World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit was visiting Los Angeles this week from 30 March to 4 April, preaching at the Hollywood United Methodist Church, delivering a lecture at Loyola Marymount University, and meeting with various ecumenical organizations and groups.
Tveit met with Fr Alexei Smith, director of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs at the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles; Bishop Mary Ann Swenson, vice-moderator of the WCC Central Committee; and Archbishop José Gomez (Roman Catholic).
Later this week, he will meet with the Southern California Christian Forum.
In a 31 March sermon, Tveit reflected on the biblical parable of the prodigal son, noting that Jesus told the story of the prodigal son to the scribes and the pharisees in response to the conflict and discourse among them. “It is a justification of the inclusive practice of Jesus, his eating and drinking with the others, the sinners,” said Tveit. "Just as the gospel story of the two sons perplexed and provoked people then, so it still can and does lead to critical self-reflection, questioning of our values, and ultimately to transformation.”
For the inaugural Michael Huffington Lecture on 2nd April at the Loyola Marymount University, Tveit will be speaking on the theme of the upcoming WCC General Assembly, “Christ’s Love Moves the World to Reconciliation and Unity.” This topic explores the ecumenical movement as a movement of love, expressed in the search for justice, peace, and unity.
Tveit’s lecture will be followed by a panel discussion with Father Alexei Smith, director of ecumenical and interreligious affairs of the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and Bishop Mary Ann Swenson of the United Methodist Church