To: WCC member churches in the United States of America
Geneva, January 8, 2020
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Greetings in the name of our Saviour Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace, our hope and our guide.
On 6 January – the feast of Epiphany for many churches – vast numbers around the world watched as your democratic processes and institutions were challenged by violence and lawlessness. We witnessed scenes that few of us ever expected to see. Sadly however, when division, confrontation, denigration and misinformation become the primary modalities of political discourse, and when the pursuit of power supersedes the common good as the main objective of political leaders, such outcomes – or worse – are ultimately inevitable.
Your sisters and brothers throughout the global ecumenical fellowship have been inspired by the Christian witness that many church leaders in the United States have given throughout the years, for peace, for justice, against racism, and for respect for the equal God-given human dignity and rights of all people. And in the aftermath of the attack on the Capitol Building your witness has once again been loud, clear and faith- driven. Through this letter, I wish to convey to you the renewed and strengthened solidarity of all WCC member churches with you as you raise your prophetic voices in the midst of this new and acute crisis, and as you hope and pray for a peaceful transition of power respecting the will of the people.
You are called to be the shepherds of a deeply divided, distrusting and frightened flock, whose fears and differences have been played upon by those seeking to secure and maintain political power for themselves. Great harm has been done to your Republic in the process. The burden of rebuilding trust and promoting reconciliation in such a widely polarized society is an impossibly heavy one for you to carry alone. We pray that God will gift each of you and all of us a special measure of wisdom and strength to work together to meet this challenge. In this task, we assure you of the accompaniment and support of sister churches around the world, some of whom face similar challenges in their own contexts.
We are reminded in Proverbs 12:20 that “Deceit is in the mind of those who plan evil, but those who counsel peace have joy.” May your churches and country find the peace and joy assured to us in the scriptures. And we pray that God will lead us all together and be our guide on the path of understanding and compassion, towards justice and peace.
In the everlasting peace of Christ,
Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca
World Council of Churches
Interim General Secretary and
Director of the Ecumenical Institute Bossey