During the global pandemic it is not any more possible to be present at special celebrations in the ecumenical and global fellowship. The new realities connect the local and global work in a new and innovative way. The World Council of Churches (WCC) is present digitally in many gatherings.
As ecumenical organizations around the world shared a Joint Ecumenical Peace Message in June this year, Emily Evans from the Uniting Church in Australia, member of the World Council of Churches (WCC) ECHOS Commission on youth in the ecumenical movement and of the WCC executive committee, joined to share a word of prayer online.
“God of peace and God of justice, as we today mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Korean War, we come in faith believing that our prayers are being heard by you, and that you will answer. Lord Jesus Christ, the voices of young people cry out for peace on the Korean Peninsula,” Evans said.
And in September, Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca, WCC interim general secretary was able to send virtual greetings to a conference on “Empowering Youth for Peace through Interreligious cooperation, education and humanitarian action” held in conjunction with the 39th International Day of Peace.
In another example of virtual contributions by the WCC, Rev. Laza Nomenjanahary was installed in the office of Lutheran inspecteur ecclésiastique in the Redemption Church in Paris on 20 September. For this occasion, Rev. Dr Risto Jukko, director of the WCC’s Commission on World Mission and Evangelism, was invited to represent the WCC, but due to the COVID-19 situation he sent a short video message.
“One of your characteristics that has always pleased me is that you have truly understood the importance of the theological and spiritual relation between the unity of the church and the mission of the church,” Jukko said. “The church of Christ is inherently missionary, witness of Christ, and this testimony, this mission, unites us.”
Jukko underlined the importance of ecumenical dialogue: “I am sure that for you the relations with other Christians are not only a status quo but something for which you will work a lot, to have a better witness with our brothers and sisters, across the world.”