Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), visited Finland this week, speaking to the Finnish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Erkki Tuomioja, about the situation in Ukraine and in the Middle East. Tveit was also one of the key speakers at the global partnership consultation organized by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (ELCF) from 31 March to 3 April in Järvenpää.
”The world does not need another cold war. We have to build bridges between people, churches, religions and countries,” Tveit said at the meeting with Tuomioja.
The WCC general secretary and other staff members attended the global partnership consultation titled “Your Kingdom Come” organized by the ELCF. Tveit spoke at the consultation addressing the theme “Challenges and opportunities of global Christianity”.
“With a sense of urgency, the willingness to share the gospel with others - in words and deeds - became a strong commitment amongst many believers,” Tveit said. “After the Second World War, the decline of the modern missionary era began to show up clearly. A deep sense of guilt also overwhelmed the missionary movement and resulted in missionaries' withdrawal. As one era in missions declined, a new era of world mission emerged,” he added.
Tveit went on to say that “in the midst of this transformation, there developed the ecumenical missiology, founding on the following principles; mutuality, sharing and partnership.”
“A true partnership means journeying together in our pilgrimage for justice and peace, together towards God's kingdom, searching, bringing and sharing the values of the kingdom of God."
The ELCF works with seven mission organizations, with more than three hundred missionaries serving around the world. The consultation has gathered more than 35 ELCF partner churches, representatives of ecumenical organizations like the WCC, the Lutheran World Federation, the Conference of European Churches and Finnish organizations.