[World Council of Churches press release] Christine Housel, general secretary of the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF), in an introductory speech, has expressed her hope that the 35th General Assembly of the WSCF may offer better understandings of justice and peace issues. The WSCF assembly is currently underway in Bogotá, Colombia, until March 5.
The WSCF was a forerunner and continues to be a historic partner of the World Council of Churches (WCC) within the ecumenical movement.
“The current events in Colombia and the region will open up understanding of local and global dynamics around issues of peace, justice, positives and negatives of development, and the struggle to preserve and defend diversity of identities, and much more,” said Housel, an Episcopalian.
“At the same time, the WSCF has been seeking to deepen solidarity with Colombia and has been invited by the churches and ecumenical partners to play a key role in making visible the work for justice and peace in the country and to come alongside the Student Christian Movement (SCM), churches and ecumenical organizations, working to play a positive role,” she added.
“As we celebrate and explore the gifts of our diversity and the meaning of our unity, we are better positioned to fulfill our calling and unite what is distanced, mend what is broken, demonstrate love to all of God’s creation as we are united in one vision to live and share God’s peace, justice and love, which have no boundaries in this world,” said Housel.
Established in 1895, the WSCF is a global federation of student Christian groups, with members from diverse Christian traditions and other faiths.
The WSCF assembly is being held in Bogotá at the invitation of the WSCF Latin America and Caribbean region and churches and ecumenical partners in Colombia.
The event is held every 4 to 6 years and is the moment when participants gather to set the priorities and direction of the federation for the next years.
The WSCF brings together movements to discern the mission of motivating and training students as young ecumenical leaders to further “God’s peace and justice in the church and the world today”.
This year’s event is addressing the theme “We are many; We are one – Sent out to Build God’s Peace” – as a reaffirmation of the federation’s motto Ut Omnes Unum Sint (That they shall be one).
The assembly has gathered around 180 participants from all global regions, including delegates from the WSCF members, WSCF staff, Executive Committee members, WSCF – SCM Senior Friends, representatives of partner organizations and guests.