Bishop Dr Heinrich Bedford-Strohm elected as WCC moderator: “we are one church in this global world”
The World Council of Churches (WCC) central committee has elected Bishop Dr Heinrich Bedford-Strohm of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria as its new moderator.
Bishop Dr Heinrich Bedford-Strohm of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria elected as the new moderator of the WCC central committee. Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC
08 September 2022
The central committee also elected two vice moderators, Rev. Merlyn Hyde Riley, Jamaica Baptist Union; and H.E. Archbishop Dr Vicken Aykazian, Armenian Apostolic Church, Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.
Riley is acting general secretary of the Jamaica Baptist Union and a graduate of the Bossey Ecumenical Institute. Aykazian is known for his ecumenical work for both global and Armenian causes, including the recognition of Armenian genocide, the preservation of Armenian monuments, and statements of solidarity with Armenia and Artsakh
Rev. Merlyn Hyde Riley from Jamaica Baptist Union elected as one of two vice moderators of the WCC central committee. Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC
Bedford-Strohm, as moderator, will serve as the chief governance officer of the WCC, and will have primary responsibility for assuring the coherence of the work of the central committee and of the executive committee, and for assuring that the ethos of consensus characterizes all aspects of the governance of WCC.
Bedford-Strohm expressed how honored he is to have been elected to the position. “The ecumenical movement is my passion,” he said. “It has been my life for a long time.”
He added that the many relationships with people across the world are a big source of joy. “That is my personal reason,” he said. “But I also have a reason for being happy about this election—the reason that is directed toward the future of the church.”
H.E. Archbishop Dr Vicken Aykazian, Armenian Apostolic Church, Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, elected as one of two vice moderators of the WCC central committee. Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC
The church can never be provincial or national, he urged. “The church is always universal,” he said. “The church can only witness Jesus Christ when we make this visible: that we are one church in this global world.”
It’s a world that is struck by so many challenges, he said. “Where people are suffering, where people cry out for justice, the church must be an agent to give them a voice and to make visible how the church can be the salt of the earth and the light of the world.”
The moderator has primary responsibility for chairing sessions of the central committee and of the executive committee, sharing this role with the vice-moderators. Together, the moderator, vice moderators, and acting general secretary comprise the leadership of the central committee.
Livestream of the WCC 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany (https://www.oikoumene.org/assembly/assembly-live)
Photos of the WCC 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany (https://oikoumene.photoshelter.com/galleries/C0000VFYoZ6eMlZc/WCC-11th-Assembly-Karlsruhe-Germany)
WCC 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany (https://www.oikoumene.org/about-the-wcc/organizational-structure/assembly)
Video: Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm on his election as new moderator of the WCC central committee (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RVpw_bQzMY)
Video: Bischof Heinrich Bedford-Strohm zu seiner Wahl zum neuen Vorsitzenden des ÖRK-Zentralausschusses (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rC_auf-T2uM)
See more (https://oikoumene.org/)