Expressing gratitude to the "Dutch churches and ecumenical friends" that planned the Amsterdam event, WCC general secretary Rev. Samuel Kobia said in an Aug. 20 press release, "Today, the challenges of seeking visible unity appear to be even stronger but we, nevertheless, look to the next 60 years with hope and confidence as we are inspired by the spirit of our ecumenical ancestors who made Amsterdam 1948 possible."The council's strength does not lie in the pursuit of big buildings, power and influence, said Van den Heuvel. Rather, its strength lies in telling the stories of victims of injustice, war and violence. "Give them a voice," he urged. "That is when the council is at its absolute best."