Bishop Prof. Dr Jochen Cornelius-Bundschuh

Evangelical Church in Baden

“I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 1,6)

With words that the apostle Paul addressed to the saints in Christ who were in Philippi, I send you heartfelt greetings as you celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Evangelical Church in Baden.

My greetings are expressed with great joy because what you are celebrating is not a past separation, but the coming together of Lutheran and Reformed churches in a church union.

The members of those two Reformation traditions, moved by the Spirit, desired that union from the very beginning. They took the lead in promoting and implementing it. We rejoice in their vision and their obedience to the prayer of our Lord that his disciples live in communion.

Your church and the other members of the worldwide family of united and uniting churches, remind all of us in the ecumenical movement and beyond that we should not conform ourselves with our abnormal state of division.

In this sense, it is a gift to the World Council of Churches that a united church constantly seeking greater fellowship with other churches is co-hosting the next WCC assembly.

The apostle Paul prayed the Father for the saints in Philippi that their love “may overflow more and more”. As we prepare ourselves to gather in Karlsruhe next year under the conviction that Christ’s love is active in today’s world, I pray that your love for the other churches will overflow and nurture the journey to visible unity until the day of Jesus Christ.

Fraternally yours,

Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca

Acting General Secretary

World Council of Churches