The Global Christian Forum has voted a second term for the U.S.-based, Ghanaian-born Rev. Casely Essamuah as its Secretary and CEO of the group that encompasses the major strands of Christianity illustrated in overlapping meetings near Geneva bringing diverse Christians together.
Originally ordained in the Methodist Church, Ghana, and with extensive experience serving the evangelical church in Maryland, USA, Essamuah has served as Secretary of GCF since July 2018.
The GCF has the support of the four primary global church bodies: amely, the World Council of Churches, the World Evangelical Alliance, the Pontifical Council for Church Unity (Catholic Church), and Pentecostal World Fellowship.
The GCF met at the World Council of Churches's Ecumenical Institute at Bossey outside Geneva from Nov. 2-5.
"Casely Essamuah's leadership will continue to enrich and strengthen the work of the Global Christian Forum," said Rev. Wes Granberg-Michaelson, president of the Global Christian Forum Foundation
"He brings creativity, energy, and an indefatigable commitment to building unity in the global Christian community for the sake of our mission and witness in the world."
'EVANGELICAL AND ECUMENICAL'
Essamuah describes himself as "evangelical and ecumenical," and he expressed both joy and excitement to continue serving alongside the Global Christian Forum, the GCF said on its website.
"It is indeed an honor of a lifetime and the strong affirmation is also a demonstration of our united desire to deepen the bonds that we all have as followers of Christ," said Essamuah.
"In the coming months, we redouble our efforts in ensuring that the fourth global gathering to be held in Ghana April 2024 is a place where these relationships are nurtured and strengthened."
Overlapping with the GCF meeting, the World Council of Churches hosted the Conference of Secretaries of Christian World Communions also at the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey from Oct. 30-Nov. 3.
The meeting heard reports from each communion and discussed topics on the hearts and minds of the secretaries, participants also prayed together, receiving guided tours of the Ecumenical Centre and the United Nations.
"By listening to what God is doing in each global communion, we identify common challenges and current trends in the Christian church," said César García, general secretary of the Mennonite World Conference.
"By praying with and for each other, we nurture our commitment to follow Christ. By deepening our relationships, we witness the gift of unity amid diversity and difference, a witness so much needed in the current world circumstances."
'UNDER LORDSHIP OF CHRIST'
Rev. Ganoune Diop, secretary of the Conference of Secretaries of Christian World Communions, said: "This unique yearly gathering is a space where distinguished leaders of Christian world communions engage in bilateral and multilateral dialogues, each communion sharing on their own terms about their ecclesiastical life, and work as witnesses to the sovereignty of the triune God and His ultimate purpose to gather the whole world (oikumene) under the lordship of Christ. "
He said that the core of the meetings consists in reports, and conversations on them.
"They do not sign resolutions, engage in common strategic planning or plan of actions.," said Diop, director of public affairs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
"The focus is on relations, on being, rather than doing things together. Mingling with one another helps dispel prejudices and helps us focus on our respective participation in what God is doing in the world."
Since 1957, with a few exceptions (1960, 1961, and 1975), the annual Conference of Secretaries of World Christian Communions brings together representatives from diverse Christian traditions to discuss their work and fellowship together. The World Council of Churches hosted the meeting in 2023.