Archbishop Anders Wejryd preached at the Ecumenical Service held in Katowice, Poland. Photo: LWF/Sean Hawkey

Archbishop Anders Wejryd preached at the Ecumenical Service held in Katowice, Poland. Photo: LWF/Sean Hawkey

“God wants the world. God wants us to steward it”, said the Swedish Archbishop Anders Wejryd, president of the World Council of Churches (WCC) for Europe, on 9 December, in his sermon at the Ecumenical Service as part of the United Nations climate conference, in Katowice, Poland.

The Katowice Climate Change Conference, 2-15 December, is the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Local congregations in Katowice prepared and held a joint ecumenical service in the Cathedral of Christ the King of the Universe, with reading of biblical texts, music, prayers and two sermons, one from Metropolitan Archbishop of Katowice, Wiktor Skworc, and one from Wejryd.

Wejryd focused on reflection on the roots of ecumenism and the Christian imperative to care for God’s creation.

“(To be) ecumenical is all about the house, the household – and the common home. No wonder why ecumenism has been so involved in peace efforts and efforts of reconciliation all through the last hundred years”, he said.

“We were expected to be stewards, ready to steward not only what is good for ourselves in the short run, but what is good for all what we share, the commune bonum, for the whole ecological weave, for our shared home, for oikoumene”, stated Wejryd.

When COP 24 meets, everyone knows that consumerism only works within limits but those limits are not there, and if they are there, they are not kept, he said.

The archbishop also stressed that it is important that to uphold the links between private and shared, human and ecological, church and society, history, visions and this time and age. That is real ecumenism!, he argued.

The reflection concluded with a call for sharing the eschatological hope.

We are called to this immense task of trying to heal the world, trying to give the world something more important to strive for than more private capital, more selfish individualism, he said. I am convinced that a life with Jesus as brother and Savior, is a true alternative. Then we must be a constant dialectic partner to the world of today. And tomorrow, added Wejryd.

Read the full sermon of Archbishop Anders Wejryd

"Faith groups at COP24 advocate for just transitions" - WCC news release 5 December 2018

"COP24: Global church bodies urge transformative action to protect the most vulnerable" - WCC news release 30 November 2018

Learn more about the WCC’s work on Care for Creation and Climate Justice