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Rev. Dr David Emmanuel Goatley: “Ecumenism and global engagement are essential to who I am”

Rev. Dr David Emmanuel Goatley is associate dean for Academic and Vocational Formation; Ruth W. and A. Morris Williams, Jr research professor of Theology and Christian Ministry; and director of the Office of Black Church Studies at Duke University Divinity School. He will serve as the next president of Fuller Theological Seminary. Below, he reflects on the path ahead and the inspiration he draws from his work with the World Council of Churches (WCC).

Statement on Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples

‘Behold I create new heavens in which life, justice and peace are possible for all’.
(Isaiah  65:17-25)

Indigenous Peoples are created with God-given identities that are beautiful.  God was present in their lands and among their peoples before colonizers arrived. When Christians brought the Bible, Indigenous People recognized the voice of their Creator in Jesus’ teachings. They did not hear a call to reject their identities.

Assembly

Christ’s Love (Re)moves Borders – GETI 2022 in images

GETI 2022, the third global iteration of a Global Ecumenical Theological Institute, brought together some 100 young theologians from across the globe for six weeks of intense ecumenical sharing and learning – first online for four weeks and then for two weeks in person onsite – as the World Council of Churches (WCC) recently gathered for its 11th assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany.

Reflections from GETI underscore friendship coupled with knowledge

Over 100 people including students, alumni, instructors, and guests from academic and theological institutions in Germany, Switzerland, and France gathered together to hear reflections as part of the Global Ecumenical Theological Institute (GETI) program culmination on 7 September during the World Council of Churches 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe.

Ukraine: Responding to humanitarian need

When the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, 2022, churches had already been responding to humanitarian need in the country for eight years, since the annexation of Crimea in 2014.  The work being undertaken by churches in meeting the needs of those displaced by the war is not new, but the scale is staggering as 14 million people have been displaced in the six months since the invasion began.

Uppsala 1968: The times, they were a’changing

By rights, it should have been Africa. The World Council of Churches’ (WCC) First Assembly had been held in Europe (Amsterdam), the second in North America (Evanston, USA), the third in Asia (New Delhi). Hopes were raised that Africa would be the next continent to host the council. But questions arose concerning acts of violence and military conflicts in Africa throughout the 1960s, from the Biafran region in Nigeria to Zanzibar and Eritrea, from Algeria to Mozambique and Rhodesia. And so the Fourth Assembly returned to the “safety” of Europe, to Uppsala in Sweden. In one of history’s ironies, Soviet tanks would roll into Prague one month after the assembly’s close.

Multifaith advocacy for the climate: Not really much time left

The signs are on the wall. The last decade was the warmest on record. Of the 20 warmest years, 19 occurred since 2000. And evidence indicates that this is due to the rise of greenhouse gas emissions produced by human activity. World’s scientists have warned that, at the current rate, the world could cross 1.5˚C hotter as soon as 2030. That’s less than a decade from now, well within the lifespan of most people alive today

Assembly participants come together as church families

With over 3,500 participants from all over the world, opportunities for “encounter” are rich and continuous at the 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) taking place in Karlsruhe, Germany. Intentional gatherings – from small “home” groups to regional meetings also help to connect participants and bring different perspectives to the concerns and hopes being raised under the Assembly theme, “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity”.