The July 27 announcement of the Rev. Milton Mejía as the new general secretary of the Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI) was greeted by the general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), the Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, as “an expressive gesture of care for the treasure of ecumenical witness.”
Before his recent election, Mejía was CLAI’s program executive for Faith, Ecology, Economy and Society and professor of theology at the Reformed University of Barranquilla, Colombia.
In a letter sent to Mejía on August 5, Tveit stressed the close collaboration of Mejía with programs and activities of the WCC, especially the ones related to human and environmental rights and the work for economic justice. “Along with my colleagues, I look forward to deepen and enhance the connections that draw us together on the pilgrimage of justice and peace,” said Tveit.
Recently, Mejía was directly involved in the creation of an ecumenical peace initiative in Colombia called DIPaz.
Mejía is an ordained pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Colombia, or Iglesia Presbiteriana de Colombia (IPC), a partner denomination of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) His nomination as new general secretary is part of an important restructuring process initiated by CLAI after its 6th Assembly, held in Havana, Cuba, in 2013.
In the letter, the WCC general secretary assured Mejía of the WCC’s continued partnership with CLAI and pointed to the important role played by regional ecumenical organizations. “As instruments of the ecumenical movement, all councils must strive to offer prophetic testimony to our common calling to promote the unity of the church, of humanity, of creation.”