The endowment of two new scholarship funds geared towards facilitating studies at the Ecumenical Institute of the World Council of Churches (WCC) was celebrated at the graduation ceremony for the 61st session of the institute's Graduate School of Ecumenical Studies on 3 February 2010.
The Institute is a global centre for theological education, international Christian formation and ecumenical studies and is situated in Geneva - centre of a range of international institutions housed in the UN building, including the WCC.
The Bishop Vinton R. Anderson Ecumenical Leadership Scholarship Fund was created to provide support for African Methodist Episcopal students attending the Graduate School of Ecumenical Studies. The fund was initiated by Bishop Anderson of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the USA. Born 1927 in Bermuda, he was the first African American to serve as WCC President for North America (1991-98).
With initial capital of 100,000 US dollars, the fund was established as part of the Ecumenical Trust in New York, USA, which, among other functions, collects donations in favour of the Ecumenical Institute.
The Elisabeth and Jan Remijn-Oerlemans Scholarship Fund is being created from a legacy of some 100,000 Swiss francs bequeathed to the Ecumenical Institute by Elisabeth Remijn, née Oerlemans. In 1948, she had participated in the founding assembly of the WCC in Amsterdam.
The Reformed parish of Interlaken, where Elisabeth and her husband, Jan Remijn, lived for many years, is one of the parishes which regularly receive visits from students of the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey, Switzerland.
Jan Remijn was the pastor of Unterseen until his death in 1986. Supported by his wife, he initiated an ongoing programme of worship services in Dutch for the many holiday guests in the region.
For more information on the Ecumenical Institute go to: http://bossey.ch