“Your passion for justice and hope for unity” will inspire many
(LWI) –"It is with great joy and gratitude that we celebrate your installation today as General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC). May God give you strength, wisdom, perseverance, and joy as you live into this call and begin this period of transition."
With these words, Rev. Dr Anne Burghardt, The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) General Secretary, congratulated Rev. Prof. Jerry Pillay upon his installation today as WCC General Secretary. She said Pillay's "faith story, growing up in South Africa, experiencing the conflicts and the violence of divisions, your passion for justice and hope for unity will inspire not only the WCC but all of us in our various organizations and church bodies."
In a message shared with new WCC leader, Burghardt assured him that "the LWF comes alongside you in this challenge and call to embody justification as justice, a call addressed to us all as individuals, as churches, as communions."
Pillay, a member of the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa, preached at the installation service in Geneva's Ecumenical Center Chapel. Guests included members of the South African Council of Churches, as well as local religious and civic leaders, United Nations officials and representatives of other partner organizations working closely with the WCC.
Lutheran Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, moderator of the WCC Central Committee said: “The celebration is an opportunity to seek God’s blessing for a new term of leadership and to give thanks for the WCC fellowship of member churches’ continued witness for justice, reconciliation, and unity.”