February 8-14, 2007
The WSCF officers and staff met at the Inter-Regional Office of WSCF in Geneva, Switzerland from 8 to 14 February 2007. The seven-day meeting included discussions and sharing of the Federation’s programme plan and activities for 2007, visits and meetings with ecumenical partners and groups based in Geneva, worship and bible studies on the theme Migration, training and inputs on topics relevant to the work of the staff.
Highlights of the formal meeting were discussions on the future of the Ecumenical Assistance Programme (EAP) and WSCF relationship with EED, reports and sharing from all the staff, WSCF governance and issues related to staff/personnel led by the officers, plans for the Migration Programme and global programme, the ExCo Meeting in June 2007, preparations for the General Assembly in 2008, and the proposed WSCF fund-raising strategy prepared by SCM Canada senior friend and consultant, Robert Brukner.
The group met with WCC General Secretary, Dr. Samuel Kobia, and youth staff, Natalie Maxson, where possibilities of joint efforts and cooperation were discussed to highlight the role of young people in the ecumenical movement in the WCC. A visit and discussion with Bossey Ecumenical Institute Director Fr. Prof. Ioan Sauca was likewise organised, where the group joined the dinner and cultural evening prepared by the students of Bossey Institute. The group also met with staff of the World Alliance of YMCA at the John R. Mott House to compare strategies for movement building and discuss ways for future cooperation in the regional level. A dinner was also organised with members of the Investment Advisory Group (IAG) and newly elected Centennial Fund President, Werner Gebert from Germany to introduce the members of the IAG to the Federation.
The bible studies were led by Thomas Wieser (WSCF historian and archivist) and Boudewyn Sjollema (first director of WCC’s Programme to Combat Racism.) The bible studies focused on four thematic areas of Migration, namely; experience of being a stranger (Exodus 12 and Luke 9), hospitality-inclusive community (Leviticus 19, Hebrew 13 and Genesis 18), mobility vs. security (Luke 12 and 14), and vision of the one humanity (Ephesians 2 and Revelation 21). A one and half day session on archives training was led by Martha Lund Smalley, Yale Divinity School Librarian and Curator to assist the staff in organising and dealing with WSCF record and archives currently located in the regional offices.
Another highlight of the meeting was the ecumenical worship celebrating the Universal Day of Prayer for Student (UDPS) at the WCC Center led by the WSCF officers and staff and the youth interns of WCC on 12 February. The worship was attended by staff and personnel of WCC and other ecumenical groups and NGOs in Geneva.