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Reformation celebrations will be ecumenical and international, says German Protestant leader

The 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 should be a profoundly ecumenical, as well as European and international celebration, according to Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, chair of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD).

“With this clear distinction from all other commemorations of past centuries, we are sending a signal of reconciliation and a new beginning,” Bedford-Strohm said at a 9 May press conference in Berlin announcing events leading up to the anniversary on 31 October 2017.

The commemoration marks the day in 1517 on which Martin Luther is said to have posted his 95 theses denouncing church abuses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.

Luther’s actions set in motion events that led to the Reformation and the division of western Christianity into Roman Catholic and Protestant churches.

In recent years, however, Roman Catholics and Lutherans have reached agreement on the doctrine of justification, a key dividing issue between the papacy and Luther and his followers, and many doctrinal differences should no longer have a church-dividing character, said Bedford-Strohm.
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Posted: May 12, 2016 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=9100
Categories: WCC NewsIn this article: Reformation, WCC
Transmis : 12 mai 2016 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=9100
Catégorie : WCC NewsDans cet article : Reformation, WCC


Global meeting seeks inspiration from Reformation to transform world

Participants at the Reformation–Education–Transformation consultation in Halle, Germany. Photo: Falk WenzelMore than 120 people from throughout the world have gathered in the eastern German city of Halle to reflect on how insights from the Protestant Reformation 500 years ago can contribute to transforming the world today.

“We want to initiate and encourage a truly ecumenical and global dialogue on the achievements, current challenges and new learnings about the relevance of Reformation principles,” said the Rev. Cornelia Füllkrug-Weitzel, president of the German Protestant development service Bread for the World, at the opening of the 18-22 May conference.

The Halle gathering is the second stage of a “Twin Consultation” on “Reformation – Education – Transformation” that began with a conference in São Leopoldo in Brazil in November 2015.

In advance of the Reformation Jubilee in 2017, the project aims to examine the contribution of Reformation traditions and theology to strengthening and transforming civil society to promote justice, peace, sustainability and human rights, both locally and globally, with a special emphasis on the role of education.

“2017 will not be an event that looks back historically but an occasion to reflect where reform and reformation is needed today in church and society,” the Rev. Margot Kässmann, ambassador of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) for the Reformation Jubilee, told the Halle meeting.

The idea of holding two consultations in Brazil and in Germany – with some participants attending both meetings – is to reflect on the same thematic areas in two different global contexts as a contribution to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and its impact on society.
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Posted: May 19, 2016 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=9102
Categories: WCC NewsIn this article: Reformation, WCC
Transmis : 19 mai 2016 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=9102
Catégorie : WCC NewsDans cet article : Reformation, WCC


Global gathering says Reformation’s ‘transformative power’ can change the world today

Participants of the Reformation–Education–Transformation consultation in HalleA global gathering in the German city of Halle has called on churches to be inspired by the tradition of the Reformation to become agents of transformation.

“We came from different confessional and denominational traditions and together we sought to discover the transformative power of Reformation today, not as a past event but oriented to the future,” participants said in a statement at the end of the 18-22 May consultation.

Halle, in eastern Germany, lies in the heartland of the 16th-century Reformation of Martin Luther and his followers.

The Halle meeting gathered more than 120 people from 40 countries and was the second stage of a “Twin Consultation” on “Reformation – Education – Transformation” that began with a conference in São Leopoldo in Brazil in November 2015.
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Posted: May 23, 2016 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=9107
Categories: WCC NewsIn this article: Reformation, WCC
Transmis : 23 mai 2016 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=9107
Catégorie : WCC NewsDans cet article : Reformation, WCC


Norwegian Christians begin pilgrimage from Oslo to Trondheim

Rev. Knut Refsdal (left) was joined by several national church leaders at the start of the pilgrimage on 24 May. Photo: Hege Merete AndersenFrom 24 May to 21 June, the Christian Council of Norway (CCN) is promoting a pilgrimage from the Norwegian capital Oslo to Trondheim, an important Christian pilgrimage site and the location of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee meeting from 22-28 June.

CCN’s general secretary Rev. Knut Refsdal will walk the entire 29-day, 638.6-kilometer route, and is inviting local church leaders and congregations to join part or all of the pilgrimage. Several meetings and dialogue spaces are being organized at stops along the way.

“The main message we want to share along the way is that religious and philosophical leaders of each community can help promote mutual understanding and respect for shared values and therefore deplore violent extremism and hate speech,” said Refsdal.
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Posted: May 24, 2016 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=9109
Categories: WCC NewsIn this article: pilgrimage, spiritual ecumenism, WCC
Transmis : 24 mai 2016 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=9109
Catégorie : WCC NewsDans cet article : pilgrimage, spiritual ecumenism, WCC


Ecumenical educators plan global institute

Ecumenical educators from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific met from 22-24 May in Halle, GermanyStarting preparations for a Global Ecumenical Theological Institute (GETI) in the context of the 2018 World Mission Conference in Africa was a tangible result of a meeting of 20 ecumenical educators from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific. They met from 22-24 May in Halle (Germany) at the invitation of the World Council of Churches project on Ecumenical Theological Education (WCC-ETE).

Together they discussed ways of networking to enhance ecumenical theological education, which include curriculum development, sharing of learning models and new forms of partnerships between theological institutions and churches.

The meeting was motivated by the need to strengthen ecumenical education so theological institutions do not become more inward-oriented. To make the cooperation concrete, the group agreed to start the process for the formation of a network of ecumenical educators by contributing to preparations for GETI, planned for March 2018 in close collaboration with the Commission on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME) and the Mission and Evangelism team of the World Council of Churches (WCC).
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Posted: May 25, 2016 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=9111
Categories: WCC NewsIn this article: mission, theological education, WCC, WCC Commission on World Mission and Evangelism
Transmis : 25 mai 2016 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=9111
Catégorie : WCC NewsDans cet article : mission, theological education, WCC, WCC Commission on World Mission and Evangelism


WCC and WEA meet, explore areas of future cooperation

Representatives of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) and the World Council of Churches (WCC) met in the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey, Switzerland to explore and discuss possible areas of future cooperation. Photo: WCC/Marianne EjderstenThe leadership and representatives of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) and the World Council of Churches (WCC) met in the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey, Switzerland to explore and discuss possible areas of future cooperation.

The 20 May meeting featured introductions to the work of the WEA and the WCC, and participants reflected together on current developments in society and churches, and on evangelical and ecumenical movements. The WCC general secretary and WEA secretary general took part.

The two organizations shared current plans and discussed possibilities for closer collaboration on thematic areas such as “public witness and peace-building in inter-religious contexts” and “theological reflection, education and formation.”

This was the second meeting with the leadership and representatives, although it was the first meeting with both heads of the organizations present and where perceptions about both the WEA and WCC were discussed.
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Posted: May 26, 2016 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=9113
Categories: WCC NewsIn this article: WCC, World Evangelical Alliance
Transmis : 26 mai 2016 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=9113
Catégorie : WCC NewsDans cet article : WCC, World Evangelical Alliance


Faith-based communities increasingly effective in addressing humanitarian needs, says WCC general secretary

“There is a remarkable change towards acknowledging the role of faith-based communities and their resources to address humanitarian needs,” said Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), during the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), held in Istanbul, Turkey, 23-24 May.

“This is promising for those who need more assistance, and it is promising for the constructive cooperation needed,” he added.

The summit was the first of its kind in the 70-year history of the United Nations. The motivation came from the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, who called for humanity to be placed at the heart of global decision-making.

The framework of the summit was built upon the principle that, in order to deliver for humanity, stakeholders must act on five core responsibilities: preventing and ending conflict; respecting rules of war; leaving no one behind; working differently to end need; and investing in humanity.

The WCC was represented at the WHS by the general secretary Tveit and the council’s representative to the United Nations in New York, Rudelmar Bueno de Faria, as well as by several member churches, national councils of churches and partner organizations, such as ACT Alliance and its members.
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Posted: May 26, 2016 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=9115
Categories: WCC NewsIn this article: advocacy, justice, peace, WCC
Transmis : 26 mai 2016 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=9115
Catégorie : WCC NewsDans cet article : advocacy, justice, peace, WCC


President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima an opportunity for moral leadership

On the occasion of US President Barack Obama’s visit to the Japanese city of Hiroshima on 27 May, WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit sent greetings, noting that this is a time when signs of peace and justice are sorely needed.

“We pray that you will be able to talk with the aging survivors of the atomic bombing – the hibakusha – who live to tell their story in the determined hope that no one will ever again suffer their fate,” Tveit wrote. “They speak for the hundreds of thousands of people from Japan, Korea and other countries whose lives were shattered by the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”

Tveit urged Obama to share his vision of a world without nuclear weapons. “The World Council of Churches was founded in 1948, in the shadow of the atomic bombings,” Tveit wrote. “We believe that the case for the elimination of nuclear weapons is grounded in the responsibility to protect and care for goodness of all that God has created and for the dignity of all human beings, made in the image of God.”

Using the energy of the atom in ways that threaten and destroy life is a sinful misuse of the fundamental building blocks of God’s creation, Tveit added in the letter. “Churches in every region of the world refuse to accept that the mass destruction of other peoples can ever be a legitimate means of protecting one’s own people.”
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Posted: May 27, 2016 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=9117
Categories: WCC NewsIn this article: Barack Obama, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, peace
Transmis : 27 mai 2016 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=9117
Catégorie : WCC NewsDans cet article : Barack Obama, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, peace


WCC approves 2018 World Mission Conference in Tanzania

The next World Mission Conference is to be held in Arusha, Tanzania, 8-13 March 2018. The proposal to hold the conference was approved today by the World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee at its meeting in Trondheim, Norway. Bishop Geevarghese Mor Coorilos, Moderator of the WCC’s Commission on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME), presented the proposal. The conference theme is “Moving in the Spirit: Called to Transforming Discipleship.” More than 700 delegates from churches worldwide are expected to gather for the event hosted by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania. The conference is the first to be held in Africa since 1958, when it was hosted in Ghana. “CWME recognizes that the African continent is one of the most vibrant regions of world Christianity,” CWME Director, Dr Jooseop Keum explains. “It is important that the spirit of Africa pervade the conference from planning through to delivery. A significant numbers of speakers and participants will be from the region.” The mission executive adds that holding the conference in Africa will allow participants to learn about African ecumenical mission initiatives.
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Posted: June 29, 2016 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=9490
Categories: WCC NewsIn this article: evangelism/evangelization, mission, WCC Commission on World Mission and Evangelism
Transmis : 29 juin 2016 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=9490
Catégorie : WCC NewsDans cet article : evangelism/evangelization, mission, WCC Commission on World Mission and Evangelism


Reformation commemoration a ‘powerful symbol of hope’

Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm preaching at the 31 October service at Wittenberg's Castle Church. Photo: Gläscher/EKD

Church and political leaders have marked the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s Reformation in Wittenberg, Germany where on 31 October 1517 he published his 95 Theses denouncing church abuses.

“It was an act of liberation when, 500 years ago today, the Augustinian monk Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses in Wittenberg, perhaps even a few metres from here, on the door of this church,” Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, chairperson of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany, said in his sermon at the 31 October service at Wittenberg’s Castle Church.

“A spiritual renewal went out from Wittenberg, to people in Germany, Europe and worldwide. To men and women from all social classes,” said Bedford-Strohm.

The service opened with the singing of Luther’s hymn “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” whose words are inscribed around the tower of the Castle Church, and included music by 18th century composer Johann Sebastian Bach.

German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier and chancellor Angela Merkel joined church leaders at the service, including Cardinal Reinhard Marx, president of the German Bishops’ Conference, and the general secretary of the World Council of Churches, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit.
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Posted: October 31, 2017 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=9799
Categories: WCC NewsIn this article: Germany, Martin Luther, Reformation
Transmis : 31 octobre 2017 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=9799
Catégorie : WCC NewsDans cet article : Germany, Martin Luther, Reformation


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