I begin by giving thanks for the 35 member churches of CEVAA, for your community of churches in mission, for your work and for your witness. We convey our deep gratitude for your partnership with CWM and UEM in seconding the chair of mission at the Bossey Ecumenical Institute.
We had hoped to see you in-person in Bossey and Geneva, but that was not possible. Your assembly takes place as we continue to struggle with the coronavirus, with the loss of loved ones and with the social and economic implications of the pandemic. These are days that test the sturdiness of our faith, the character of our hope and the depth of our love for God and one another.
The WCC and CEVAA share a common commitment to the unity and mission of the church. We share a common calling to be one Christ so that world may believe in God’s love for all creation (John 17.21). This year we celebrate 100 years since the founding of the International Missionary Council (IMC). We celebrate 60 years since the IMC merged with the WCC to form the World Commission on Mission and Evangelism. We also celebrate 50 years since the formation of CEVAA as a community of churches sharing the light of Christ for all to see.
Next year, the WCC will host its 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany under the theme “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity”. We will celebrate God’s love in Christ for all creation and be inspired by Christ’s love revealed and exercised through his ministry. A key text for our reflection come from Matthew 9.35-36. “Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. For when he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd”.
We share many member churches and look forward to the CEVAA community of churches being with us in Karlsruhe. Together we must keep the flame burning – burning with the love and compassion of our God and Saviour for a world in need of reconciliation, healing and unity. May your time together be a blessing and may the love of the Triune God guide you through all your deliberations and decisions.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca
Acting General Secretary