His Eminence Metropolitan Zachariah Mar Nicholovos of the Northeast American Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church celebrated his Episcopal Silver Jubilee, or 25 years in ministry, on 17 November. Metropolitan Nicholovos is a member of the WCC Executive Committee. In an interview with WCC Communication, he reflects on his 25-year milestone, as well as on the challenges and joys of the ecumenical movement today.
The date: 20 February 1991. The last day of the WCC 7th Assembly. The hours were packed with remaining agenda items, the assembly had acquired a second unofficial theme. As moderator, how was Bishop Heinz Joachim Held supposed to bring this incomplete, basically unfinished assembly to a close?
Whether as individual believers or as a community, it is our collective task to advocate for Christian unity, says Melanio L. Aoanan from the Philippines. A clear vision for religious and ecumenical theological education is needed that is relevant in the 21st century.
Dr Erlinda N. Senturias, from the Philippines, gives thanks that WCC has created safe spaces for the churches to talk about HIV and AIDS. She asks that the ecumenical movement continue to be a beacon of support for this ongoing journey of health and healing.
The signing of the National Covenanting Document in Australia in 2004 was a significant ecumenical milestone. Ray Williamson Oam traces this journey towards deeper unity with its roots in the Canberra Statement of the WCC 7th Assembly.
Korea’s Christian leaders have urged Catholics to work together with the WCC to help bring peace and reconciliation to their country. Rev. Dr Sang Chang, president of WCC’s Asia region, and Rev. Dr Lee Hong-jeong, general secretary of the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK) were speaking as Pope Francis visited the headquarters of the ecumenical movement in Geneva to mark the WCC’s 70th anniversary.
When asked to talk about her story of faith, Rev. Dr Sang Chang doesn’t hesitate for a moment. The president of the Asia region of the World Council of Churches (WCC) is eager to tell how her faith has supported her career as a theologian, academic, advocate for women’s rights, and South Korea’s first female acting prime minister.
The Ecumenical Institute Bossey, which Pope Francis visits on Thursday, 21 June, as part of his pilgrimage to the World Council of Churches in Geneva, is a workshop of ideas, where the future path toward Christian unity is being mapped out.
Noting “the worsening human rights situation and increasing violence and impunity” in the Philippines, WCC’s central committee has expressed its alarm and outrage, pointing particularly to the role of the government there.
In a plenary session on “The Living Fellowship” at the World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee meeting on 20 June, the WCC marked achievements from its past 70 years in working for Christian unity and action, and also looked ahead at challenges.
In a powerful symbol of unity, Christians from North and South Korea sang together yesterday during celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches (WCC). The Koreans linked arms to sing the 600-year-old folk song Arirang that is the unofficial anthem of Korea – the united Korea that existed until civil war divided the country in the 1950s.
The adoption of consensus decision-making for WCC meetings was proposed in 2002. Dr Jill Tabart of the Uniting Church in Australia was consensus mentor as these new meeting procedures were introduced at the 9th Assembly and beyond.
In 2018 we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the WCC. In order to create a lively first-hand account of the ecumenical fellowship and of our shared journey, the WCC general secretary has invited all member churches to contribute stories, which we will bring to you throughout the coming year. The first story in our series was written by Gerard Willemsen, international director of the Uniting Church in Sweden.