The outgoing general secretary of the World Council of Churches, the Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia, spoke about his last six years in office and where he is headed next in his ecumenical ministry.
CT: How do you feel coming to the end of your tenure?
Kobia: I feel a sense of satisfaction that I am coming to the end of what I really consider to have been a long journey. The last six years as General Secretary, and before then having worked for the WCC for a long time, it gives me a sense of satisfaction that I have served and have given as much as I could give to an organization from which I have also received a lot. It has been a very enriching experience for me and coming to the end I do feel ready for the next phase of my ecumenical journey. more >>
Organizers of the 2013 World Council of Churches assembly stressed that the next meeting would bring together not only WCC members, but also representatives of other Christian traditions, including Pentecostals and Evangelicals still outside the WCC fold.
“Moving together towards a wider Christian family, a wider global Christian forum – that is our goal and we are moving towards this goal,” said Dr. Jong-wha Park of the assembly organizing committee.
“That’s why Pentecostals are invited, evangelicals are invited, ecumenicals are invited to Korea. This is the clear sign that we are working towards a wider ecumenical solidarity.” more >>
The Central Committee of the World Council of Churches has voted to hold its next General Assembly in Busan, South Korea, in 2013.
After hours of deliberation, the final vote was cast by more than a hundred members of the Central Committee in a secret ballot.
Busan came out on top with 70 votes, followed by Damascus in Syria with 59 votes in favor. There were no abstentions. more >>
The American Jewish Committee, one of the oldest Jewish advocacy organizations in the United States, denounced a statement made by the World Council of Churches General Secretary the Rev. Samuel Kobia who called Israel’s “occupation” of Palestinian territories “a sin against God.”
“Rev. Kobia parrots the same hypocritical statements regarding Israel that the WCC regularly issues, ignoring the root cause of Israel’s presence in the West Bank,” said Rabbi David Rosen, AJC’s international director of interreligious affairs, in a statement issued Friday.
The prominent rabbi pointed to the Six-Day War in 1967 when Israel battled against Egypt, Syria and Jordan to protect the Jewish state from being destroyed. As a result of the war, the West Bank, Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, the Sinai desert and the Golan Heights all fell under Israel’s control. The Sinai Peninsula was later returned to Egypt after a peace treaty was signed. more >>
GENEVA - Around 150 members of the World Council of Churches’ main decision-making body honored the nearly six-year tenure of outgoing general secretary Dr. Samuel Kobia with a farewell service Sunday.
The service, held in the WCC chapel in Geneva, took on a distinctly international flavor as hand drums accompanied African and African-American worship songs, and responses were sung by the congregation in the South American language of Guarani.
The main sermon was delivered by the Rev. Dr. Bernice Powell Jackson of the United Church of Christ in the USA, who thanked Kobia for his “leadership as an unwavering witness for justice and peace in the world on behalf of the WCC.” more >>
GENEVA – The newly elected general secretary of the World Council of Churches said that fulfilling Jesus’ prayer “that they may be one” remains the global ecumenical body’s primary task and can not be separated from its concern for justice, peace or creation.
The Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit told reporters at a meeting of the WCC’s Central Committee in Geneva that inter-church solidarity was all the more important for Christians living in difficult circumstances and that the WCC has a vital role to play in raising and strengthening the voice of other Christians.
“We are living in a time when there is a strong need for inter-Christian solidarity in this world,” Tveit said on Friday. more >>