Message to the 11th General Assembly of the World Council of Churches from the WSCF
Dear Moderator Dr Agnes Aboum,
Acting General Secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca,
Elected General Secretary Rev. Prof Dr Jerry Pillay,
Members of the 11th General Assembly
On behalf of the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF), I would like to extend our greetings and congratulations to the World Council of Churches as you gather for the 11th General Assembly. We are very honoured to be with you as you continue to discern and reaffirm that Christ's love moves the world to reconciliation and unity.
Since its inception in 1895, the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF), the world’s oldest ecumenical youth and student movement, has formed and nurtured generations of young critically-minded ecumenical leaders in faithful service and witness to the mission of Jesus Christ in different parts of the world, encouraging young people from Protestant, Orthodox, Pentecostal, Roman Catholic and Anglican traditions to dialogue and cooperate for justice. As a forerunner of the World Council of Churches, the WSCF from the outset has been crucial in forming leaders for the churches.
Today on the occasion of the WCC’s 11th Assembly, we in the WSCF reaffirm our commitment to supporting the churches' mission work, helping revitalise and providing leadership formation in the call to service of the entire oikoumene. The council's leadership in the search for Christian unity has historically been a witness for all humanity. Its work in the mission field has shown people of faith and those who are not that the Reign of God and his justice seek together with everyone without distinction of any kind.
This shows us the importance of continually developing the role of the youth and students in the ecumenical movement. Their presence in church and society has envisioned the past and present of ecumenism: providing ecumenists, church leaders, world leaders, and theologians. Many of them have served the WCC.
Sisters and brothers, in this assembly, we celebrate and rejoice in the historical witness and the ecumenical path of the World Council of Churches, the witness that can help us to envision ecumenism in the 21st century. May our presence be a reminder of the essential role of young people as promoters of change, recalling that our federation was built by young student leaders when the world needed the voice of the gospel incarnated in the practice of justice and love.
We are proud to continue working with you, and we intend to strengthen our relations and our journey together under the remarkable heritage that our collective identity has left us, which led us to continue working together against the crises of planetary dimensions:
The climate crisis that dares the whole creation to survival, the struggle against all expressions of hatred wherever those expressions come and manifest, the struggle to eradicate all forms of discrimination that have served as an imperial weapon to oppress the marginalised.
We must continue promoting peaceful societies combating all forms of fundamentalisms, especially those coming from Christian societies, working for gender justice, and justice for all people, created in God’s image, and engaging in conversation and action against inequalities and the exclusion of billions due to an unjust economic system and development paradigm that preys on nature and people.
Today, gathered here, our responsibility for providing hope to the world is enormous, and many are listening and expecting from us. It is a Hope that is not empty but full of transformative promise.
The world's struggles are also the struggles of the churches, We can only do our mission if we do it with the youth, with the voices and actions of people on the margins, the women's movements, the indigenous people, the forced migrants and displaced, and all those whose lives and bodies have been historically undermined, who are most affected by the existing crises — all those who Christ loves to reach. Are we listening to the voices of people whose lives, in all their fullness and dignity, have been denied?
That is why we celebrate the challenge that the assembly's theme highlights; the love of Christ comes with sacrifices, reconciliation with a prophetic voice and unity with justice.
We will humbly accompany the decisions and actions of the council’s leadership and the churches that lead us toward transformation. Our prayers and well wishes are with you.
Ut Omnes Unum Sint!
Thank you so much.
WSCF General Secretary