Sending service in the Ecumenical Centre 2024

WCC general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay during the sending service in the Ecumenical Centre on 14 June 2024.


Those gathered also prayed with the people and churches of Botswana and Zimbabwe as part of the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle. 

As we gather this day here in this chapel, we recall with gratitude, all who have worked and walked together here in the Ecumenical Centre,” they prayed. We remember the many moments of sharing: song and laughter, food and drinks, tears and passion, faith and doubt, and dreams and hopes.”

Former WCC acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca offered a reflection. As he spoke about the Ecumenical Centre, he reflected on what it means to be at the centre of things. “ In our way of thinking, we are struggling to be always in the centre of all things: to be visible in the media, to have people speak about us and of our deeds which we think are important, to be relevant and have impacting results,” he said. 

But God’s logic is the opposite. “Dear friends, you are about to leave temporarily this historic and blessed place which is to be refreshed and renovated but before long you will come back,” he said. “Both the present staff and the retired ones, we remember in prayer and with gratitude the many years we have met and prayed together in this place which became the house of our togetherness and hope to meet again in three years’ time for the prayer of renewed dedication.”

Sauca addressed the anxiety and nostalgia people may feel about their place of work. “Yet, as pilgrim people, just think that soon you will return,” he said. “For a pilgrim, things can never be expected to be the same.”

As the Ecumenical Centre building  closes for renovation, current and retired colleagues gathered to thank God for all the churches, partners, and people that have served the one ecumenical movement from the historic location.

The Ecumenical Centre was established as a global hub for inter-church cooperation and development,” noted World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay. It has been a visible sign of unity and common witness for nearly 60 years.”

In 2010, the WCC and Implenia embarked on the Green Village property development project to contribute to the renewal of international Geneva. The project includes six new buildings, each named for a city that hosted a global climate summit – Montreal, Kyoto, Stockholm, Durban, Rio, and Lima.

The project foresees the renovation and construction of a new Ecumenical Centre called Lima, in which the historic chapel, Visser t’ Hooft Hall, grand foyer, and Brugger gardens will be preserved,” explained Pillay. For the next three years, the WCC, its sister organizations and tenants, will work from the Kyoto building.”

After the sending service, a fellowship time featured a time of remembrance and celebration in Visser ‘t Hooft Hall. A photographic show featured milestone moments over the decades. 

Read the reflection from Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca 

Liturgy for the Sending Prayer at the Ecumenical Center Chapel, 14 June 2024

Photos from the Sending prayer at the Ecumenical Centre

Video recording of the WCC Ecumenical Center sending service

Group photo

Sending prayer gathered current and former staff of WCC and sister organizations at the Ecumenical centre.