Ecumenical Weekend in Uppsala, Sweden, on 2-4 November
The World Council of Churches (WCC) held an ecumenical weekend in Uppsala, Sweden, the first week in November.
There were several meetings in the student town for the Executive Committee and the global network ACT Alliance within WCC. The weekend was also a common celebration of the foundation of WCC in Amsterdam 70 years ago, 1948, and of the fourth General Assembly of WCC in Uppsala 1968, 50 years ago. The theme for the Assembly in 1968 was “Behold, I make all things new” from the Book of Revelation 21:5 and the same theme with its new applications for the Church and the world today was repeated during the weekend. The organizers were the Christian Council of Sweden, Church of Sweden (lutheran).and Uniting Church in Sweden.
On the 2nd November the Nordic Faith and Order Network met for an internal gathering, where sr Madeleine Fredell OP gave an appreciated address with the titel “Marks of the Second Vatican Council, 1962 – 1965, on the General Assembly of The World Council of Churches in Uppsala 1968”. You can find her address here http://www.dominikansystrarna.se/viewNavMenu.do?menuID=14
During the following day around 150 persons participated in a program with lectures and seminars on today’s challenges for the Church, such as polarizations, protectionism, racism etc., and the need for unity and solidarity between Christians towards such dangerous trends. Among the speakers can be mentioned Agnes Aboum, moderator of the WCC:s Central Committee, Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the WCC and Antje Jackelén, archbishop of Church of Sweden.
The last day, on Sunday the 4th November, a festive ecumenical prayer, open for everybody, under the theme “Behold, I make all things new”, was held in Uppsala Cathedral. The service, where all the church families participated in one way or another, was fortifying and gave hope for all what the churches may be able to do together. Olav Fykse Tveit preached over the text from Matthew 5: 13–16, “You are the salt of the earth …” He finished his sermon with these words: “The ecumenical movement of love appears with saltiness and clarity. It all began with Christ’s love and Christ’s call to share this love. That is why we seek unity, not for the sake of our own comfort and peacefulness, but because the world needs the true signs of love.” You can find the whole sermon here
Also the music in the prayer service was ecumenic, as the Lutheran Uppsala Cathedral Singers and the Catholic Sankta Eugenia vocal ensemble sang together beautifully. Sr Katrin Åmell OP, who as a young student was a steward at the Assembly 1968, read one of the intercessions and participated in the procession.
If you are interested you can see the whole prayer service live here
And you can read more from the ecumenical weekend and also see some more photos here
May they all be one!
Sr Katrin Åmell OP