The Assembly

The 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches will take place in Karlsruhe, Germany, from 31 August to 8 September 2022, under the theme "Christ's love moves the world to reconciliation and unity"

The WCC Assembly is the highest governing body of the World Council of Churches (WCC), and normally meets every eight years. It is the only time when the entire fellowship of member churches comes together in one place for prayer and celebration.

A WCC Assembly is a special time in the lives of member churches, ecumenical partners, and other churches, as it brings together more than 4000 participants, from all over the world. It is a unique opportunity for the churches to deepen their commitment to visible unity and common witness. This makes a WCC Assembly the most diverse Christian gathering of its size in the world.

The WCC 11th Assembly will take place in Karlsruhe, Germany, at the joint invitation of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), the Protestant Church in Baden, the Council of Churches in Germany, the Union of Protestant Churches in Alsace and Lorraine (UEPAL), and the Protestant Church in Switzerland.

A WCC Assembly in Germany

The WCC accepted the invitation of the member churches in Germany to hold the 11th assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany. The last assembly in Europe took place in Uppsala, Sweden, in 1968.

The city of Karlsruhe is in Baden in south-west Germany, an historical and cultural “trans-border-region”. Karlsruhe is the second-largest city of the state of Baden-Württemberg. The main venue for the assembly will be the Messe-Karlsruhe (, located in the heart of the city.

The local hosting church, the Protestant Church in Baden, became a united church by petition of the people in 1821. The 200 year anniversary of the unification of the church was celebrated in 2021.

A WCC Assembly in Europe

After World War II and with the changes in the geo-political situation brought about by decolonization a new reality of a mainly western European entity developed. At the same time, the opposition between the Soviet Union and the western powers caused the division of the continent in East and West, which lasted until the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989. The European churches in the ecumenical movement and the WCC have always endeavoured to maintain and to nurture a sense of unity across the divide of the Cold War. This was also one of the main functions of the regional ecumenical organization created by the churches of Europe in 1959, the Conference of European Churches (CEC).

The geographical spread of the European region in the WCC and the ecumenical movement coincides for the most part with the political understanding of Europe stretching from the Urals to the Atlantic. On the southern side the countries of the Caucasus are included but not Cyprus which is grouped with the Middle East. Sub-regional affinities are fairly strong: the Nordic region (the Scandinavian countries plus Finland and the Baltics), Central Europe, Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Southern Europe.

The Protestant churches in western and southern Europe have formed a sub-regional conference. To some extent, there is also a sub-regional confessional pattern: the large churches of the Reformation (Protestant and Anglican) are mostly in the west and north, the Catholic Church is in a majority position in the south (and in Poland), the Orthodox churches form the majority in the central and eastern parts of Europe. The churches of the Protestant Reformation (Lutheran, Reformed, Methodist) are in full communion through the Leuenberg Agreement and have formed the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe. The Anglican and (episcopal) Lutheran churches in Great Britain and the Nordic countries (with the exception of Denmark) have also signed an agreement of full communion (Porvoo).  There are 81 WCC member churches in Europe.

WCC member churches in Europe

Conference of European Churches

WCC Member Churches in Germany


Assembly theme

The theme of the 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches is "Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity".

The assembly will gather amidst perplexities, anxieties, and fundamental questions about the way we inhabit the earth, make sense of our lives, live in society, and accept responsibility for future generations. These questions have been amplified by the global COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences, the climate emergency, and manifestations of racism worldwide, which have further revealed structural economic inequality, gender discrimination, and other forms of injustice in our societies and in our world.

In this fragmented and fractured world, the assembly theme is an affirmation of faith that Christ’s love transforms the world in the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit. Against the powers of destruction and sin, the assembly theme affirms that the love of the compassionate, crucified, and risen Christ is at the heart of this world. It is a radical call to the churches to work together unceasingly and with people of other faiths and all those of good will for just peace and reconciliation. It is a call for the visible unity of the church to become​ a prophetic sign and a foretaste of the reconciliation of this world with God, and the unity of humankind and all creation.

Assembly symbol
Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity

Links to download: PDF JPG

Created as a visual expression of the Assembly theme, the symbol’s design is also inspired by the dynamic expressions and variety of the ecumenical movement in its search for Christian unity and promotion of justice and peace.

Inspired by the theme “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity,” the WCC fellowship will come together as a whole in prayer and celebration at the 11th Assembly. We will draw renewed energy for the WCC’s work far beyond the event itself. That’s why, anytime you use the Assembly symbol, you should also offer space for the WCC official logo.

The symbol is formed by 4 elements:

  • The cross - the assembly theme is an affirmation of faith that Christ’s compassionate love transforms the world in the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit. Placed prominently in the symbol, the cross is an expression of the love of Christ and a reference to the first article of the WCC Constitution.[1]
  • The dove - a universal symbol of peace and reconciliation, the dove stands for the Holy Spirit and also refers to deep biblical expressions of hope.
  • The circle - the whole inhabited world (oikoumene) – bringing a sense of unity and common goal, and a new beginning. The circle is also inspired by the concept of reconciliation. As Christians, we have been reconciled with God through Christ, and as churches, we are agents of forgiveness and love both within and outside our communities. The ecumenical movement has responded to the call for unity and reconciliation through resolute work and action for a more just and participatory society and the care for God’s Creation.
  • The way - we all come from different places, cultures and churches; we walk different paths responding to God’s call; we are all on a pilgrimage through which we encounter others and join together on a journey of justice and peace. The different paths represent our various journeys, the movement, freedom and vibrancy of life that drive the WCC and its member churches around the world.


The assembly, as supreme legislative body of the WCC has the mandate to review programmes, issue public statements, and determine the overall policies of the WCC. It also has the mandate to elect presidents and a central committee of 150 members to oversee the council’s work until the next assembly.

Who can participate in a WCC assembly?

Delegates and Advisors from Member Churches:
Invitations have been sent to Member Churches in 2019 to nominate their delegation and to submit it to the central committee.

Delegated Representatives from Associated Organizations:
Ecumenical partners recognized by the central committee are invited to nominate delegated representatives. This includes Associate or National Council of Churches, Specialized Ministries, Christian World Communions, Regional Ecumenical Organizations and International Ecumenical Organizations.

Delegated Observers from Churches that are not Members of the WCC:
Churches that are not members of the WCC are also invited to join the assembly. This includes a delegation from the Roman Catholic Church, Pentecostal churches with whom the WCC is in dialogue, and applicant member churches.

Observers and guests from churches, partners and other faiths:
Many churches and partners send observers to the assembly. The interfaith partners of the WCC also attend the assembly as observers.

Stewards are young people between 18 and 30 years old who join the assembly to help run the meeting and experience ecumenical formation. Registration was open from September 2021 until February 2022. Please scroll down for more details of the steward’s programme for the 11th Assembly.

Assembly participants:
Everyone is welcome and interested participants from member churches, ecumenical networks, and partner organizations are also welcome to participate to the WCC 11th Assembly.

Regional participants from Europe:
The local office of the assembly, Karlsruhe Local Office (KALO), will be organizing a regional ecumenical encounter programme targeted specifically to local and regional participants. This programme will be running in parallel to the assembly. More information on how to register to this programme is available through the local office website.

Day participants:
If you are interested in experiencing one day at the assembly, more information will be made available closer to the assembly.

Media accreditation to the World Council of Churches (WCC) 11th Assembly, held in Karlsruhe, Germany, 31 August – 8 September 2022, will open on 31 January 2022. Detailed accreditation procedures with links to application documents will be available online in the WCC press centre.

Covid-19 Situation: Access to Germany and Vaccinations

Entry requirements to Germany are subject to frequent changes due to the pandemic situation.

As of 7 March 2022, Germany no longer marks any country as “high risk area” and thus only an antigen or PCR test is required when entering Germany. Many will also need to name “an important reason to travel” and we work on having the assembly recognized as “an important reason”. In many public areas in Germany currently the 3G rule applies (vaccinated with a recognized vaccine, recovered, or tested). In general, being vaccinated with recognized vaccines ease access to and within Germany. For this reason, we think that being vaccinated with one of the vaccines recognized in Germany will be a significant advantage when travelling to the Assembly.

Which vaccines are recognized? 

The following vaccines are currently recognized in Germany:

  • Comirnaty – BioNTech/Pfizer (2x)
  • Spikevax – Moderna (2x)
  • Vaxzevria/Covishield/R-CoVI – AstraZeneca (2x)
  • Janssen – Janssen-Cilag (Johnson & Johnson) (2x!)
  • Nuvaxovid/Covovax – Novavax – (2x)

You will need two doses of each vaccine to be considered vaccinated; it may also be a combination of the vaccines mentioned above. If you have received one dose of the above and any other vaccine, you are not counted as vaccinated. The second vaccination needs to be less than 9 months old.

In Germany you count as recovered when you can present a valid proof of your recovery from Covid-19 within the past 90 days.

Right now there are no regulations regarding a booster, or third vaccination, as a requirement for entering Germany and for avoiding quarantine. In Germany, however, booster vaccinations are strongly encouraged.

Our request to you: We will do anything in our power to bring you safely to the assembly in Germany and to avoid quarantine. If you have the possibility – and we know that not everyone has – please do try and get vaccinated (3 times) in your country with a vaccine that is mentioned above and that is accepted in Germany.

For further information see the webpage of the German Embassy in your country or the website of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institute.

Media at the 11th WCC Assembly

Assembly media accreditation opens 31 January 2022

Media accreditation to the World Council of Churches (WCC) 11th Assembly, held in Karlsruhe, Germany, 31 August – 8 September 2022, will open on 31 January 2022. 

In times of restrictions caused by the pandemic, online solutions have emerged as viable alternatives to physical meetings. The WCC will run both onsite and online press centres throughout the assembly and provide all information online. It will be possible to fully cover the assembly, conduct interviews and participate in real-time press briefings without being present at the venue in Karlsruhe. Regardless of whether you plan to be in Karlsruhe, or participate from a distance, media accreditation is mandatory.

For use at the Assembly

Resources to use at the WCC 11th Assembly

Preparing for the Assembly

Resources to prepare for the WCC 11th Assembly

Assembly related resources

Resources related to the WCC 11th Assembly

Speeches and greetings

Speeches and greetings at the WCC 11th Assembly

Bible studies

Bible studies for the WCC 11th Assembly

All Assembly documents

Full list of documents related to the WCC 11th Assembly

For use at the Assembly

Oasis of Peace

Spiritual Life Resources

Oase des Friedens: Gottesdienstbuch
Oasis de paix: Ressources pour la vie spirituelle
Oasis de Paz: Recursos para la vida espiritual

This multilingual volume of spiritual life resources is meant to inspire the collective prayer and praise of participants at the WCC’s 11th Assembly, taking place in Karlsruhe, Germany, from 31 August to 8 September 2022, where Christians from around the world, the whole oikoumene, are uniting to rejoice in the love of God in Christ.

Oasis of Peace Opening Prayer

This multilingual volume will guide the opening prayer of the 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches on 31 August. In addition to the order of service it includes the text of the homily to be presented by John X Patriarch of Antioch and all the East and the youth testimony Ms Ann Jacob, United Methodist Church, USA.

Resource Book

World Council of Churches 11th Assembly, Karlsruhe, Germany, 2022

This assembly Resource Book, a documentary collection published in four separate language editions, is meant to orient assembly delegates and participants to the assembly process, convey documents and reports upon which the assembly will act, and also link participants to a variety of important background documents about the many substantive matters that will engage the gathered fellowship there.

To that end, the Resource Book will function as a ready documentary reference and resource for assembly delegates as well as other participants.

When He Saw the Crowds - Bible Studies

When He Saw the Crowds - Bible Studies 
Und da er das Volk sah - Bibelstudien 
Voyant les foules - Études bibliques 
Al ver las multitudes - Estudios bíblicos

The plenary Bible studies are an important aspect of the work of the assembly. They give participants an opportunity to meet daily around a Bible passage to reflect on the theme and the experience of the assembly. Participants can discern together God’s purposes for themselves and the ecumenical movement. They meet in groups which are small enough to allow everyone to contribute and large enough to give a range of perspectives. The Bible study sessions provide an opportunity for participants to explore the assembly theme together in the light of the biblical texts, knowledge, and experience. To be involved in group Bible study is to be open to one another, to the Bible passage and to the Holy Spirit. It is not to win an argument or to persuade others to a particular point of view. These sessions should be a place where the participants can integrate all they have heard and done in the assembly and discover together the possibilities of transformation that God offers us.

Christ’s Love (Re)moves Borders

GETI 2022 Prayer Booklet

The spiritual life during GETI 2022 embodies the WCC ethos of holding spirituality and critical reflection together as parts of an integrated whole. In that regard, this Global Ecumenical Theological Institute (GETI) is envisioned as a holistic process encompassing formative and informative dimensions of learning. This prayer booklet contributes to holistic learning. It is a resource for spiritual life, a formative dimension of the GETI 2022 experience and learning. It illuminates the theme “Christ’s Love (Re)Moves Borders” liturgically. This, therefore, serves as a resource for (spi)ritual and prayerful reflection for all during the residential phase of the study process that was also anticipated during the online phase.

Ecumenical Youth Gathering Songbook

This collection of songs will be used during morning and evening prayers at the Ecumenical Youth Gathering to be held on 27-30 August before the World Council of Churches (WCC) 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany, which aims to bring together around 400 young people from various churches and ecumenical partners to discuss a common message. The event is designed to provide an opportunity for young people to participate in intergenerational dialogue and develop a more inclusive agenda for the movement.

Preparing for the Assembly

Christ’s Love Moves the World to Reconciliation and Unity: A reflection on the theme of the 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches, Karlsruhe 2022.

The result of the work of an international group drawn from different regions and confessional traditions, the text is intended as a resource for churches and Christians worldwide in advance of the WCC’s 11th Assembly, to take place in Karlsruhe, Germany, from 31 August to 8 September 2022. It offers biblical and theological reflections on the assembly theme, inspired by a biblical verse – “For the love of Christ urges us on” (2 Cor. 5:14) – against the backdrop of critical issues confronting churches and humanity as a whole. The text is available initially in four languages – English, French, German, and Spanish.

Pilgrims on the Path of Peace

The Journey of the WCC from Busan to Karlsruhe (Illustrated)

This report, received by the WCC central committee in February 2022, is the accountability report of the central committee to the WCC 11th Assembly, describing and offering an assessment of the activities of the WCC, since the 10th Assembly, in Busan, Republic of Korea, in late 2013.

This illustrated version is a narrative of a fellowship of churches committed to moving together on a Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, conveying something of the energy, excitement, ambition, and initiative that have marked the WCC’s journey since Busan. It aims to assist assembly delegates to understand the council’s journey in this period and help them actively participate in the assembly, and to share the ecumenical vision reflected in the WCC’s activities with member churches, partners, and the wider fellowship.

This report is available in English, Spanish, French, and German.

Celebrate Christ’s Love!

Sing and Pray

Celebrate Christ’s Love! Sing and Pray
Feiern Wir Die Liebe Christi! Singen und Beten
Célébrons L’amour Du Christ! Chante et Prie
¡Celebremos El Amor De Cristo! Canto y Oración

In four languages, a newly released publication developed by the assembly’s worship planning group, Celebrate Christ’s Love!, expands the opportunity to prepare spiritually for the assembly.

This publication contains some of the components of the final spiritual-life resource that will be used at the assembly. It invites assembly participants and the wider fellowship to celebrate the love of God that we find in Christ through prayer, song, and reflecting on Jesus’ preaching and healing as portrayed in the Gospels.

Conversations on the Pilgrim Way

Invitation to Journey Together on Matters of Human Sexuality

This document was received at the meeting of the central committee held from 9-15 February 2022 by video conference.

The Report of the Programme Committee underlined in the introduction that this is a resource document for those member churches that are interested in deepening the discussion. It was requested by member churches for information and guidance. While it remains clear that human sexuality is a sensitive topic and that some churches may have objections to even discussing this topic, the Busan Assembly stated that controversial themes, like human sexuality, should have a safe space for conversation.

The programme committee, while aware that human sexuality could be a divisive topic in churches and in our fellowship, underlined the importance of ecumenical dialogue in a safe space on topics that could be divisive and welcomed the invitation in this document to journey together in ethical dilemmas.

Orthodox Reflections on the Way to Karlsruhe

Christ’s Love Moves the World to Reconciliation and Unity

Representatives of the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches gathered in May of 2022 in Paralimni, Cyprus, as part of their preparation for the World Council of Churches’ 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany. The preparation included reflection on the Assembly theme “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity” and on the themes of the thematic plenaries as well as discussion on the participation of the Orthodox Churches in the fellowship of the WCC.

In addition to the theological contributions, this Orthodox resource book contains the official report reflecting the thoughtful deliberations, which occurred during the consultation. The Inter-Orthodox Pre-Assembly Consultation has proven to be an important exercise of coming together, praying together, and deliberating in times of turbulence and war affecting the Orthodox family and the entire world. Above all, a great spirit of fraternal love and communion prevailed among participants, who are looking forward to a common Orthodox witness during the Assembly in Karlsruhe, and beyond.

Pilgrims on the Path of Peace

The Journey of the WCC from Busan to Karlsruhe (Unillustrated)

For each assembly, the central committee submits an accountability report, describing and offering an assessment of the activities of the WCC between the assemblies; in this case, since the 10th Assembly, in Busan, Republic of Korea, in late 2013.

The report “Pilgrims on the Path of Peace – The Journey of the WCC from Busan to Karlsruhe,” is now available online for WCC member churches, ecumenical partners, and other global pilgrims. The WCC central committee received the report in February.

Assembly related resources

Joint Report of the Ecumenical Indigenous Peoples Network Reference Group and the Working Group on Climate Change of the World Council of Churches

This joint report emphasises the work of the World Council of Churches’ (WCC) Ecumenical Indigenous Peoples Network Reference Group and the Working Group on Climate Change. It affirms that Indigenous perspectives are crucial not only for addressing the burgeoning climate emergency but also for navigating the way forward to a hopeful post-COVID, post-growth and post-fossil fuel future and calls on the WCC to address this at the 11th WCC Assembly and relevant preassemblies.

WCC Programmes

Churches and Moral Discernment (I)

Volume 1: Learning from Traditions

Faith and Order Paper No. 228

The volume features 14 self-descriptions of different traditions regard­ing moral discernment: their sources, the interplay of sources, and the processes of ecclesial deliberation. The different self-descriptions are presented to enable reflection on and provide awareness of how processes of moral discernment are envisioned by the respective traditions. They invite the reader, as well as churches, to study them, reflect on the moral discernment of their own tradition, and learn how others engage in moral discernment.


Churches and Moral Discernment (II)

Volume 2: Learning from History

Faith and Order Paper No. 229

Many of the tensions between and among churches can be traced to the different positions they take on important ethical issues that face the churches and society. Yet, even within traditions positions change. In this second volume examining moral discernment in church traditions, the authors imagine changes in position on issues such as usury, slavery, marriage, suicide, as well as freedom of religion, apartheid, and involvement in war and peace.

Churches and Moral Discernment (III)

Volume 3: Facilitating Dialogue to Build Koinonia

Faith and Order Paper No. 235

The study document “Churches and Moral Discernment: Facilitating Dialogue to Build Koinonia,” harvests the fruits of the study process on moral discernment which began in 2015. In its analysis, the document describes patterns in the complex negotiations between continuity and change as churches respond to moral challenges. At its core, the study document invites the churches to more deeply understand the significance of “the conscience of the church” in moral discernment processes and points to its ecumenical potential. The document offers a tool to analyse core elements in the conscience of the church that shape moral discernment.

The Africa We Pray For on a Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace. PJP Series 1

This first publication in the WCC and series on the WCC pilgrimage of justice and peace brings together the voices of 12 young people sharing their vision for Africa.

The collection features work selected during an essay competition for young people which was held in a collaboration of the All Africa Conference of Churches and the WCC. The publication covers important thematic areas for African society, including truth, trauma, displacement, gender justice and racial justice, among others. 

Transformative Spiritualities for the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace. PJP Series 2

The Churches of the World Council of Churches have been on a “Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace”—together with people of goodwill—since they met for their assembly in Busan in 2013. Building peace with justice has been at the heart of the ecumenical movement since its beginnings. It reflects the call of the churches in a wounded world caused by systemic injustice—racism, sexism, xenophobia, economic exploitation, and violence among humans and against nature, our “Mother”. While political advocacy, theological reflections, and ethical orientation have been high on the agenda of the World Council of Churches, the spiritual dimension of a “just peace” has not always received the same attention.

Starting a Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, the WCC began to focus intentionally on “transformative spiritualities” in order to (re-)discover the strength of the many and diverse faith communities around the globe. What is the well of that distinct power to resist evil with good, to transform injustices into a life of dignity for all, to heal broken relations – including Mother nature? And what are some of the spiritual practices that inspire communities on that “sacred walk”?

This volume provides a selection of reflections on those transformative spiritualities, from Indigenous perspectives to women’s voices, from Black communities´ to campesino/as´ struggles, from specific Christian traditions to sister faiths. It is that common well we all drink from—inviting readers to participate in that promise that a life in peace and justice is, in fact, possible for all.

Towards an Ecumenical Theology of Companionship: PJP Series 3

A Study Document for the Ecumenical Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace

During the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, four central themes emerged: Truth and Trauma; Land and Displacement; Gender Justice; and Racism. During the  COVID-19 pandemic that revealed so much injustice in our world, a fifth theme was added; health and healing.

After listening carefully during the various Pilgrim Visits, the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace-Theological Study Group (PJP-TSG) and the Reference Group of the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace (PJP-RG)-revisited the themes and reflected on them theologically in light of an emerging Ecumenical Theology of companionship.

Seek Peace and Pursue It: PJP Series 4

Reflections on the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace in Europe

The Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace is intended to be an expression of international solidarity with people, particularly those in difficult circumstances.

This publication looks at work done directly within the context of the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace in Europe, as well as justice and peace issues promoted by churches that complement the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace agenda.

In the first section, the publication provides an overview of Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace events in Europe, offering reflections on some of the ways in which churches and ecumenical organizations were challenged and inspired and sharing stories and insights about the pilgrimage in Europe.

Section 2 does not necessarily represent official parts of the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace but contains essays on issues of justice and peace in Europe from individuals working with churches and ecumenical partners across Europe, intended to stimulate debate, interest, and international comparison.

The Appendix includes additional resources, including statements from the WCC on the use of armed force to resolve disputes that could be resolved by dialogue.

Hate Speech and Whiteness: PJP Series 5

Theological Reflections on the Journey Toward Racial Justice

During the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, initiated in 2013 at the 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches, the issue of racism has emerged as one of the pilgrimage’s four common themes. The chapters that make up this publication represent a selection of the papers presented at a series of webinars organized in late 2020 by the Theological Study Group of the Pilgrimage. Organized around three major themes—whiteness, including its relationship to slavery; racism; and hate speech—the contributions represent an invitation to the ecumenical fellowship to engage in self-critical examination of how practices, orders, configurations, methodologies, and structures of the church(es) have perpetuated the discrimination, xenophobia, and racism that counter unity in Christ.

Our Feet into the Way of Peace: PJP Series 6

Holistic Approaches to Peace-building in the Context of the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace

Within the framework of the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, this publication is a reflection on the lived experiences of the pilgrimage from the perspective of the people and churches from Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Korean Peninsula, Palestine and Israel, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine and Colombia.

It consists of an overview of the peace-building process in each country since the 10th Assembly and practical steps churches can take together toward the 12th Assembly.

Her-Stories of Transformation, Justice, and Peace PJP Series

Report on the Women of Faith Pilgrimages

This publication is the report of the Women of Faith Pilgrim Team Visits for Justice and Peace carried out between August 2017 and July 2020 as part of the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace. This pilgrimage report allows church women worldwide to draw inspiration and strength from the spiritualities of resistance, biblical reflections, and successful struggles of women against violence and injustice and to feel empowered to become agents of transformation and hope in their own contexts.

Cooler Earth - Higher Benefits (Third Edition)

Actions by those who care about children, climate, and finance
Frederique Seidel
Emmanuel de Martel
Eric Begaghel

This document was developed by the WCC’s Child Rights programme in response to requests by children and youth urging adults to find solutions to the climate crisis. This is the third updated edition.

The research examines the impact of financial choices on global warming and reviews related solutions which can bend the CO2 emissions curve (also called the “Keeling Curve”). It shares information, good practices, and suggestions on the efficiency of financial measures to address global warming. It aims to support discussions and discernment among working groups and decision-makers who want to consider influential strategies to address the climate crisis.

Called to Transformation - Ecumenical Diakonia

A joint publication of the World Council of Churches (WCC) and ACT Alliance, this study document aims to clarify the understanding of ecumenical diakonia and to provide a common platform for acting and reflecting together for the churches and ecumenical partners worldwide. 

The major publication outlines the theological components of diakonia and offers practical content for those engaged in the service of diakonia. The study document is intended to be used for formation and training in ecumenical diakonia, to strengthen the institutional capacity of those involved in diakonia, and to foster dialogue and cooperation between churches, ecumenical partners, ACT Alliance and the WCC.

Speeches and statements


Statement on Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples

‘Behold I create new heavens in which life, justice and peace are possible for all’.
(Isaiah  65:17-25)

Indigenous Peoples are created with God-given identities that are beautiful.  God was present in their lands and among their peoples before colonizers arrived. When Christians brought the Bible, Indigenous People recognized the voice of their Creator in Jesus’ teachings. They did not hear a call to reject their identities.


Joint Report of the Ecumenical Indigenous Peoples Network Reference Group and the Working Group on Climate Change of the World Council of Churches

This joint report emphasises the work of the World Council of Churches’ (WCC) Ecumenical Indigenous Peoples Network Reference Group and the Working Group on Climate Change. It affirms that Indigenous perspectives are crucial not only for addressing the burgeoning climate emergency but also for navigating the way forward to a hopeful post-COVID, post-growth and post-fossil fuel future and calls on the WCC to address this at the 11th WCC Assembly and relevant preassemblies.

WCC Programmes

Peacemakers for Life

Sermon for Joint Anglican-Catholic Peace Memorial Service by Bishop Mary Ann Swenson, vice-moderator of the WCC Central Committee and head of WCC delegation of Church Leaders Pilgrimage to Japan on the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings.

Central Committee
10th Assembly, Busan 2013
Busan report cover

Place: Busan, Republic of Korea
Dates: 30 October - 8 November 2013
Theme: God of life, lead us to justice and peace
Member churches: 345

In the message of the WCC 10th Assembly, participants offered this affirmation:

“We share our experience of the search for unity in Korea as a sign of hope in the world. This is not the only land where people live divided, in poverty and richness, happiness and violence, welfare and war. We are not allowed to close our eyes to harsh realities or to rest our hands from God’s transforming work. As a fellowship, the World Council of Churches stands in solidarity with the people and the churches in the Korean peninsula, and with all who strive for justice and peace.”

Read the official report of the 10th Assembly

Visit the 10th Assembly website

9th Assembly, Porto Alegre 2006
porto alegre cover

Place: Porto Alegre, Brazil
Dates: 14-23 February 2006
Theme: God in your grace, transform the world
Member churches: 348 

The 2006 assembly was one of the most representative gatherings of Christians ever held - with over 4,000 participants from ecumenical organizations and groups, delegates from 348 member churches, observers and visitors from all around the world.

Addressing the core issues of Christian unity, the Assembly agreed on a new text, "Called to be the One Chruch," and urged that WCC and its member churches give priority to the questions of unity, catholicity, baptism and prayer. Other key issues discussed at plenary sessions were Economic justice, Christian identity and religious plurality, and Youth overcoming violence.

Also, delegates adopted a substantially revised Constitution and Rules which moved the WCC to decision-making based on consensus and which amended membership criteria. Steps were taken to strengthen active involvement of youth (under 30 years) in the life and work of the Council.

Read the official report of the 9th Assembly

Visit the 9th Assembly website

8th Assembly, Harare 1998
Harare report

Place: Harare, Zimbabwe 
Dates: 3-14 December 1998 
Theme: Turn to God - Rejoice in Hope 
Member churches: 339 

Half a century after the official foundation of the WCC, its member churches renewed their commitment to stay together, and delegates promised to remain in solidarity with their African hosts.

The Assembly decided to set up a commission on the participation of the Orthodox churches in the WCC. It backed the creation of a "Forum of Christian Churches and Ecumenical Organizations" which could extend the ecumenical outreach far beyond WCC member churches.

Delegates and assembly visitors participated in more than 600 contributions to a three-day "Padare" in which subjects ranged from Evangelical-Orthodox dialogue to human sexuality. It was preceded by a Decade Festival of churches in solidarity with women.

Read the official report of the 8th Assembly

Learn more about the 8th Assembly

7th Assembly, Canberra 1991
Harare report cover

Place: Canberra, Australia 
Dates: 7-20 February 1991
Theme: Come, Holy Spirit - Renew the Whole Creation 
Member churches: 317 

1991 was the first time a theme had explicitly invoked the third person of the Trinity, and it did so in the context of the physical universe. Sections were organized under four sub-themes:

- "Giver of life - sustain your creation!"
- "Spirit of truth - set us free!"
- "Spirit of unity - reconcile your people!"
- "Holy Spirit - transform and sanctify us!"

Read the official report of the 7th Assembly

6th Assembly, Vancouver 1983
Vancouver report cover

Place: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Dates: 24 July to 10 August 1983 
Theme: Jesus Christ - the Life of the World 
Member churches: 301 

At this assembly on the western shores of Canada, a renewed emphasis on common worship was experienced under the great white tent standing beneath the summer sun. Hope for closer fellowship arose from dialogue on the Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry (BEM) document, and such ecumenical experiments as the Lima Liturgy. At the same time, the nuclear threat and neo-colonialism glowered like dark clouds on the horizon. The Assembly proclaimed its theme: "Jesus Christ - the Life of the World", and carried out its work in the following issue groups:

- Witnessing in a divided world
- Taking steps towards unity
- Moving towards participation
- Healing and sharing life in community
- Confronting threats to peace and survival
- Struggling for justice and human dignity
- Learning in community
- Communicating credibly

Read the official report of the 6th Assembly

5th Assembly, Nairobi 1975
Nairobi report cover

Place: Nairobi, Kenya 
Dates: 23 November to 10 December 1975 
Theme: Jesus Christ Frees and Unites 
Member churches: 285

"Jesus Christ frees and unites" the delegates sang in the midst of Nairobi's life:

people from around the earth, standing before God in their captivities and disunities and naming a divine possibility.
The assembly section titles echo concerns of that turbulent decade:

- Confessing Christ today
- What unity requires
- Seeking community
- Education for liberation and community
- Structures of injustice and struggles for liberation
- Human development

Read the official report of the 5th Assembly

4th Assembly, Uppsala 1968
Uppsala report cover

Place: Uppsala, Sweden
Dates: 4-20 July 1968 
Theme: Behold, I make all things new 
Member churches: 235 

The assembly at Uppsala bore further testimony to the expanding membership of the Council, as well as the fresh breezes of Vatican II that brought Catholic observers to participate in the meeting and discuss further opportunities for cooperation. Sections were organized under the headings:

- The Holy Spirit and the catholicity of the church
- Renewal in mission
- World economic and social development
- Towards justice and peace in international affairs
- Worship
- Towards new styles of living

Read the official report of the 4th Assembly

3rd Assembly, New Delhi 1961
New Delhi report

Place: New Delhi, India 
Dates: 19 November to 5 December 1961 
Theme: Jesus Christ - the Light of the World 
Member churches: 197

Best remembered for the incorporation of the International Missionary Council into the WCC, and the admission of 23 new member churches, including significant sectors of Eastern Orthodoxy and churches from newly independent nations, the Assembly focused on the theme "Jesus Christ - the Light of the World" with three sections on witness, service and unity.

Read the official report of the 3rd Assembly

2nd Assembly, Evanston 1954
2nd Assembly of the WCC

Place: Evanston, Illinois, USA
Dates: 15-31 August 1954
Theme: Christ - the Hope of the World
Member churches: 161

The only WCC assembly to date held in the United States, it to some degree reflected - and certainly reflected on - the East-West tensions of the cold war. The Assembly divided its work into six sections:

  • Our oneness in Christ and our disunity as churches
  • The mission of the church to those outside her life
  • The responsible society in a world perspective
  • Christians in the struggle for world community
  • The churches amid racial and ethnic tension
  • The laity: the Christian in his vocation

Read the official report of the 2nd Assembly

1st Assembly, Amsterdam 1948
1st WCC Assembly

Place: Amsterdam, The Netherlands 
Dates: 22 August to 4 September 1948 
Theme: Man's Disorder and God's Design 
Member churches: 147

It was on the 23rd of August 1948, in Amsterdam, that the World Council of Churches was officially founded. 147 churches from different confessions and many countries came together to commit themselves to the ecumenical movement.

At the assembly in Amsterdam, four sections were organized to examine aspects of the theme  "Man's Disorder and God's Design":

  • the universal church in God's design,
  • the church's witness to God's design,
  • the church and the disorder of society,
  • the church and the international disorder.

Read the official report of the 1st Assembly

A local office was opened in Karlsruhe to prepare for the assembly: Karlsruhe Local Office (KALO). The office works closely with the WCC to ensure good cooperation with the churches in the region and local partners on site. KALO coordinates the various events on the way to the assembly and a programme of the hosting churches during the days in Karlsruhe, e.g. an ecumenical encounter programme and excursions in the region during the weekend of the assembly.

The office is supported by the Evangelical Church in Germany, the Evangelical Church in Baden, and the Archdiocese of Freiburg. The staff consists of three theologians (two Protestant and one Roman Catholic), one event manager, and one assistant. They are responsible to take care of all questions relating to the assembly and to strengthen relationships with the churches in the region and the numerous institutions that will be involved in the assembly. The office also works with numerous volunteers who are involved in the preparation and implementation of the assembly at various levels.

In addition to the content and logistical planning of program contributions from the host churches, KALO takes care of the ecofriendly assembly in cooperation with the WCC, organizes the transport of the participants, and works with the various security authorities. KALO also endeavors to involve as many churches in the region as possible in the preparations. Interested parties can contact KALO with any questions about the assembly.

Learn more about KALO at

City of Karlsruhe

Karlsruhe Tourismus

Assembly website for German audience

Christival in Karlsruhe
Timetable of the WCC 11th Assembly

Timetable of the WCC 11th Assembly, 31 August – 8 September 2022 in Karlsruhe, Germany

Highlights of the assembly programme

Prayer life

At the heart of the global ecumenical gathering of delegates and visitors to the WCC 11th Assembly is its spiritual life. Each morning attendees will begin the day with interconfessional prayer. The main elements of these opening spiritual moments are singing, reading of Scripture, praying, and reflecting on the key biblical theme and message for the day. 

Other spiritual life moments will be offered throughout each day. They will include Home Group Bible studies where delegates will have the opportunity to engage more deeply with the biblical text for the day. 

Having access to Home Groups, that are small in size and language-structured, will ensure that the discussions that unfold within these settings will be informed by all the participants. These Home Groups will end with a short midday prayer. As each day ends, there will be another opportunity for delegates and visitors to participate in evening confessional prayers. This will allow all to experience a spiritual moment which reflects just a sample of the extensive spiritual diversity that is the fellowship of the Council. 

As the business sessions and thematic plenaries of the assembly unfold, the spiritual life components are offered to nurture the soul and renew the spirit as we sing, pray, and -through moments of silence and reflection - discern the future direction and action of the global ecumenical movement. 

We believe our times of worshipping together will serve to affirm where God is leading us ,as together we declare that Christ’s love is moving the world to reconciliation and unity.

Thematic Plenaries

A daily thematic plenary will focus on a particular aspect of the assembly theme. The assembly planning committee is cooperating with the assembly worship planning committee to ensure a thematic as well as spiritual flow.

Business plenaries

Business plenaries are the place where delegates from WCC member churches address the assembly and draw an overview of the WCC’s until the next assembly. Their role is to elect the new central committee and WCC presidents.

Home Groups

Taking place every morning after the biblical reflection and thematic plenary of the day, Home Groups will offer people an opportunity to engage with one another by reflecting on prayer, biblical passages, plenaries, and other encounters.

All participants that have a right to speak at the assembly will be allocated to a Home Group. Home Groups will be comprised of participants from across regions, confessions, professions, age, “old-timers” and “newcomers” at the assembly.

The purpose of home groups is to:

- Enable a meaningful and trans-contextual engagement with the daily theme and biblical message
- Provide space for mutual exchange and learning
- Capture a key insight per day for dissemination at the assembly (200 characters)
- Share outcome of joint trans-contextual discernment with WCC governing bodies, member churches, and partners (800 - 1000 words per home group)

More information on Home Groups will be posted here later.

The vision of the WCC Stewards Programme has always been large. W.A. Visser’t Hooft, the first general secretary of the WCC, saw the stewards as bearers of the future. He wanted young people to encounter ecumenism and its leaders, so that they might one day become its leaders. 

The Stewards Programme is an ecumenical introduction. For many people it is been the first, or at least, an early step, that led to greater involvement in ecumenism and opportunities for learning and growth. 

Young people who serve as stewards are not merely observers of meetings or assemblies, but also participants. They are the circulatory and respiratory systems of the ecumenical movement—and they are vital to its life.

At the WCC 11th Assembly, there will be a group of young people, ages 18-30 years old, participating as stewards. The Stewards Programme will bring together 160 young people from different countries, regions, and traditions for an opportunity to contribute to operations of the assembly and to participate in ecumenical learning, encounters, and discussions.

There are three aspects of the Stewards Programme:
a) intentional ecumenical formation designed to build awareness, develop leadership, and strengthen global solidarity;
b) participation and contribution of young people to major WCC meetings as “yeast of the ecumenical loaf”;
c) support the inspiring and efficient flow of the meeting.

A steward is an invaluable ecumenical resource. In order to become a steward, an applicant has to go through a competitive selection process in which church and ecumenical involvement are prioritized. WCC looks for young people capable of integrating their experience back in their local contexts, motivated to multiply the ecumenical enthusiasm, ready to “do ecumenism” locally. Therefore, stewards are not merely helpers or an unqualified labour force. They are young persons committing time, energy, skills, knowledge, and visions to building the ecumenical movement. They are leaders in their churches, communities, organizations, and in the ecumenical movement and they are, or will be, the ones taking the ecumenical movement  forward.

Stewards’ working areas include floor management, communication, worship, documentation, and registration. Stewards come to serve the meeting as a whole. Therefore, they should not be requested to perform tasks by individual delegates or other participants unless this is coordinated through the WCC staff working with the stewards. Stewards are instructed not to answer to individual requests during their working time or to favour assembly participants of their country/church.

During the assembly, stewards will be carrying out their tasks but also – when off-duty – participate in worship, confessional meetings, and small group discussions. Whenever possible, they should be given the opportunity to speak and share their experience. They have a lot to contribute!

Specialized Ministries Pre-Assembly

WCC Specialized Ministries pre-assembly: 9-10 March, 2022

Just Community of Women and Men Pre-Assembly

Just Community of Women and Men Pre-Assembly: 29-30 August 2022

Indigenous Peoples Pre-Assembly

Indigenous Peoples Pre-Assembly: Karlsruhe, 28-30 August 2022

Ecumenical Youth Gathering

Ecumenical Youth Gathering and WCC Youth pre-assembly: 27-30 August, 2022

Inter-Orthodox Pre-Assembly

Orthodox Pre-Assembly of the 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches: Cyprus, 9 - 16 May, 2022

Ecumenical Disabilities Advocates Network Pre-Assembly

The Ecumenical Disabilities Advocates Network Pre-Assembly: Karlsruhe, 29 - 30 August 2022.

Ecumenical Conversations (EC) are envisioned as in-depth and linked to the potential work of WCC commissions and other programmes. They are drawn from the insights of WCC networks, member churches, and partners, and/or relate to emerging ecumenical concerns. Ecumenical conversations are to be outcome focused. Outcomes will be shared with the assembly committees, and detailed reports will be shared with future governing bodies.

Each Ecumenical Conversations  will take place in the same group for 4 days. This will give the possibility for creating safe spaces and a positive group dynamic, as well as for the participants to go in-depth into an issue. Ecumenical Conversations are open to assembly participants with a right to speak.

Participatants of the Ecumenical Conversations are all official participants of the assembly plus GETI students and faculty (Delegates, Delegated Representatives, Delegated Observers, Advisors to the assembly, Advisors to delegations, Observers, Guests, GETI students and faculty).

EC 1: Mission Reimagined: Transforming Disciples Challenging Empire

The church is inherently missionary, and it participates in the movement of Christ’s love to the world, creating reconciliation and unity. At its best, the church’s witness to Christ is expressed in intercultural communities of faith, hope, and love: communities of redemption and renewal at a personal and collective, as well as local and global level. This Ecumenical Conversation challenges its participants to have a renewed imagination of their own journey as transforming disciples of Jesus Christ, and to consider his prophetic word to their own situation. The Ecumenical Conversation also invites them to identify the challenges we face in today’s world such as inequality, ethnic division, polarized identities, and socio-economic imbalances, encourages the WCC and its assembly to take a lead into the transforming of the world and pursue a vision of transformation that can capture the imagination of a diverse church and world in the next generation.

EC 2: Dreaming a New Future: A Call from the Margins

The Arusha Call to Transforming Discipleship is a response “to Jesus’ call to follow him from the margins of our world (Luke 4:16-19)”. The systemic marginalization of communities around the world has increased rapidly in recent years due to capitalism, militarization, authoritarian politics, systemic inequalities, racism, perceived cultural superiority, and socio-political victimization. Further to this, global mega trends such as the climate emergency and the COVID-19 pandemic have further marginalized and exacerbated existing inequalities. Affirmation 4 of the Arusha Call presents us with the charge “to joyfully engage in the ways of the Holy Spirit, who empowers people from the margins with agency, in the search for justice and dignity” (Acts 1:8; 4:31). The call from the margins is a challenge to the various centres of our world to discern how the Spirit is at work among the marginalized and to listen to and affirm what those at the margins are saying. The call from the margins of our world is a call to dreaming a new future. Compelled by this call, this Ecumenical Conversation is an invitation to dream and explore together a renewed vision of a new future from the perspectives of the margins aided by the lens of contextuality and intersectionality and its implications for mission.

EC 3: Walking Together Hand in Hand: Evangelism and Justice – exploring theology and practice for mission and evangelism in an unjust world

Called to transforming discipleship, churches have the responsibility to work for the restoration of justice; to be in solidarity with the oppressed, the marginalized, the “least” of every society that are conveniently kept under the radars of our comfort zones. However, this necessitates also an honest, uncomfortable self-critique, a self-evaluation of our theologies and practices of mission today. This Ecumenical Conversation aspires to motivate and inspire churches to re-examine and finally re-shape their missional commitment; To emphasize the importance and urgency for a kind of discipleship that strives for the transformation of the unjust world we live in! A transformation brought about as Christ’s Love shakes and moves the world! A transformation that comes/begins from within; from within the individual disciple; from within our theologies of mission, from within our evangelistic practices and from the challenges we face as we witness to Christ's justice in a broken world, being broken ourselves.

EC 4: The Gift of Being: A Church of All and For All – inclusion and full participation of persons with disabilities in ministry and mission

The title of the conversation is borrowed from the theological reflection on disability which was received and approved by the WCC Central Committee in 2016 entitled “The Gift of Being: Called to Be a Church of All and for All”. The conversation will look at the various layers of marginalization based on disability through a process of critical theological reflection on our ecclesial practices and empower the churches to find meaningful inclusion within religious communities. Discussions on our common vulnerability as humans, especially in the context of the assembly theme, the COVID-19 pandemic and the Sustainable Development Goals will be explored, as well as sharing experiences on the gift of life as an endowment in countless ways from others throughout our lifetime. From the conversation the participants will get a deeper understanding of re-encountering God in the light of the experience of disability and a search for fresh understandings of what it means to live in the image of such a God.

EC 5: Creation and Common Prayer

One of the affirmations made in the Ecumenical Conversation 05 at the 10th Assembly of the WCC in Busan was “Prayer is something we can already do together. We should pray together as often as possible.” As we continue to address the issue of common prayer in the ecumenical movement in our ongoing pilgrimage towards unity and reconciliation, we must continue to affirm that our praying together is a spiritual gift. This Ecumenical Conversation will: a) examine how creation, a gift that is shared by all, can be a source that informs both the content and contour of common prayer; b) reflect on how elements of creation have already contributed to shaping Christian spirituality and theology throughout the centuries in various faith traditions and c) explore how expressions of common prayer, modelled on the shared gift of creation, can open new vistas for ecumenical prayer to be an opened door through which unity and reconciliation are approached as we welcome all believers in the Triune God to be joined together in common prayer.

EC 6: Broadening the Dialogue on the Church

What is the ecumenical relationship between new ways of being church, which have emerged in connection with the globalization of Christianity, and the search for a common understanding the Church expressed in the 2012 WCC document The Church: Towards a Common Vision? Throughout the 20th century, the landscape of Christianity changed significantly. Primarily centred in the Northern hemisphere, Christianity has become global and taken new contextualized faces in different continents. At the same time, new denominations, often proposing new ways of being church, have emerged.  As a result, the search for the visible unity of the churches, which is at the core of the ecumenical movement, must face the challenge of reaching out to those communities or denominations, which so far have not been partners in the ecumenical dialogue about the Church. This ecumenical conversation will first offer a brief introduction to what the WCC Commission on Faith and Order has done in recent years on the common understanding of the Church and on the dialogue with new expressions of world Christianity. It will then propose a theological discussion on future steps towards the manifestation of Christian unity amidst a growing diversity of ways of being church.

EC 7: Creation Justice Now! Climate Action and Water for Life

The present world development model based on extractive economic growth is unsustainable and triggers climate change. The brunt of climate change impacts are faced by the poor and marginalized communities, including indigenous people, women, and children. Climate change manifests its impacts through water – the lack of it (drought) or excessive presence (floods). About 1/3rd of world’s population does not have access to safely managed water and about 2/3rd do not have access to safely managed sanitation facilities. COVID-19 has also shown us a snapshot of a “new normal” that is possible for a planet that is sustainable, focusing on an economy of life. The aim of this conversion is to promote a theological and ethical reflection of the urgency of climate change and water crisis and to come up with a roadmap for reconciling with nature.

EC 8: Who lives, who dies, who cares?: The churches’ role in health and healing today

The current pandemic has highlighted that health impacts all aspects of life, and that churches can and should play a more proactive role to promote a holistic understanding of health and wellness. As the world races towards the 2030 target of the Sustainable Development Goals and tries to “build back better” post-COVID-19, this Ecumenical Conversation will explore the unique contributions that churches can make at this critical juncture, from local up to the global level. This Ecumenical Conversation will: a) Reflect on the theological basis for medical mission, with implications for our times; b) Deepen the understanding of health and healing, with a focus on churches as healing communities; c) Discuss theological and ethical implications of emerging health issues; d) Explore ecumenical partnerships and resources to strengthen church health ministries globally.

EC 9: Economy of Life in a time of inequality, climate change and the 4th industrial revolution

Widening inequalities, persistent hunger, structural racism, runaway climate change, and destructive pandemics stem from and expose the brokenness of the prevailing global economic order, pointing to the urgency of pursuing an Economy of Life for all. In the current climate of intertwined crises, artificial intelligence, genetic manipulation, and other innovations are touted as solutions but raise profound socio-ethical concerns. Faith together with science reveal the path away from planetary breakdown towards a flourishing future, demanding deep-seated transformations in the way our societies produce and consume. This ecumenical conversation addresses the following questions: What can we harvest as good practices from churches’ engagement in promoting life-affirming economies? How do we live our faith and practice transforming discipleship in times and landscapes shaped by financial capital? What can we learn from the perspectives of communities living in the margins with a view to striving for reparative and restorative economies? What are the emerging challenges and how must we as churches respond?

EC 10: WCC and ACT Alliance: Ecumenical Diakonia – building bridges: local action by churches together

Faith actors are important agents of change and transformation. Jointly, members of WCC and of ACT Alliance are recognized for their impact at local, national, and global levels – not least their diverse and innovative responses to COVID-19. How do we reinforce this? This Ecumenical Conversation aims to energize the collaborative Christian contribution to a better and more just future in three ways: (1) Share examples of Christian social action (diakonia) on issues such as COVID-19, HIV & AIDS, gender justice, climate change and other contemporary challenges. What are best practices? How can we finance and build capacity? How can we engage with the UN Sustainable Development Goals? (2) Strengthen our theological and conceptual understanding by working with the WCC and ACT Alliance document: “Called to Transformative Action – Ecumenical Diakonia”. (3) Re-imagine diaconal literacy, capacity building, and education jointly across WCC and ACT Alliance, including use of the recently published “International Handbook on Ecumenical Diakonia”.

EC 11: Conversations on the Pilgrim Way: invitation to journey together on matters of human sexuality

At the Tenth Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Busan, in response to the issues raised during the ecumenical conversations, business sessions, and other presentations regarding the challenges that issues of human sexuality pose to WCC member churches and its constituencies, the assembly through the Programme Guidelines Committee made the following recommendation: ‘Being aware of divisive issues among churches, the WCC can function as a safe space to enter into dialogue and moral discernment on matters which the churches find challenging. Examples which have been heard strongly in this assembly include questions of gender and human sexuality. Controversial issues have their place within that safe space on the common agenda, remembering that tolerance is not enough, but the baseline is love and mutual respect.’ In response to the above recommendation, the WCC general secretary formed both a Staff Group and a Reference Group on Human Sexuality to work on a resource document, which was presented to the WCC executive committee in November 2019. The executive committee received the document and recommended to ‘transmit the report to the central committee for information with the suggestion that the WCC 11th Assembly could have an Ecumenical Conversation on this topic’. The aim of this ecumenical conversation is to create a space for dialogue and discussion on human sexuality as it is being carried out in different contexts of the WCC fellowship and how the conversation can be carried out in the future, emphasizing love and reconciliation.

EC 12: Trends and emerging issues in a rapidly changing world

This Ecumenical Conversation will discuss and reflect on trends in a rapidly changing world, that will affect the life and work of churches 20 years from now; guide ethical and moral discernment and contribute to checks and balances for the development and utilization of these technologies. It will focus on new ways of being Church and community, Demographic transformation, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Genetic Modification. The participants will discuss the implications of these key issues in the life of the Church and recommend steps for faith communities to provide ethical and moral discernment and accompaniment and contribute to checks and balances for the development of these technologies. The facilitators will bring in-depth expertise and initiate group conversations. The participants will receive succinct and comprehensive resource material on the subjects well in advance and are expected to reflect on and review the issues from their contexts as a preparation for the conversations.

EC 13: Towards a Just Peace in the Middle East

The question of Just Peace in the Middle East remains at the heart of the work of the Ecumenical Movement. Unfortunately, long lasting circles of violence, political instability, destruction of the social cohesion systems in place, and social injustices threatened all populations of the region, but above all the most vulnerable among the religious, ethnic, and cultural components, such as the Christians. The crucial question of the historical Christian presence and witness in the Middle East shifts to a narrative of terrorism, extremism, and threatening Christians in the Middle East. The ecumenical movement has an important role to play in shaping the future narratives for peace and social cohesion while ensuring and strengthening the role and place of Christians as equal actors and partners of the Middle East.

EC 14: Ecumenical Call to Just Peace: Holistic approaches to peacebuilding

The period from Busan (10th Assembly) to Karlsruhe (11th Assembly) has been defined by the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, pursuing a holistic vision of just peace as described in the 10th Assembly Statement on the Way of Just Peace. This Ecumenical Conversation will examine how churches in key national contexts – especially those identified as priority countries during this period – have responded to this call, the challenges they have faced, how the ecumenical movement has sought to support and accompany churches and communities in those contexts, and the impact of those efforts. (A separate Ecumenical Conversation – No. 13 – will address the issue of Just Peace in the Middle East.) In addition to learning about churches’ efforts to promote a just peace in their own contexts, this Ecumenical Conversation will seek to identify best practice/lessons learned from these experiences, and to further develop the ecumenical approach to holistic peacebuilding.

EC 15: Freedom of Religion and Belief: The Church and Others in the Face of Religious Discrimination and Oppression

This Ecumenical Conversation will address concerns about Christian suffering, persecution and marginalization and promote the understanding and acceptance of the principle of Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) as applicable for all people regardless of faith or belief. The issue of how FoRB claims are sometimes used to suppress the rights of others must also be addressed. Different regions and different groups of people – i.e., women, children, people with disabilities, and migrant populations experience violations of FoRB differently. Consideration of the different impacts will be integrated across the conversation, as will the theological underpinnings of the principles of FoRB. The conversation will comprise four elements – introduction to the topic, context and sharing of experiences, the role of the church, and tools for advocacy. The conversation will inform and challenge attitudes about the different facets of FoRB beyond the usual geographic contexts and own faith orientations of participants, building on the assembly theme “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity.”

EC 16: Together Towards Racial Justice: Confronting and Dismantling the Enduring Legacy of Slavery and Colonialism in a Time of Increasing Populism and Xenophobia

The legacy of slavery and colonialism continues to affect the lives of millions today: white supremacy, racial discrimination against black and brown bodies, Afrophobia, xenophobic violence, racism and white privilege, racism in relation to gender violence, hate speech against minorities, discrimination, and exploitation on the basis of religion and caste. The aim of this Ecumenical Converstation is to create awareness of the complex and intersectional nature of racism and its manifestations, to deepen awareness of and confront the churches’ past and ongoing complicity with racism and the ways these have justified and validated racism, and to identify as well as uphold existing markers for anti-racist and anti-discriminatory behaviour. These principle markers and new life affirming possibilities will be made available to churches as a resource. Throughout the four sessions, the Ecumenical Conversation will include personal testimonies, storytelling, small group sharing, panels, and short presentations.

EC 17: Exile, Exodus and Hospitality: Human Mobility, Displacement and the Public Role and Witness of the Church

Migration and/or human mobility in its varied forms not only poses specific challengers concerning human rights, it calls into question the ongoing mission and prophetic role of the church. This Ecumenical Conversation will explore the tensions and intersections between human rights and Christian faith; and the churches pastoral, prophetic and public role. The Ecumenical Conversation will explore the changing and extremely diverse profiles of people on the move, the challenges migration raises, and the many ways migrants transform ecclesial life, mission, and praxis. As migration is likely to become increasingly complex in the years to come, this Ecumenical Conversation will consider how and why it is necessary for churches to continue to be strong witnesses and advocates in the public sphere as well as addressing current, emerging, and future migration challenges.

EC 18: Interreligious Solidarity as Interreligious Engagement

Trying to bridge the theological and practical dimensions of interreligious dialogue, this Ecumenical Conversation will explore interreligious solidarity as a viable model of interreligious engagement in world affected by the COVID-19 and many other ongoing pandemics. Using the WCC-PCID joint document on ‘Serving a Wounded World in Interreligious Solidarity’ as a foundation, it will develop strategies to foster practical interreligious solidarity in a multi-religious world. It will begin by exploring the spiritual/theological inspiration for interreligious solidarity within religious traditions and seeking to understand how solidarity is built into the self-understanding of religious communities. Then, using experiences of interreligious solidarity as a prism, participants will analyze: a) What approaches to solidarity have worked well so far? b) What issues pose obstacles to interreligious solidarity? It will seek to build this analysis into action by reflecting on strategies to translate interreligious engagement into interreligious solidarity in a post-COVID-19 World.

EC 19: Theological education – Why its ecumenicity is essential

Theological education is a key concern of the ecumenical movement. It provides a vital space for developing and nurturing constructive theological reflection in midst of changing ecclesial and religious landscapes. In view of sectarian and inward-looking tendencies, ecumenical theological education calls upon churches to reflect jointly and profoundly on the nature and mission of the church in the world. This Ecumenical Conversation will discuss the opportunities and challenges, with particular reference to how pedagogical innovation, methodologies, epistemologies, curriculum development, and institutional frameworks could strengthen the ecumenicity of theological education today. This Ecumenical Conversation at the WCC Assembly will seek to explore ecumenical theological education as a profound reflection of lived mutuality and unity and envision (with theological rationale and historical precedence) ecumenical theological education as a project for resistance and transformation today.

EC 20: Minding the Gaps: Safeguarding Gender Justice in Unity and Reconciliation

Current global realities, including the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and violent conflicts, have resulted in increased sexual and gender-based violence and widened the social and economic gap between men and women. These gaps present a distinctive challenge to the unity within the church, and the reconciliation we seek among all people. Recent World Council of Churches initiatives – including the Gender Justice Principles, the Decade of Churches in Solidarity with Women (DCSW) 20th Anniversary Commemoration Consultation strategies, and Women of Faith Pilgrim Team Visits – offer to the church a basis for programmatic work toward ending inequality and violence (building on the WCC’s history of gender justice work). This conversation invites the WCC and its member churches, to foster unity and reconciliation in relation to justice between men and women through its programs and leadership structure during the post-assembly period. This will promote inclusion and holistic development in church and society.

EC 21: Christian Ethics and Human Rights

WCC’s history is closely connected with that of modern international human rights law, starting with the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948. However, in many parts of the world today the legitimacy of the principles and obligations expressed in international human rights law are being undermined and attacked as never before. Moreover, there is an increasingly evident diversity of perspectives within the ecumenical movement on the relationship between Christian faith principles and international human rights law. Drawing on the outcomes of a prior process of reflections, consultations, and publications (2020-2022), this Ecumenical Conversation will explore this issue from a range of theological and regional/cultural perspectives, and in light of the experiences of victims of human rights violations. This Ecumenical Conversation will seek to (re)establish an ecumenical consensus with regard to church engagement in promoting and protecting human rights, utilizing the instruments of international human rights law.

EC 22: Churches and moral discernment. Facilitating dialogue to build koinonia

How can churches enter into a constructive dialogue about disagreements on moral issues? The new Faith and Order study document “Churches and Moral Discernment. Facilitating Dialogue to Build Koinonia” invites churches to explore together the different dimensions of moral discernment. The uniqueness of this study is that, based on the self-descriptions of diverse church traditions and the study of historical examples, it proposes a tool that helps to navigate the landscape of moral discernment in the churches. It provides a detailed study of the relationship between continuity and change. The “conscience of the church” is proposed as a key concept that articulates the living engagement of the church with new challenges. The ecumenical conversation at the WCC Assembly will discuss insights from this study together with a sharing from contemporary processes in local churches, regional ecumenical bodies and dialogues within and between Christian World Communions.

EC 23: Inspired by the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace – Moving together by the Love of Christ

Participants in this Ecumenical Conversation will share inspiring stories of the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace (PJP) and reflect together both on the spiritual grounding of the PJP and four existential topics that show how people experience the impact of violence, structural injustice, and the climate crisis as threats to their communities and the physical basis of their lives: Truth and trauma, land and displacement, gender justice, and racial justice. These four topics are rooted in the authentic and transformative spiritualities of local communities. Seen together as cornerstones of a theology of companionship, they could become an inspiration for the ecumenical movement in the coming years.