WCC acting general secretary: resilience of churches has been “inspiring and transforming”

Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca, acting general secretary of the World Council of Churches. Photo: Ivars Kupcis/WCC

World Council of Churches (WCC) acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca, in his report to the online WCC central committee on 9 February, expressed deep appreciation for the WCC governing body, and for the global fellowship of churches, acknowledging the deep losses during the past year while also offering hope for transformation.

Sauca expressed regret that the central committee could not meet in person in Geneva as hoped, but thanked God for providing another way to meet – to pray together, to share with one another and to move together.

“Your commitment to the WCC fellowship of member churches and the one ecumenical movement is remarkable,” he said to the central committee.

With the WCC 11th Assembly just seven months away, the theme “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity,” resonates ever more deeply, said Sauca.

“The theme announces the love of God in Christ for all creation,” he said. “It speaks to the heart of our faith and the reason for our fellowship. It inspires our common calling to walk, pray and work together for justice and peace – for reconciliation and unity – for renewal and healing.”

Sauca acknowledged that the world is living through an extraordinary time – a time of great loss. “The commitment and resilience of the churches to continue their ministry and diaconal service to all God’s people has been inspiring and transformative,” he said. “It continues to amaze me how much we have achieved together as a fellowship of churches in spite of the pandemic.”

What gives him hope in times of uncertainty? The life and witness of the WCC member churches, he said. “The work of this central committee will also strengthen our foundation – both spiritually and in terms of the decisions you will make by consensus,” he said. “The assembly has the chance to explore how Christ’s love opens a horizon of hope.”

This biblical and theological approach also obliges us to enter into dialogue with people of other faiths and people who have no faith, Sauca concluded, because we are all members of the same human family.

“I pray that as we journey to Karlsruhe and beyond the WCC 11th Assembly, our pilgrimage will continue as a response to God’s amazing love for all creation,” he said. “I pray that the love and compassion of Christ will inspire the churches’ commitment to reconciliation and unity, for the whole human family.”