WCC general secretary preaching

WCC general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay delivered a homily in St Peter’s Cathedral in Adelaide, Australia, on 23 June 2024.


Pillays message centered on the knowledge that Jesus is with us, in the storms of life, and during rough and tough times. We are not alone, never alone,” said Pillay. He is always with us even when it does not feel that way sometimes.”

And Jesus poses a question to us in our storms in life: do you still have faith?

We find in Jesus one so close to God, so beloved of God, so trusting of God, as to banish fear and engender courage equal to the elements,” Pillay said. With Jesus, and through him, we too have access to such faith.”

It is not primarily a matter of beliefs, Pillay continued. No, faith is falling in love with God, trusting God and Gods compassion with our lives and destiny,” he said. Despite suffering, tragedy, and even death, we affirm with gratitude Gods gift of life, and we work tirelessly to protect, support, and nurture it.”

Rough seas will come, and winds will howl, Pillay continued. As disciples, we huddle in our ships, hoping to make it to shore, with faith not so much in the outcome as in Gods accompaniment,” he said. Perhaps that is why the symbol of the ecumenical movement is a ship sailing on the waves, guided only by a mast in the shape of a cross, our sails trusting the winds of Gods Spirit.”

Jesus is in the boat, Pillay said. God is with us,” he said. He is with you right now, right in your storm taking you through.”

Our faith is neither arbitrary nor naive, Pillay said. Nor is our hope some simple-minded optimism,” he continued. Christs triumph over death and his continued presence among us, bringing Gods compassion: that is the basis for a hope we can embrace in ourselves and offer to the world. It changes everything!”

The times in which we live test our faith against the elements, Pillay acknowledged. No litany can fully capture the depth and magnitude of the challenges humankind faces today,” he said. 

Our communities of faith become bearers of hope and agents of reconciliation, Pillay said. We step up and out to be advocates for justice, makers of peace, counsellors of unity, catalysts for creative engagement at all levels,” he said. This way of life is embodied in the ecumenical Pilgrimage of Justice, Reconciliation, and Unity.”

Read a Homily by the WCC General Secretary in St. Peter’s Cathedral in Adelaide

WCC general secretary addresses 11th Forum of National Council of Churches in Australia (WCC news release, 23 June 2024)

Photo gallery: visit of the WCC general secretary to Australia


Congregants at St Peter’s Cathedral in Adelaide, Australia on 23 June 2024.