“Working Together” hones collaboration to address the needs of the world

Making its 20th year, the “Working Together” meeting between the World Council of Churches (WCC) and specialized ministries is convening 3-4 May.

The meeting aims to strengthen collaboration and mutual support – particularly in relation to WCC programmatic work – and to enhance WCC planning and reporting mechanisms.

Occurring after the WCC 11th Assembly, this year’s Working Together will focus on assessing assembly outcomes and developing a WCC strategic plan for 2023-2030.

Specialized ministries—or church-related agencies involved in humanitarian, development, or disaster response work—are key WCC collaborators. During special sessions in the Working Together meeting, specialized ministries are helping the WCC identify on-the-ground issues related to health and healing, mission and evangelism, ecumenical formation, and many other facets of the WCC’s work.

Representatives from specialized ministries are also sharing their best practices and common challenges, on a practical level through dialogue and on a spiritual level through praying together.

Thirty-four organizations are participating in Working Together, making it one of the most highly attended. Specialized ministries are hearing about the process of the WCC strategic plan, and giving their input into setting the direction as the plan takes shape.

In an opening reflection, Marie Anne Sliwinski, senior director for Building Resilient Communities at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, spoke to those who feel that the world is regressing instead of progressing.

“I see hope and excitement in many people that we meet in our line of work,” said said. “I’m not saying we are the Messiah giving out hope and excitement everywhere we go but if they move from exhaustion to excitement and hope, maybe I could too.”

WCC general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay also reflected on the many challenging contexts in which we find ourselves. “Those are the conversations and questions we ask ourselves time and time again,” he said. “I think without partnerships we cannot really work and function and be successful in what we do.”

When we come to the table, we each bring something different, Pillay added. “But I am pleased to see in the last assembly–even before then—we have been able to navigate roads ahead in terms of what we do, what we say, how we navigate difficult issues,” he said. “Your reflections have been fantastically well-received.”

Photo gallery from the Working Together meeting

“Christ’s Love Moves the World to Reconciliation and Unity”, WCC Annual Review 2022

The 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches

Message of the WCC 11th Assembly, “A Call to Act Together”

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