WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit and the moderator of the WCC Central Committee Dr Agnes Abuom urged people and churches to give highest priority to “doing whatever we can do to protect life” and ”ask churches not to have public services tomorrow as this can become hubs of transmission of the virus” and to follow strictly the rules and guidelines from authorities based on WHO guidelines.
Tveit and Abuom ask the fellowship to reconsider their way of working. “We must also be particularly aware that exactly what we normally do, in community, is what we should not do now if we want to protect life. We value togetherness in worship and Christian fellowship. But in this time of crisis, and out of love for each other and the neighbor, we should not gather in great numbers together, if at all, nor touch or embrace each other.”
They added: “This is a time to touch each other’s hearts, by what we say, what we share, what we do – and what we do not do – to protect the life God loves so much. In that love, we must adapt our modes of worship and fellowship to the needs of this time of the pandemic, in order to avoid the risk of becoming sources of transmission rather than means of grace.”
Tveit and Abuom invite the fellowship to make the Sunday as a day for prayers for the most vulnerable people as refugees, elderly and people affected by COVID19, to pray for the entire fellowship, and one human family worldwide.
Tveit and Abuom “commend to all of you the advice and practical recommendations offered by intergovernmental and governmental health authorities to help protect the vulnerable in our communities and others.”