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WCC executive committee meets in Denmark Opportunity to strengthen and increase ecumenical cooperation

12 February 2002

The forthcoming meeting of the executive committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC) will be held in Nyborg, Denmark, 19-22 February at the invitation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark and of the Church of Denmark's Council on International Relations. It is the first time since the WCC's eighth assembly, in Harare, Zimbabwe, 1998, that the WCC executive committee is meeting outside Geneva.

Referring to increased ecumenical cooperation with the churches in Denmark and the Nordic countries during recent years, WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Konrad Raiser welcomes the invitation to Denmark as an opportunity to "give visibility to these relationships and to strengthen them". "Among matters of ecumenical concern that have been high on the agenda of the churches in Denmark is the question of ecumenical solidarity with churches in Israel and Palestine and, more generally, with the Palestinian people. It is quite appropriate, therefore, that during its meeting in Denmark the executive committee should consider the scope and framework of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel," Raiser adds.

On 17-18 February, before the meeting in Nyborg, the members of the executive committee will have the opportunity to learn more about the life and work of the churches in Denmark. Exposure to three different areas of church work - interfaith dialogue, social work/diaconia and Christian education for children - are part of the pre-meeting visiting programme in Copenhagen, which starts with a eucharistic worship in the Lutheran cathedral of Copenhagen on Sunday, 17 February.

Welcoming WCC executive committee participants from all over the world is an opportunity for us to share what we have received as church and to show hospitality, says Rev. Ane Hjerrild of the Church of Denmark's Council on International Relations. "For us, this visit is a chance to be open to the reality of Christians in other parts of the world to receive information and inspiration as well as to share our reality with them. For Christians in Denmark, who are mainly Lutheran, it is an opportunity to meet people from different denominations as brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ Faced with differences within our unity, we will also have the opportunity to recognize our own situation, our own gifts, our own possibilities and, maybe, our own shortcomings," Hjerrild concludes.

The WCC executive committee has general responsibility for monitoring and overseeing the ongoing programmes and activities of the WCC. It comprises the moderator of the central committee, His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the See of Cilicia of the Armenian Apostolic Church (Antelias, Lebanon); its two vice-moderators, Dr Marion Best and Justice (Mrs) Sophia O.A. Adinyira, who also preside over the programme and finance committees of the central committee; and 20 other members.