The World Council of Churches (WCC) and United Bible Societies held a leadership summit on 14 October, sharing words of gratitude for creative responses during the COVID-19 pandemic and also discussing potential joint projects during the coming months.
Michael Perreau, director general of United Bible Societies, confirmed that the two organisations share deep historical roots and a richness in the Biblical tradition. “This year, a summit to establish the course for the coming months of collaboration was needed more than ever,” he said. “In these times of fear and uncertainty we are encouraged to reexamine our values, modes of operations through the lens of sacrifice, generosity and efficiency.”
As an outcome of the summit, United Bible Societies and WCC leadership agreed on proposals of new joint teaching opportunities, searching Biblical discernment together, publishing and resourcing that will be of assistance to churches of diverse traditions and cultural contexts.
WCC interim general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca expressed his gratitude for all who have contributed to forging closer ties between the United Bible Societies and the WCC in recent years. The first summit in the ongoing series took place in April 2016.
An important fruit of the collaboration has been the joint publication Your Word Is Truth: The Bible in Ten Christian Traditions, a collection of essays by theologians and historians on how the Bible is used and understood in various traditions.
“I see important signs pointing to a new awakening in the ecumenical movement-– both here in the collaboration of our two global ecumenical bodies and in the wider fellowship of churches,” said Sauca.
He also noted that, even in these times of doubts and uncertainty, the WCC and United Bible Societies are moving forward with hope, courage, commitment and a great sense of solidarity and togetherness. “We pray with the churches and the Bible Societies across the globe that we shall all find in Christ the courage and hope to continue firmly on the path to unity, justice and peace.”