ACT Alliance Electronic Assembly opens with the theme of youth and climate justice

The Action by Churches Together (ACT) Alliance began its Electronic General Assembly on November 29, 2021. Over 270 representatives will elect a new governing board, officers, and membership and nominations committee for the alliance, as well as engaging in discussion on a range of issues.

There will be a particular focus on the issue of youth and climate justice, with an intergenerational panel discussion on the 29th kicking off further discussions through the week.

The assembly is taking place virtually, allowing for greater participation from around the world, including the opportunity for all 137 ACT members to send a youth observer to the event. The virtual nature of the assembly is by design, rather than in response to COVID-19 restrictions. ACT’s general assemblies take place every 6 years in person with a virtual assembly at the midpoint between presential assemblies. 2021 marks the first such virtual assembly.

“In the next days, our members will be gathered in this virtual space to discern, discuss and deliberate on issues that require our action as Christians and faith-based organizations,” said Birgitte Qvist-Sørenson, moderator of the ACT Alliance governing board. “And we do that when the world is affected by war and humanitarian crises, sectarianism and violent extremism, by poverty and inequalities, by climate change and environmental degradation.”

Rudelmar Bueno de Faria, ACT Alliance’s general secretary, underscored the challenges facing the world but also ACT’s role in helping to address those challenges. “We are entering a unique window of opportunity to build a new social contract that honours the dignity of every human being, we cannot ignore the opportunity for faith-based organizations to offer insights and an ethical compass to help inform all those who are determining the future of humanity, global relations, and priorities of societies,” he said.

“When ACT Alliance was formed, many referred to the WCC as its parent,” said Rev. Prof. Dr. Ioan Souca, acting general secretary of the World Council of Churches in his opening remarks. “Today we are siblings, serving the churches side-by-side as an expression of unity and common witness.”

“As we look to the future, discerning together how best to serve God’s justice and peace in the world, I pray that the conversations during this assembly will inspire the members and sharpen the mandate of the ACT Alliance,” concluded Father Sauca.

The elections will take place on Friday, December 3, and the newly elected governing board will have its first meeting immediately after the closing plenary session.

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Simon Chambers
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