A World Council of Churches (WCC) seminar has marked the strengthening of relationships between the WCC and the Global Christian Forum (GCF), affirming their distinctive and complementary roles in the quest for Christian unity. Held on 11 September in Geneva, Switzerland, the seminar brought together representatives of the WCC and GCF, along with members of other international ecumenical organizations. The GCF now represents diverse churches and Christian organizations, promoting encounters among churches and traditions which previously have not been in conversation with each other.
Quoting Paul’s letter to the Romans, Tveit stressed the need of “welcoming one another, appreciating one another and calling one another in Christian unity” despite differences in traditions and practices.
A WCC statement on unity, which will be presented at the assembly in Busan, observes that the “unity of the Church, the unity of the human community and the unity of the whole creation belong together.” Tveit added that “to seek Christian unity we have to recognize the importance of mutual accountability, which is the pulse of conciliar ecumenism. With this spirit, we can turn the challenges of division into opportunities and work together towards justice and peace.”
Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, member of the GCF committee and general secretary emeritus of the Reformed Church in America focussed in his presentation on the new developments in World Christianity: “We are living in the most significant times of change in Christian history, depicting a shift in the presence of the world’s Christians,” He argued that it is important to bring previously isolated Christian traditions like those of Evangelicals and Pentecostals into ecumenical encounters, focusing on shared values of spirituality.