In a 21 September letter, World Council of Churches interim general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca congratulated Dr Michel Abs on being elected as the next secretary general of the Middle East Council of Churches.
“When wars and conflicts, hunger and thirst, pain and loss, break our bodies and tremble our spirits, then only God’s hope, love and comfort drive us onward, steadfast, following the steps of Jesus and his disciples on the roads of Jerusalem, Antioch, Damascus, Nineveh, Sidon and Tyre,” wrote Sauca. “This is the case of the people and the churches of the Middle East today.”
Sauca assured Abs that he is not alone. “We are here to accompany you, stand with you, pray with you, work with you, walk with you, and be inspired from you, on the journey of justice and peace,” wrote Sauca. “Together we shall continue to serve our Lord in creative solidarity amidst our common fragility, as we have developed in this year’s theme of the World Week of Peace for Palestine and Israel.”
The Middle East Council of Churches has an important role to play, continued Sauca. “Promoting consensus among the churches, in times where division is the norm, is not an easy task,” he wrote. “Unity is our strength.”