Convening 20, 22, 24, and 26 April, the meeting is taking place online and addresses the nominations of a new moderator and new commissioners, results of the online evaluation process along with plans for the next Faith and Order World Conference and Nicaea 2025 celebrations, which will mark the 1700th anniversary of the first Ecumenical Council at Nicaea.
This Faith and Order meeting concludes the work of this commission in a spirit of celebration for the fruits of its rich theological work and serves as an opportunity for evaluation and sharing. The main goal is to ensure that commitment and competence to do ecumenical theology with passion for Christian unity will continue to frame the work of the commission during the nine years to come.
Rev. Dr Susan Durber, outgoing moderator, reflected that the meeting takes place in the season of Easter. “Whatever our differences, however deep the struggles between us and however intractable some of our divisions may seem to be, we are united in a common and indestructible faith,” she said. “I believe that our time in working together as a commission has been one in which we have all enriched one another in faith and been able to do the work to which we were nominated by our churches and elected by the central committee of the World Council of Churches: to serve the churches as they call one another to that unity for which Christ prayed, and still prays.”
WCC general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay spoke of a commission that always upheld a sense of unity even among churches from different backgrounds, as “the church of Jesus Christ is not many churches but one church.”He commended the commitment and methodology of the commission in facing divisions rather than rushing to a solution.
Rev. Dr Kuzipa Nalwamba, WCC director of Mission, Unity, and Ecumenical Formation, spoke of the importance of the meeting for strategic planning, asking “how do we move beyond traditional spaces?”
Dr Andrej Jeftic, new director of the Faith and Order Commission, said he was humbled and moved to be given the unique privilege to join the commission’s history. “I stand in front of you today feeling that same awe and humility I felt when I learned the news of my appointment,” he said.
He praised the commission’s work stating that different studies all lead to the discovery that “what unites us is greater than what divides us.” Emphasizing the need to continue unearthing this unity in the coming future, he asked if the commission should be bolder, even more creative, and more visible in its work.