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Multilateral Ecumenism. Sixty Years of Experience From the Perspective of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity

In the field of multilateral relations, the major partner of the Catholic Church is the World Council of Churches (WCC). Founded in 1948, it is the broadest and most inclusive ecumenical organization, bringing together 350 Christian denominations including Orthodox, Lutherans, Reformed, Anglicans, Methodists, Baptists as well as United and Independent churches. Altogether they represent over 500 million Christians worldwide.

WCC Permanent Committee on Consensus and Collaboration convenes

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Permanent Committee on Consensus and Collaboration will meet from 25 February - 2 March at Kartause Ittingen, Switzerland. The committee will share its preparations for the WCC 11th Assembly to be held in Karlsruhe, Germany in September 2021. The group will also make decisions regarding a report to the assembly.

"Everything is about theology and the God of life", says Martin Robra after 25 years at the WCC

Rev. Dr Martin Robra has been a key contributor to the ecumenical movement for the last 25 years, working for the World Council of Churches (WCC).

Robra is a theologian and ordained pastor who served as programme executive for the WCC for Ecumenical Continuing Formation, Roman Catholic relations, the joint inter-faith project with the International Labour Organisation Advancing Peace through social justice and support for the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace.

WCC Communication asked Robra to reflect on his years of service to the WCC fellowship.

WCC assembly preparation on agenda for Conference of European Churches

The upcoming World Council of Churches (WCC) assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany, was on the agenda of a recent meeting of the Conference of European Churches in Finland. Dr Marc Witzenbacher, the local WCC assembly coordinator, talked about the organizational process of the gathering, and also invited European churches to have significant participation in the assembly.

Casely Essamuah, ‘working for the greater glory of God’

Maryland-based, Ghanaian-born Rev. Dr Casely Essamuah was in February selected as secretary of the Global Christian Forum. Originally ordained in the Methodist Church in Ghana, he began his work officially in July. This week he made a study visit to the WCC and the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva and the WCC was able to converse with him.

#WCC70: A chance to change

For Dame Mary Tanner it was the challenge of the Community Study that dramatically enlarged her understanding of the unity which is God’s gift and our calling. The years of reflection on experience and envisioning the church as a community of women and men offered a chance to change.

Consensus, collaboration emphasized at WCC meeting in Greece

From responding to divisions within churches and communities, to addressing fair representation within the WCC, the Permanent Committee on Consensus and Collaboration of the WCC met from 2-6 October in Rhodes, Greece, hosted by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, through the hospitality of H. E. Metropolitan Kyrillos of Rhodes.

Nordic churches embrace 'The Gift of Being'

A Swedish WCC working group which met in Stockholm on 4 September has called on Swedish churches to use ‘The Gift of Being: Called to be a Church of All and for All’ as a resource for including persons with disabilities in church life.

Ecumenical youth on the move – through GETI with visions for the future

“We’ve seen in the case of refugees, how the church takes a strong standpoint in welcoming those who have fled. But it isn’t always so easy in the congregations. There are many who feel fear, as we receive not only refugees but sometimes also people of other faiths. In this case, we can see a gap between what the church says, and what is actually lived.”

Global Ecumenical Theological Institute 2017

19 May - 01 June 2017

The Global Ecumenical Theological Institute 2017 is an ecumenical-theological initiative for education and encounter for advanced theology students from all over the world who are studying in Europe. The concrete encounter and joint studies will contribute to a European network of contacts and strengthen the mutual perception of European and migration churches. Participants shall study and experience horizons of an ecumenical theology and ecclesiology.

Berlin, Germany

WCC pays tribute to Günther Gassmann

"Günther Gassmann's life and work reflect the ecumenical ideals of theological reflection based deeply in careful historical understanding of the Christian tradition, combined with sincere and open-minded work to address and overcome the historic divisions within the church”, wrote the general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, upon the passing of Prof. Dr Günther Gassmann, on 11 January.

"I hit the ground running": Katalina Tahaafe-Williams

Two major crises have marked the months since the WCC called Katalina Tahaafe-Williams to work in Geneva on its migration, indigenous, and multicultural ministry programmes. When she took up the job in October, the European refugee crisis was in full flow. Then in November, terrorists attacked Paris.

Water network develops a theological framework for water justice

What is our call to respond to the global water crisis? In what way is our response different from other actors? To respond to these questions within a theological framework of water justice, the Ecumenical Water Network convened theologians from around the world at the Ecumenical Institute.

Churches to be more inclusive of persons with disabilities

Members of the WCC's Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network met in the Netherlands to develop a new statement with the working title "Gift of Being: Called to be a Church of All and for All". The new document is founded on the premise that persons with disabilities experience marginalization both in societies and in the church communities themselves.

Chief governing body of the WCC begins its meeting in Geneva

The first full meeting of the new Central Committee of the WCC, a chief governing body of the Council, began on 2 July in Geneva, Switzerland. Prayers, official addresses from the leadership of the WCC and welcome greetings from the Swiss churches marked the opening of the WCC Central Committee meeting – all set to focus on the theme “pilgrimage of justice and peace” through the coming week.

Central Committee appreciates Faith and Order convergence text

“Faith and Order has a long and significant history in the life of the ecumenical movement. Its two convergence texts, 'Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry' and now 'The Church: Towards a Common Vision', provide our member churches with the necessary theological tools towards the full communion of our common fellowship,” said Metropolitan Prof. Dr Gennadios of Sassima. Metropolitan Gennadios serves as vice-moderator of the WCC Central Committee.