In a speech before the annual assembly of the Protestant Federation of France, World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit reflected on the questions: Where does the ecumenical movement stand today and where should the WCC take it in the future?
“French Protestantism is not only one of the pillars of the Reformation tradition, but also one the cradles of the modern ecumenical movement,” said Tveit. “I see more and more churches and people taking up the invitation of the 2013 10th Assembly of the WCC in Busan to jointly participate in a Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace and to engage in transformative action.”
The place of the WCC is not at the centre of the world, emphasized Tveit, but as an actor in a poly-centric ecumenical movement.
"Thus, it is not by chance that the theme of the next WCC assembly, to be held in 2021 near the meaningful French-German border, is ‘Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity,’ ” Tveit said. “I believe that the movement, essentially a vibrant renewal movement of the churches for the sake of the coming kingdom, has never been more relevant.”
The world is in unprecedented peril, Tveit reflected. “As I look at this movement institutionally, theologically, programmatically, and existentially, I find this an exciting time for ecumenicity — one of both promise and peril,” he said. “Let’s focus here on the promise!”