GREETINGS FROM WCC ACTING GENERAL SECRETARY REV. PROF. Dr IOAN SAUCA TO THE CCN 31 TRIENNIAL ASSEMBLY AND 93 ANNIVERSARY HOLDING AT BASILICA OF ST. ANDREW (CHURCH OF NIGERIA, ANGLICAN COMMUNION ) TRANS EKULU, ENUGU, ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA FROM 22TH – 26TH NOVEMBER 2022.
“… that they may all be one: even as you Father, art in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me” (John 17:21)
I bring to you my greetings on behalf of the World Council of Churches (WCC) on the occasion of the 31 Triennial Assembly marking the 93 Anniversary of the Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN) holding at Basilica of St. Andrew, Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria from 23rd – 26th November, 2022.
I acknowledged the important contributions of the member churches in Nigeria and the CCN in the ecumenical family within and outside Nigeria over the years. The strong representation of the churches at the WCC 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany was a strong indication of our common Pilgrimage for Justice and Peace over the years. Let me reiterate the assembly call to “Act Together in the Pilgrimage of Justice, Reconciliation and Unity” as we confront the injustice that has exposed the churches and people of Nigeria and the global community to hunger, poverty, loss of loved ones, livelihood and displacement.
The theme of your Assembly “Christ’s Love Compels Us” 2 Corinthians 5:14 is very apt in times such as these when the ministry of the church in Nigeria has been threatened by insecurity, poverty, banditry, kidnapping for ransom, economic hardship, attacks on places of worship, displacements and an unstable political environment leading to the 2023 general elections. Nigerians are in search of answers to these many challenges and the church must be seen leading people to God, who is able to provide solutions to the national and global problem.
The WCC recognises these challenges and the devastating impacts the churches and people of Nigeria are passing through as a result of the ongoing insecurity. We have long supported and will continue to accompany the work of the churches and the CCN in their struggle for justice, reconciliation and unity. As people of God, we are called to stand together in solidarity with one another, upholding each other in prayers, supporting those who are made vulnerable socially and economically, the displaced persons and those who have lost their means of livelihood due to the crisis. I convey our prayers, solidarity and support to the churches and people of Nigeria as you seek to fulfil your essential ministry for justice, peace and human dignity. We pray that you may experience the presence and Christ’s love even in
the midst of these challenges.
It is our hope that this assembly will not only reflect on the decades of achievements of the CCN but that it shall provide opportunity for reflecting on the various challenges and setbacks the church has faced. We also hope that it will provide space for theological reflections on the theme of the assembly in responding to the question such as, what has Christ’s love compels us to do as the church in this circumstance. Reflecting on this will affirm the commitment of the CCN and the churches to continue to act together in unity as you make visible Christ’s love to a challenged nation, Nigeria.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca
Acting General Secretary
Geneva, October 27, 2022