Ecumenical Communion and Dialogue
The main commitment of MECC consists in seeking the visible unity and the full communion between Churches in the Middle East so that the World believes in the Good News. Therefore, the Theological and Ecumenical Department works on the promotion of the theological reflection and dialogue among the different Churches in the Middle East. It is also involved in the ongoing theological and ecumenical dialogues and programs on the international level, through a network of relations and partnership with the WCC, REO’s, Vatican, GCF and other ecumenical bodies or organizations.
MECC is committed to dialogue and activities which support interfaith relations, equitable citizenship and harmonious co-existence among people of diverse faith traditions, from high level dialogue among religious and political leaders, to grassroots efforts among youth that are aimed at breaking down barriers and increasing social integration across religious lines. The Theological and Ecumenical Department is providing all MECC departments with theological foundation and spiritual tools in order to accomplish this objective. The Department is also providing studies and reflection to spread the theological and ecumenical awareness throughout the Diakonia and Communication Departments.
The Department has four main Programs:
1. Theological commission and Advisory Group
2. Interfaith and Dialogue
3. Ecumenical formation
4. Family (Woman, Youth…)
The Middle East Council of Churches, represented by Ms. Karineh Sahakian, participated in the 39th Annual Meeting of the International Committee for the Fellowship of the Least Coin – ICFLC at the Center for the Evangelical Presbyterian Women Center in Abokopi -Accra, Ghana from 12th to 18th of October, 2019.
The MECC Theological and Ecumenical Department (TED) organized a spiritual meeting for the Council’s team in Syria on Friday, August 2, 2019. Father Gabi Hachem, the director of the TED, and Mr. Samer Laham the director of the Diakonia Department participated in this meeting which was entitled “Tabitha, Arise”.
A delegation of professors and students from the Priority Institute, TCD and DCIF met on Thursday August 1, the MECC Secretary General Dr. Souraya Bechealany and the MECC Director of the Theology and Ecumenical Department Rev. Fr Gaby Hachem at the Council's Headquarter in Beirut.
The MECC Theological and Ecumenical Department (TED) organized, an ecumenical program of Trauma Healing and Spiritual Counseling for pastors in Iraq on June 9 to 15, 2019. Eighteen priests, pastors, nuns, and laymen in leading positions of the local church institutions benefited from the five-days program which took place at the Chaldean Catholic Patriarchal Seminary of St. Peter, in Ankawa – Irbil.
A delegation of 16 students from the Catholic Institute of the University Aix-la-Chapelle in Germany accompanied by three of their professors, visited the MECC Headquarters in Beirut on Wednesday June 12, 2019.
At the invitation of the Danish diocese of Aalborg, a delegation from the Middle East Council of Churches conducted an Ecumenical visit (May 24-31, 2019) to learn about the Lutheran National Church, its service and life in Denmark and to acquaint the parishes and the believers with the situation of the Church in the Middle East, and the council’s humanitarian and social situation.
At the end of the International Ecumenical Youth Meeting held in Beirut on March 22-26, 2019, that hosted 1600 young people from 43 countries, the Middle East Council of Churches and the representatives of the Churches of Lebanon, together with the Taizé Ecumenical Community declare the following:
Brother Aloïs Löser, Prior of the Taizé Ecumenical Community in France visited the Middle East Council of Churches headquarters in Beirut and met its Secretary-General Dr. Souraya Bechealany and discussed together the preparations for the launch of the International Ecumenical Youth Meeting scheduled to be held in Beirut on March 22-26.
A delegation from the Danish Diocese of Viborg visited Lebanon in collaboration with the Danmission organisation. The group of 20 priests and leaders of the Danish Church, met the MECC director of Theological and Ecumenical department, Father Gabi Hachem, on Thursday March 14, at the Council’s Head Office- Beirut.
Dr. Souraya Bechealany: The Youth Shall realize that the Christian element contributes to human dignity, to religious freedom and to the freedom of all religious, ethnic, and cultural identities.
Monsignor Toufic Bou Hadir: During this Meeting, the youth will experiment “the wealth of diversity” and will discover that what they have in common exceeds by far their differences.
Brother Emile: The founder of the Taizé Community visited Lebanon for the first time in 1982 to meet the family of Ghasssibé Keyrouz
Beirut will be hosting the “International Ecumenical Youth Meeting” at the invitation of the Churches of Lebanon and the Middle East Council of Churches along with the French Ecumenical Taizé Community, from 22 to 26 March 2019, under the title “The Righteous shall grow like a Cedar of Lebanon”.
On Saturday, 7 July, 2018 the Middle East Council of Churches and Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant heads of Eastern Churches gathered in Bari, Italy at the invitation of His Holiness Pope Francis for a special ecumenical prayer service for peace in the Middle East and closed round-table discussion among the church leaders.