August 23 2018
Amongst hundreds of pilgrims celebrating the 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches were several Methodists, rightly so, since Methodists have been actively engaged in the WCC since the beginning to today. The Prayer Service took place in the Nieuwe Kerk in the centre of Amsterdam, where August 23, 1948 the WCC was officially founded. In his sermon in the Prayer Service WCC General Secretary Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit referred to the beginning saying: “The assembly message from Amsterdam shows that the delegates were bold in speaking to the reality of the world. Their faith was a hope, against the realities of many of their recent experiences.” Receiving a pair of sandals, the participants were reminded that the pilgrimage has to continue. In her meditation leading to the opening prayer, Dr. Agnes Abuom from Kenia, the first female moderator of the WCC Central Committee, said: ““My eyes hurt when the creation you so love and cherish is abused and misused. I hear the cries of the men and women; boys and girls in the slave markets, on the run from violence; shouting: ‘Where is God?’“ Young people plaid an active role in the celebration, they offered perspectives as pilgrims coming from various corner of the world and, through a dance, they illustrated that discipleship means to imitate Christ and to share Christ with others.
In the morning at August 23, 2018, many participants met in the Protestant Theological University to attend a Symposium on “Hospitality: On a Pilgrim’s Way of Justice and Peace”, afterwards joining a Peace Walk to several places in the city of Amsterdam. Reports on the events can be found at https://www.oikoumene.org/en/press-centre/news/pilgrims-gather-from-far-and-wide-to-celebrate-70-years-of-wcc