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News from the World Council of Churches
8 - 14 May 2020

 

Church of Norway consecrates Olav Fykse Tveit as presiding bishop

Church of Norway consecrates Olav Fykse Tveit as presiding bishop

In historic Nidaros Cathedral, the ancient shrine and pilgrimage destination of medieval Trondheim, the Church of Norway on Sunday, 10 May 2020, consecrated the Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit as bishop of the Diocese of Nidaros and installed him as Preses or presiding bishop of its Bishops’ Conference.


Patriarch of Romania: “transform suffering into hope”

Patriarch of Romania: “transform suffering into hope”

In a video message, Patriarch Daniel of Romania addresses the faithful, reflecting that “the state of pandemic calls us to transform suffering into hope and isolation into a desire for more communion among people.” Due to the pandemic, state authorities have imposed strict measures of social distancing, of isolation and quarantine, which greatly change people’s lives and activities, the Patriarch observed .


In African communities, ‘there is no COVID-19 for a particular religion’

In African communities, ‘there is no COVID-19 for a particular religion’

Using lessons learned from building health-competent faith communities and responding to the HIV and AIDS epidemic, African church leaders are doing their best to help their communities cope with the novel coronavirus.


UN chief appeals to common humanity across all faiths, in tackling the coronavirus

UN chief appeals to common humanity across all faiths, in tackling the coronavirus

As the UN secretary-general António Guterres shared a message on 12 May with religious leaders about how our shared vulnerability to the coronavirus pandemic reveals our common humanity, World Council of Churches (WCC) leaders agreed that solidarity is a foundation of a meaningful global response.


WCC Executive Committee will meet online in June, Central Committee postponed until June 2021

WCC Executive Committee will meet online in June, Central Committee postponed until June 2021

The WCC Executive Committee will meet online on 1-3 June, while the WCC Central Committee meeting has been postponed until June 2021.


South Sudan Council of Churches urges people to adhere to public health guidelines

South Sudan Council of Churches urges people to adhere to public health guidelines

The South Sudan Council of Churches, in a pastoral message on 13 May, acknowledged that COVID-19 is a reality in South Sudan, and urged every citizen to make a personal commitment to fight it. “Our people must for sure understand that basic preventive measures by individuals and communities remain the most powerful tools to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” reads the message. “Therefore, unless each and every person works hard enough to quickly control the spread of this virus, it is likely to overwhelm us.”


Webinar addresses churches, migration and integration in Denmark

Webinar addresses churches, migration and integration in Denmark

The Migrant Network of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Denmark has started a series of webinars about church, migration and integration. The perspective is how to grow an international church in Denmark, and the discussion also centers on the global Christian fellowship.


Spiritual resources for uncertain times to be published by the WCC

Spiritual resources for uncertain times to be published by the WCC

As the world lurches through the coronavirus pandemic and its wide-ranging consequences, the World Council of Churches (WCC) will publish sets of resources for individuals, groups and faith communities to grapple spiritually with the new reality and come to terms with its meaning for their lives.


Dr Jurjen A. Zeilstra: Visser 't Hooft’s life “a fascinating adventure”

Dr Jurjen A. Zeilstra: Visser 't Hooft’s life “a fascinating adventure”

Dr Jurjen Zeilstra is a historian and theologian. His biography “Visser 't Hooft, 1900-1985 Living for the Unity of the Church” served as a dissertation in the humanities at the Amsterdam Free University in order to receive the degree of Ph.D. in 2018. Willem Visser 't Hooft led the World Council of Churches (WCC) during its formative stages. Below, Dr Zeilstra reflects on what it was like to study the life of Visser 't Hooft.


Latest issue of Ecumenical Review explores the “spirit of truth” in a digital age

Latest issue of Ecumenical Review explores the “spirit of truth” in a digital age

Technology is transforming the world, and the latest issue of The Ecumenical Review, the quarterly journal of the World Council of Churches (WCC), offers theological and ethical perspectives on the digital age.


WCC expresses shock and sadness over attacks in Afghanistan

WCC expresses shock and sadness over attacks in Afghanistan

The World Council of Churches expressed deep shock and sadness over the attack on a hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, which left at least 15 people - including two newborn babies - dead and many more injured. In a separate incident in the province of Nangarhar, a suicide bombing claimed the lives of at least 25 people and injured about 68 others, most of whom were participating in a funeral for a local police commander.


Pacific Conference of Churches on “the new normal”

Pacific Conference of Churches on “the new normal”

In a 5 May message entitled “The Story of our Pacific Household in the ‘New Normal,’ ” the Pacific Conference of Churches acknowledges those risking their lives to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and expressed condolences to those who have lost loved ones.


WCC presidents on Pentecost: “Waves of despair, tongues of fire”

WCC presidents on Pentecost: “Waves of despair, tongues of fire”

In a message on Pentecost, entitled “Waves of despair, tongues of fire,” the regional presidents of the World Council of Churches reflect on the mighty presence of God.


Faith-based organizations call for ceasefire to protect people from COVID-19

Faith-based organizations call for ceasefire to protect people from COVID-19

The Lutheran World Federation and Islamic Relief Worldwide issued on 11 May a call on all parties to lay down arms, institute an immediate ceasefire, and ensure humanitarian access in order to protect people from COVID-19.


South African Council of Churches: “God is with us even in these times”

South African Council of Churches: “God is with us even in these times”

Leaders of member churches in the South African Council of Churches wrote a pastoral letter to the people of South Africa, offering comfort and addressing the question of what will be the normal. “We write to say, God is with us even in these times of perplexing national pain,” reads the letter. “We applaud the scientific community, both here and at the World Health Organisation for the work they do in the face of a virus that is totally new to humanity; and we call on the nations of the world to support the WHO for the sake of all human society.”


“Working Together” meeting bonds WCC with specialized ministries

“Working Together” meeting bonds WCC with specialized ministries

A series of online Working Together meetings last week helped strengthen collaboration between the World Council of Churches (WCC) and its round table partner and specialized ministries, including ACT Alliance. The meetings, which normally takes place every May at the Bossey Ecumenical Institute was convened online by WCC acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca.


World Council of Churches, Middle East Council of Churches write letter appealing to EU for firm stance against annexing occupied Palestinian territory

World Council of Churches, Middle East Council of Churches write letter appealing to EU for firm stance against annexing occupied Palestinian territory

In a joint letter to foreign ministers that are part of the European Union, the WCC and Middle East Council of Churches appealed for a firm and principled stance by the European Union against any annexation by Israel of occupied Palestinian territory in the West Bank.


Vesak Day commemorated at the UN

Vesak Day commemorated at the UN

A virtual event on “The Contribution of Buddhism to Peace” was organised to mark the International Vesak Day at the United Nations on 7 May. The event was organised by the International Buddhist Foundation in Geneva (IBF), an interreligious partner of the World Council of Churches (WCC), under the leadership of its president Ven. Halyale Wimalaratne, in collaboration with the permanent missions of Sri Lanka and Thailand. Inaugurated by H.E.Tatiana Valovaya, Director General of the UN Office in Geneva (UNOG), the event drew Permanent Representatives and Deputy Permanent Representatives of more than 40 countries.


Rabbi Mark Dratch reflects on “the larger picture of God's love”

Rabbi Mark Dratch reflects on “the larger picture of God's love”

Rabbi Mark Dratch is the executive vice president of the Rabbinical Council of America. Below, he reflects on what has inspired him amid the pain of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as how we can work together to create a redeemed world.


Heads of churches in Sierra Leone express concern on the spate of violence

Heads of churches in Sierra Leone express concern on the spate of violence

In a message about the current security situation in Sierra Leone, representatives of the Christian community urged the political chaos be addressed immediately, even as the nation tries to stop the spread of COVID-19.


Patriarchs and heads of churches in Jerusalem deeply concerned about Israeli unilateral annexation plans

Patriarchs and heads of churches in Jerusalem deeply concerned about Israeli unilateral annexation plans

In a 7 May statement, Patriarchs and heads of churches in Jerusalem expressed their deep concern about Israeli unilateral annexation plans.


Religious and human rights leaders urge more relief for North Korea amid COVID-19

Religious and human rights leaders urge more relief for North Korea amid COVID-19

The National Council of Churches (USA) has joined with other humanitarian and human rights organizations in writing the US Congress to urge that obstacles keeping nongovernmental organizations from addressing the “devastating potential for COVID-19’s spread” within the nation of North Korea be removed.


 

New videos

Consecration greetings to Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit and the Church of Norway

New blog post


Rock at Nassar farm
Learning to live with the COVID-19 pandemic

 


New photos


 Thursdays in Black poster      
Church of Norway consecrates Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit as its presiding bishop

 
 

New resources



Thursdays in Black poster     
Prayers and resources for coping with Coronavirus

 
Thursdays in Black poster     
"Light of Peace", the Global prayer campaign for peace in Korea
 
 

New on Facebook


learning session
World Day of Prayer for Humanity


learning session
Pray with the #WCC



Gertrude Fefoame
#StayAtHome #PrayAtHome



Thursdays in Black
Consecration of Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit as presiding bishop of the Church of Norway


 

 

News in other languages



رسالة مشتركة لمجلس الكنائس العالمي WCC ومجلس كنائس الشرق الأوسط MECC الى الاتحاد الأوروبيّ:  اتخذّوا موقفًا حازمًا ضدّ قرار ضمّ الأراضي الفلسطينيّة إلى إسرائيل!

رسالة مشتركة لمجلس الكنائس العالمي WCC ومجلس كنائس الشرق الأوسط MECC الى الاتحاد الأوروبيّ: اتخذّوا موقفًا حازمًا ضدّ قرار ضمّ الأراضي الفلسطينيّة إلى إسرائيل!

وجه مجلس الكنائس العالمي WCC، ومجلس كنائس الشرق الأوسط MECC نداءً مشتركًا إلى الاتّحاد الأوروبي يحثانه فيه على اتخاذ موقف حازم في شأن قرار ضمّ الأراضي الفلسطينيّة إلى إسرائيل.


كنيسة النرويج تكرس أولاف فايكس تفيت رئيساً للأساقفة

كنيسة النرويج تكرس أولاف فايكس تفيت رئيساً للأساقفة

شهدت كاتدرائية نيداروس التاريخية، الرفات القديم ومزار المؤمنين في مدينة تروندهايم التي بُنيت في العصور الوسطى، يوم الأحد 10 أيار/ مايو 2020، تكريس القس الدكتور أولاف فايكس تفيت أسقفاً لأبرشية نيداروس وعُيِّن رئيساً للأساقفة لمؤتمر أساقفة الأبرشية.

Upcoming events

 

“A Light of Peace” prayer campaign for peace in Korea

“A Light of Peace” prayer campaign for peace in Korea

01 March - 15 August 2020 Worldwide

World Council of Churches invites member churches worldwide for global prayer for peace on the Korean Peninsula, “A Light of Peace”, from 1 March to 15 August.


Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

24 - 31 May 2020 Worldwide (southern hemisphere)

The theme for the week of prayer in 2020, “They showed us unusual kindness...” is inspired by Acts 28:2. The resources for the week have been prepared by members of different churches in Malta.


Executive Committee meeting (online)

Executive Committee meeting (online)

01 - 03 June 2020 Online meeting

The 25-person Executive Committee is the WCC governing body, with members from churches in every region, moderated by Dr Agnes Abuom. It meets twice a year to monitor ongoing work, supervise the budget and deal with policy matters referred to it by the Central Committee.


Teaching Ecumenism – International Conference (postponed)

Teaching Ecumenism – International Conference (postponed)

10 - 13 June 2020 Ecumenical Institute at Bossey (Switzerland)

From 10-13 June 2020, the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Institute at Bossey hosts an international conference on ‘Teaching Ecumenism in the Context of World Christianity’.


Interreligious Summer School Bossey (cancelled)

Interreligious Summer School Bossey (cancelled)

28 June - 18 July 2020 Ecumenical Institute at Bossey

Applications for the Interreligious Summer School of the WCC's Ecumenical Institute Bossey are open until 29 February 2020.


GEM School 2020: Ecumenical School on Governance, Economics and Management for an Economy of Life (now online)

GEM School 2020: Ecumenical School on Governance, Economics and Management for an Economy of Life (now online)

17 - 28 August 2020

Current and future leaders representing churches worldwide are invited to apply for the Ecumenical School on Governance, Economics and Management for an Economy of Life (GEM School). Aim of the training is strengthening the voice of churches on global economics and their advocacy for an Economy of Life.


Executive Committee meeting

Executive Committee meeting

21 - 22 June 2021 Geneva, Switzerland

The 25-person Executive Committee is the WCC governing body, with members from churches in every region, moderated by Dr Agnes Abuom. It meets twice a year to monitor ongoing work, supervise the budget and deal with policy matters referred to it by the Central Committee.


Central Committee meeting

Central Committee meeting

23 - 29 June 2021 Geneva, Switzerland

The Central Committee serves as the chief governing body of the WCC until the next assembly, meeting every 2 years. It is responsible for carrying out the policies adopted by the Assembly, reviewing and supervising WCC programmes and the budget of the Council.

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The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, today the WCC brings together 350 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing more than 550 million Christians in over 120 countries, and works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church. The WCC acting general secretary is Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca, from the Orthodox Church in Romania.

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