration of “Life and Work” and Nicaea

A WCC staff planning group has worked since 2023 to collate internal programmes and to identify churches, ecumenical partners, and academic institutions that will commemorate Nicaea 2025 to secure WCC participation. 

In addition, the WCC has developed resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in 2025 that includes a childrens version,” Nalwamba said.

Dr Sara Gehlin, senior lecturer, shared the news that, in 2025, University College Stockholm will hold an Ecumenical Summer Academy, which she described as a summer course which entails the opportunity to participate in and contribute to the 100-year anniversary in Stockholm.”

Gehlin added: In the same year, the Stockholm Theological Seminary launches its Ecumenical Academy: a forum for theological reflection on ecumenism, which is to continue also beyond year 2025.”

Rev. Dr Benjamin Simon, WCC director for the Commission on Education and Ecumenical Formation and dean of the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey, said: In this special time of centenary commemoration, students from Scandinavia and other countries will come together to reflect on what this legacy means to them in their current circumstances and conditions. They will have the opportunity to get to know different contexts and thereby broaden their theological reflection.”

Simon added: It remains important that they learn and reflect that Nathan Söderblom's legacy is not only to be found in history books, but that his positions on social change are anchored in the theology of the churches. During the week of celebration, they will contribute in different ways and thus also make the voice of the younger generation heard.”

Rev. Jonas Thorängen, coordinator of the Ecumenical Year 2025 in Stockholm, expressed appreciation of the anticipation and engagement from many people as we draw closer to Ecumenical Year 2025. We are looking forward to celebrating fellowship and peace work as well as commemorating the important historical events in Stockholm 1925 and Nicaea year 325, and remembering the people who took initiatives to make them happen,” he said. For the Ecumenical Week 19-23 of August, we prepare for and look forward to meetings in Stockholm for joyful meetings and worship, sincere discussions on tasks that we need to deal with for the sake of our common humanity and all creation. Together, with all people of good will, we need to take bold steps to make the world a better place.”

Dr Stephen Brown, editor of the WCC journal The Ecumenical Review described how, in 2025, the World Council of Churches will commemorate the 1700th anniversary of the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in 325, and the 100th anniversary of the Universal Christian Conference on Life and Work in Stockholm in 1925. 

Nicaea was the first gathering of the whole of Christendom and has inspired the work on issues of Faith and Order for the unity of the church and humankind,” he said. The Stockholm conference gathered Anglicans, Protestants, and Orthodox leaders and was a decisive impetus for churches to work together for a more just and peaceful world. In commemorating these two anniversaries,  we will recall how the Faith and Order” and Life and Work” movements joined to form the WCC in 1948 and the inspiration for our work today.”

Stockholmsmötet 1925 - Sveriges kristna råd

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