A Norwegian theologian was formally installed on Tuesday as the new head of the World Council of Churches.
During his installation service, the Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit pronounced "Nothing except Jesus Christ, and him crucified" as his first unity call to the worldwide ecumenical fellowship.
"The cross is and will forever be the sign of the church," the new general secretary said. "This is the symbol that we have together, the symbol of what we have together, the symbol of what the churches have to give to the world. From the beginning to the end." more >>
NEW DELHI – Christians from the Church of North India on Friday kicked off a three-day program to celebrate the 40th year anniversary of their unity.
The Nov. 27-29 event marks "40 years of Unity, Witness and Service" of CNI, which is a union of Protestant churches that merged in 1970 in Nagpur.
"This is the time to celebrate thanking God for what He has done and asking forgiveness for what we have done. This is also the time to seek His direction to do what He wants us to do," said CNI General Secretary the Rev. Enos Das Pradhan in his keynote address. "It is necessary to introspect and retrospect so that we can work more effectively for His coming kingdom." more >>
It's difficult to rejoice, pray or even give thanks when facing the world today.
But Christians from a wide spectrum of churches were challenged to do just that.
"Common sense would say, in the face of the world today, rejoicing is naïve," Presbyterian theologian Dr. Margaret Aymer told an ecumenical group Tuesday, according to Presbyterian News Service. "Common sense would say, in the face of the world today, prayer is ineffectual. Common sense would say, in the face of the world today, giving thanks is learned powerlessness." more >>
The head of the World Council of Churches preached to a North Korean congregation Sunday, emphasizing the importance of cooperation and unity in a country known for its reclusiveness and for having the most heavily militarized border in the world.
By invitation of the Korean Christian Federation of North Korea, WCC General Secretary Dr. Samuel Kobia shared with the nearly 200 members of Bong Soon Church in Pyongyang the letter that the Apostle Paul had written to members of the new church in Corinth at a time when problems of divisions had emerged.
“There are two main learnings I want us to reflect on this morning,” said Kobia on the first day of a four-day visit. “The first is that we are called to take care of each other. The second is to recognize the need for nurturing the unity which is given to us by Jesus Christ.” more >>
The general secretary of the World Council of Churches will begin his pastoral visit to churches in North Korea on Saturday.
Responding to the invitation of the Korean Christian Federation of North Korea, the Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia will visit the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea from Oct. 17 to Oct. 20. During his stay, the WCC head and the accompanying delegation will meet with churches as well as government officials to learn about the situation of congregations in the reclusive state, according to WCC.
Kobia is also scheduled to preach at Bong Soo Church in Pyongyang. more >>
More than 120 theologians from various Christian traditions concluded on Tuesday a meeting in Greece where they discussed ecumenism and the call to be one church.
The weeklong meeting of the World Council of Churches' Faith and Order Commission was considered to be a "landmark in ecumenical dialogue," according to Dr. John Gibaut, director of the commission.
On the opening day of the Oct. 7-13 meeting the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians around the world, acknowledged the unity of the Church is a "never-ending search, an ever-unfolding journey." But he added that their ongoing pursuit of unity is "a testimony to the fact that what we seek will occur in God’s time and not our own." more >>