World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit spoke on 12 November in Bonn, Germany before the synod of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), where he offered greetings and expressed appreciation for the EKD’s commitment to justice and peace.
Seeing a clear ecumenical profile to how churches have marked 500 years of Reformation in the past year, Tveti observed that churches worldwide have hope that they can shape the future together. “The churches of the Evangelical Church in Germany can be proud of what they have accomplished,” he added. “I see important signs pointing to a new awakening in the ecumenical movement – both here in Germany and in the relationship between the World Council of Churches and the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church worldwide.”
Tveit also conveyed news from the climate justice talks (COP23) also being held in Bonn.
“We have stood up for climate justice, first in Paris and now here in Bonn,” said Tveit. “Against this backdrop, many today are calling for a ‘green Reformation’ as a sign of hope against the fear and anxiety of our time.”
The EKD’s role within the WCC is also important for the future, Tveit continued. “Both the EKD and the WCC have very concrete ideas on how to continue our cooperation on refugee aid, migration and integration,” Tveit said. “Our aim is to overcome widespread fear and uncertainty and examine prejudices in the light of reality. The churches have an opportunity to shape narratives and discourses, and hence policy.”
The Evangelical Church in Germany has an important voice within the WCC, Tveit concluded. “Trusting in the wisdom of the living Word of God, I would like to urge all of us to move forward with our cooperation with greater determination and resolution,” he said. “I would like to thank the EKD and its member churches from the bottom of my heart for their extraordinary support and their confidence in the work of the World Council of Churches.”