Sunday, 17 February 2008

Celebrating the WCC's 60th birthday

This afternoon at 16.00 the central committee will join with people from the local churches in Geneva's St Pierre Cathedral for a service to celebrate the WCC's 60th anniversary.
His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew will preach at the celebration this afternoon.

You can read about Patriarch Bartholomew's strong involvement in environmental issues on the Web site of Religion Science and the Environment. The site of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople also has a lot of information about this Orthodox Church and carries full texts of the Patriarch's 1st September messages. September 1st is creation or environment day in the Orthodox Church. Learning about this tradition has led other churches to try to have a "creation tide" or time for creation in their traditions. You can read more about this on the Christian Ecology Link site.
We need to learn from one another, both within the church and beyond the church. Learning about and from one another allows for more creativity, more humility (our own concerns cannot always be centre stage) and more effectiveness.
Our service of celebration this afternoon looks back over the past 60 years but also forwards to how we can renew the spirit of ecumenical learning in each new generation. In order to "stay together" we'll have to be willing to continue learning from one another.