As the Conference of European Churches (CEC) convened in Novi Sad, Serbia for its 15th general assembly, World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit conveyed a greeting on behalf of the WCC.
The theme of the CEC assembly is “You shall be my witness,” inspired by Acts 1:8, a theme that brings our attention to the mission we have as Christians, namely to be witnesses of Jesus Christ on earth, Tveit reflected.
“It is also particularly relevant in Europe where there are so many new lines of division, and forces of polarization,” Tveit said. “The churches are called to be a counter-force, expressing our Christian heritage, our Christian attitudes, our Christian calling together.”
A general assembly of an ecumenical organization is not only the supreme authority where member churches are represented by their delegations, but also a good opportunity for celebration, evaluation and planning, and visioning for the future, continued Tveit. “We share the same vision for unity and cooperation in Europe as well as the same challenges and opportunities faced by our European churches,” he said. “In order to better respond to the needs of our member churches, a permanent update of our programmatic work is needed, as well as cooperation in new initiatives.”
Our search for unity must be a quest for justice and peace for all, Tveit concluded. “Being created in the image of God, called to be witnesses of Christ, we need to be walking, praying and working together.”