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President's Reflection

The World Council of Churches 11th General Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany has come to an end. 

The theme “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity”  shaped the gathering.  This rich and hopeful theme and was expressed in the life and focus of the Assembly. 

This was evident in our times of worship and prayer.  The Christian church is rich in culture, language, colour, and perspective. Each each morning and evening we could see this as we worshiped and celebrated our Christian faith and identity. We did this as the family of God, singing in each other’s songs, and with styles of worship that affirmed orthodox traditions, traditional worship, and contemporary worship. The music had energy, songs were sung with joy, and it was a reminder that the church is global and not captured by any one culture.

Another deep and rich encouragement was the link between worship and Bible study. Scripture was acted out; it was explored, and we met in small home groups. In these times we reflected on scripture and the life of the churches we represented. The studies were drawn from the Gospels and were linked to the thematic focus of each day.

The assembly met with the war in the Ukraine in the foreground. This was made real with the presence of people directly impacted by the war. This was not the only very sensitive matter that needed to be faced. What happened was intentional listening and the seeking of consensus. This was not an easy process. Not everyone was happy with every aspect of the outcome.  In all the discussions we stayed centred in ‘Christ’s Love’.

Finally, the Assembly served as a strong and graphic reminder that the Ecumenical movement has at its core the pattern, energy and dynamic of relationships – between people, and across cultures and church traditions.

We are in Christ connected to each other it is this that builds reconciliation and unity.   

Rev. John Gilmore

NCCA President 

 

 

 

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