World Council of Churches decides upon theme for next Assembly

The ecumenical commitment to justice and peace will inform much of the World Council of Churches’ deliberations at its next General Assembly after the theme was confirmed today.

The theme of “God of life, lead us to justice and peace” was agreed by members of the WCC Central Committee following several days of discussions at the WCC’s headquarters in Geneva.

The WCC said the theme was “not merely a slogan or motto” for the Assembly but would provide a focus for theological reflection, worship and meditation.

There had been suggestions from some Central Committee members that the theme be combined with an alternative theme presented early on in the Geneva meeting, “In God’s world, called to be one.”

WCC General Secretary the Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit expressed his support for the outcome of the vote.

“Seeking justice and peace is a call to unity – and may be clearly interpreted as such,” he told delegates.

Welcoming the selection, CC member Carmencita Karagdag from the Philippine Independent Church noted that it was the first Assembly theme to include the words “justice” and “peace”.

Translations of the theme in additional languages, including Korean, will be made available in the coming weeks.

Metropolitan Mor Eustathius Matta Roham, a member of the CC and Assembly Planning Committee, said: “We are addressing the whole world. This will be read in many different places, by Christians and non-Christians. We must be sure that the theme will be clearly stated in all languages.”

The 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches will take place in Busan, South Korea, in 2013.