Regional ecumenical leaders convene at Bossey to share concerns, strengthen bonds


Source: World Council of Churches

Leaders of eight regional ecumenical organizations are meeting with the World Council of Churches (WCC) at the Bossey Ecumenical Institute on 2-4 July. In addition to the WCC, organizations represented include the All Africa Conference of Churches; Christian Conference of Asia; Caribbean Conference of Churches; Conference of European Churches; Canadian Council of Churches; Middle East Council of Churches; National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA and Pacific Conference of Churches.

In addition to sharing news and concerns from each region, the group will identify common concerns such as peace in the Middle East, climate justice, racism, and the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, among others. Participants will also determine and plan opportunities for cooperation and joint action.

WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit said: “We have been listening to the updates from the different regions and we have seen more clearly what unites us. We have become mutually accountable to one another and to our common calling and mission.”

Tveit added: “We discussed practical cooperation across the regions and the role of the WCC is to be the facilitator and the coordinator of the one ecumenical movement.”

A working group will present the Guiding Principles for Relationships and Cooperation between the WCC and the Regional Ecumenical Organizations, and the group will have an opportunity to discuss that text as well.

Tveit underlined that the WCC will  invest in more staffing capacity in relation to the regional work to develop and facilitate closer collaboration.

The ecumenical leaders will also receive and share ways of strengthening their communication together, and will hear an update on preparations for the WCC 11th Assembly to be held in Karlsruhe, Germany in 2021.

Also on the agenda will be a presentation from the ACT Alliance, and an update on the regional and annual foci of the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace. Leaders of regional ecumenical organizations will also have the opportunity to meet with individual WCC staff.