One goal of the gathering was to foster mutual understanding and familiarize participants with each other's areas of work.
In addition to hearing reports from each communion and discussing topics on the hearts and minds of the secretaries, participants also prayed together, and received guided tours of the Ecumenical Centre and the United Nations.
“By listening to what God is doing in each global communion, we identify common challenges and current trends in the Christian church,” said César García, general secretary of the Mennonite World Conference. “By praying with and for each other, we nurture our commitment to follow Christ. By deepening our relationships, we witness the gift of unity amid diversity and difference, a witness so much needed in the current world circumstances.”
Rev. Dr Ganoune Diop, secretary of the Conference of Secretaries of Christian World Communions, said: “This unique yearly gathering is a space where distinguished leaders of Christian world communions engage in bilateral and multilateral dialogues, each communion sharing on their own terms about their ecclesiastical life, and work as witnesses to the sovereignty of the triune God and His ultimate purpose to gather the whole world (oikumene) under the lordship of Christ. The core of the meetings consists in reports, and conversations on each report. This group does not sign resolutions, engage in common strategic planning or plan of actions. The focus is on relations, on being, rather than doing things together. Mingling with one another helps dispel prejudices and helps us focus on our respective participation in what God is doing in the world.”
Since 1957, with a few exceptions (1960, 1961, and 1975), the annual Conference of Secretaries of World Christian Communions brings together representatives from diverse Christian traditions to discuss their work and fellowship together. The World Council of Churches hosted the meeting in 2023.
In his presentation, WCC general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay delved deeper into specific aspects of programs and how to develop the Pilgrimage of Justice, Reconciliation, and Unity.