“We will find a strength to act from a unity founded in Christ’s love, for it enables us to learn the things that make for peace, to transform division into reconciliation, and to work for the healing of our living planet,” delegates stated in their message, titled “A Call to Act Together.”
The 31 August to 8 September gathering brought together 660 delegates and more than 2,000 other participants from all regions of the world around the theme “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity.”
In their message, delegates warned of the manifestation in today’s world of the forces of human suffering – war, death, disease, and famine – described in the biblical book of Revelation.
“In their wake come injustice and discrimination, where those who have power often use it to oppress others rather than to build inclusion, justice, and peace,” the message stated.
The message warns of catastrophes arising directly from an irresponsible and broken relationship with creation and that has led to ecological injustice and climate crisis.
“As the climate emergency accelerates, so does the suffering experienced by impoverished and marginalized people,” the message continues.
Referring to the assembly theme, delegates stated that Christ’s love, “in answer to the cries of those who are suffering, compels us to come to him in solidarity and to respond and act for justice.”
They continued: “We are summoned to be reconciled in God’s love, and to witness to that love revealed in Christ.”
Nevertheless, Christians, and the structures that they have built, have also been complicit in the abuse of others, and must repent and join the movement of reconciliation, the delegates stated in the message.
In the message, delegates joined their voices with previous WCC assemblies in Amsterdam (1948) that “war is contrary to the will of God,” and in Nairobi (1975) that “racism is a sin against God,” and lamented that they had to repeat these statements.
“Yet continuing our pilgrimage together as an assembly of the World Council of Churches, our mood has been one of anticipation and hope, and even joy, because through the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ´s invitation remains open to everyone, in fact to the whole of creation,” the delegates stated.
“In our assembly, we have used many words, but from these, we have fashioned a new resolve. Now we ask God’s assistance to transform our commitments into action,” they said.
“We will find a strength to act from a unity founded in Christ’s love, for it enables us to learn the things that make for peace, to transform division into reconciliation, and to work for the healing of our living planet,” they asserted. “Christ’s love will sustain all of us in the task of embracing everyone and overcoming exclusion.”
Delegates said they longed for a wider movement, the reconciliation and unity of all humanity, and indeed of the entire cosmos.
“This would be a unity in which God establishes justice, an equal place for all, through which creation may be renewed and strengthened,” they stated.
Delegates committed themselves to working with all people of goodwill and invited all to become pilgrims together.
“For in Christ, all things will be made new. His love which is open to all, including the last, the least, and the lost, and is offered to all, can move and empower us in a pilgrimage of justice, reconciliation, and unity.”