Vollversammlung

Die 11. Vollversammlung des Ökumenischen Rates der Kirchen wird vom 31. August - 8. September 2022 in Karlsruhe, Deutschland stattfinden.

Die Vollversammlung ist das höchste Entscheidungsgremium des Ökumenischen Rates der Kirchen (ÖRK) und tritt in der Regel alle acht Jahre zusammen. Sie ist die einzige Gelegenheit, bei der die  Gemeinschaft der Mitgliedskirchen an einem Ort zusammenkommt, um gemeinsam zu beten, zu beraten und zu feiern.

Eine Vollversammlung ist ein besonderes Ereignis im Leben der Mitgliedskirchen, der ökumenischen Partner und anderer Kirchen, denn sie bringt mehr als 4.000 Teilnehmende aus allen Ecken der Welt an einem Ort zusammen. Sie ist eine einzigartige Möglichkeit für die Kirchen, ihr Engagement für die sichtbare Einheit und das  gemeinsame Zeugnis auszudrücken. Eine ÖRK-Vollversammlung ist  die umfassendste  Zusammenkunft von Christinnen und Christen  weltweit.

Die 11. Vollversammlung des ÖRK wird auf gemeinsame Einladung der Evangelischen Kirche in Deutschland (EKD), der Evangelischen Landeskirche in Baden, der Arbeitsgemeinschaft Christlicher Kirchen in Deutschland (ACK), der Union der Protestantischen Kirchen von Elsass und Lothringen (UEPAL) und der Evangelisch-reformierten Kirche Schweiz in Karlsruhe (Deutschland) stattfinden.

Eine Vollversammlung ist ein besonderes Ereignis im Leben der Mitgliedskirchen, der Partnerorganisationen des ÖRK und anderer Kirchen, denn sie bringt mehr als 4.000 Teilnehmende aus allen Ecken der Welt an einem Ort zusammen. Sie ist eine einzigartige Möglichkeit für die Kirchen, ihr Engagement für die sichtbare Einheit und das gemeinsame Zeugnis auszudrücken. Eine ÖRK-Vollversammlung ist damit die umfassendste Zusammenkunft von Christinnen und Christen weltweit.

Eine ÖRK-Vollversammlung in Deutschland

Der ÖRK hat die Einladung von Mitgliedskirchen in Deutschland angenommen, die 11. Vollversammlung in Karlsruhe,Deutschland auszurichten. Ausgesprochen hatten diese Einladung die Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (EKD), die Evangelische Landeskirche in Baden und die Arbeitsgemeinschaft Christlicher Kirchen in Deutschland (ACK) zusammen mit Kirchen in Frankreich (Union der Protestantischen Kirchen von Elsass und Lothringen, UEPAL) und der Schweiz (Evangelisch-reformierte Kirche Schweiz). Die letzte ÖRK-Vollversammlung in Europa war die Vollversammlung in Uppsala, Schweden 1968.

Karlsruhe liegt  im Südwesten Deutschlands, einer Grenzregion in historischer und kultureller Hinsicht, und ist die zweitgrößte Stadt im Bundesland Baden-Württemberg. Der Hauptveranstaltungsort für die Vollversammlung wird die im Zentrum der Stadt liegende Messe Karlsruhe sein.

Eine ÖRK-Vollversammlung in Europa

Nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg und mit den durch die Entkolonialisierung herbeigeführten Veränderungen in der geopolitischen Lage entwickelte sich eine neue Realität einer europäischen – in erster Linie westeuropäischen – Einheit. Gleichzeitig führte die Feindschaft zwischen der Sowjetunion und den Westmächten zu einer Teilung des Kontinents in Ost und West, die bis zum Fall der Berliner Mauer 1989 Bestand hatte. Die europäischen Kirchen in der ökumenischen Bewegung und im ÖRK waren immer bemüht, trotz dieser Teilung im Kalten Krieg ein Gefühl von Gemeinschaft zu bewahren und zu fördern. Und genau das war eine der Hauptaufgaben der regionalen ökumenischen Organisation, die die Kirchen in Europa 1959 gründeten, der Konferenz Europäischer Kirchen (KEK).

Die geografische Ausbreitung der Region Europa im ÖRK und in der ökumenischen Bewegung entsprechen zu großen Teilen dem politischen Verständnis, dass sich Europa vom Ural bis zum Atlantik erstreckt. An der südlichen Grenze gehören zwar die Länder im Kaukasus noch zu Europa, nicht aber Zypern, dass dem Nahen Osten zugerechnet wird. Innerhalb der Region Europa sind die subregionalen Verbindungen und das subregionale Zusammengehörigkeitsgefühl insbesondere ausgeprägt zwischen den nordischen Ländern (die Länder Skandinaviens, Finnland und die baltischen Staaten), in Mitteleuropa, Osteuropa, den Balkanstaaten und Südeuropa.

Die protestantischen Kirchen in West- und Südeuropa haben sich zu einer subregionalen Konferenz zusammengeschlossen. Bis zu einem gewissen Grad gibt es zudem auch ein subregionales konfessionsgebundenes Muster: Die großen Kirchen der Reformation (protestantische und anglikanische Kirchen) finden sich überwiegend in West- und Nordeuropa, die römisch-katholische Kirche zählt im Süden (und in Polen) die Mehrheit der Bevölkerung zu ihren Mitgliedern und die orthodoxen Kirchen bilden in Mittel- und Osteuropa die Mehrheitskirche. Die Kirchen der protestantischen Reformation (lutherische, reformierte, methodistische Kirchen) sind durch die Leuenberger Konkordie in voller Kirchengemeinschaft und haben die Gemeinschaft Evangelischer Kirchen in Europa (GEKE) gegründet. Auch die anglikanischen und die (episkopalen) lutherischen Kirchen in Großbritannien und den nordischen Ländern (mit Ausnahme Dänemarks) haben eine Vereinbarung über volle Kirchengemeinschaft unterzeichnet (Provoo). Die Anzahl der ÖRK-Mitgliedskirchen in Europa beläuft sich auf 81.

Links:

ÖRK-Mitgliedskirchen in Europa

Die Konferenz Europäischer Kirchen

ÖRK-Mitgliedskirchen in Deutschland

Thema der Vollversammlung

Die 11. Vollversammlung des Ökumenischen Rates der Kirchen wird zu einer Zeit zusammenkommen, die von Ratlosigkeit, Ängsten und grundlegenden Fragen geprägt sein wird: Wie leben wir auf der Erde? Welchen Sinn geben wir unserem Leben? Wie leben wir als Gesellschaft zusammen? Wie können wir Verantwortung für zukünftige Generationen übernehmen? Die COVID-19-Pandemie und ihre Folgen, der Klima-Notstand und die Verschärfung von Rassismus weltweit haben diese Fragen noch einmal spürbar verstärkt. Probleme wie strukturelle wirtschaftliche Ungleichheit, Diskriminierung aufgrund des Geschlechts und andere Formen von Ungerechtigkeit in unseren Gesellschaften und der Welt treten vor diesem Hintergrund noch deutlicher hervor.

In der auseinanderbrechenden Welt ist das Vollversammlungsthema ein Zeugnis unseres Glaubens: Die Liebe Christi verwandelt die Welt durch die Kraft des Heiligen Geistes, der lebendig macht; gegen die Macht der Zerstörung und der Sünde bekräftigt das Thema, dass die Liebe des barmherzigen, gekreuzigten und auferstandenen Christus im Herzen und Zentrum dieser Welt steht. Es ist ein grundlegender Aufruf an die Kirchen, miteinander, mit Menschen anderen Glaubens und mit allen Menschen guten Willens unermüdlich für gerechten Frieden und Versöhnung zu arbeiten, damit die sichtbare Einheit der Kirche ein prophetisches Zeichen und ein Vorgeschmack auf die Versöhnung dieser Welt mit Gott und auf die Einheit der Menschheit und der ganzen Schöpfung werden kann.

Die Liebe Christi bewegt, versöhnt und eint die Welt

Symbol der Vollversammlung
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Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity

Links to download: PDF JPG

Das Logo für die Vollversammlung ist ein visueller, bildlicher Ausdruck des Themas der Vollversammlung. Es wurde inspiriert von den lebendigen und vielfältigen Ausdrucksformen der ökumenischen Bewegung in ihrem Streben nach der Einheit von Christinnen und Christen und ihrem Engagement für Gerechtigkeit und Frieden.

Beflügelt von dem Thema „Die Liebe Christi bewegt, versöhnt und eint die Welt“, wird die ÖRK-Gemeinschaft als Ganzes zur 11. Vollversammlung zusammenkommen, um gemeinsam zu beten, zu beraten und zu feiern. Aber wir werden noch weit über die Vollversammlung daraus neue Energie für die Arbeit des ÖRK schöpfen. Deshalb sollten Sie, wann immer Sie das Logo für die Vollversammlung verwenden wollen, daneben auch das offizielle Logo des ÖRK platzieren – wie Sie es auf dem Poster weiter unten sehen können.

Das Logo für die Vollversammlung umfasst vier Elemente:

-       Das Kreuz: Das Thema der Vollversammlung bekräftigt unseren Glauben, dass die barmherzige Liebe Christi die Welt durch die lebensspendende Kraft des Heiligen Geistes verwandelt. Als gut sichtbarer Teil des Logos für die Vollversammlung ist das Kreuz Ausdruck für die Liebe Christi und Verweis auf den ersten Artikel der Verfassung des ÖRK.

-       Die Taube – als ein allgemein bekanntes Symbol für Frieden und Versöhnung steht die Taube für den Heiligen Geist und verweist zudem auf die in der Bibel verwurzelten Ausdrucksformen von Hoffnung.

-       Der Kreis – die ganze bewohnte Erde (oikoumene) – vermittelt ein Gefühl von Einheit und gemeinsamen Zielen, und von Neuanfang. Zudem war auch das Konzept der Versöhnung Inspirationsquelle für den Kreis. Als Christinnen und Christen sind wir durch Christus mit Gott versöhnt, und als Kirchen sind wir Boten für Vergebung und Liebe sowohl innerhalb unserer Gemeinschaften als auch darüber hinaus. Die ökumenische Bewegung hat durch entschlossenes Engagement und Handeln für eine gerechtere und partizipativere Gesellschaft und die Bewahrung der Schöpfung auf den Aufruf zu Einheit und Versöhnung reagiert.

-       Der Weg – wir alle kommen von unterschiedlichen Orten, aus unterschiedlichen Kulturen und Kirchen; wir gehen unterschiedliche Wege, um auf den Ruf Gottes zu reagieren; wir alle befinden uns auf einem Pilgerweg, auf dem wir Anderen begegnen und uns für die Umsetzung von Gerechtigkeit und Frieden mit ihnen zusammenschließen. Die verschiedenen Wege stehen für die ganz unterschiedlichen Wege, auf denen wir uns befinden, für die Bewegung, die Freiheit und die Lebendigkeit und Dynamik, die den ÖRK und seine Mitgliedskirchen weltweit antreiben.

Link:
Laden Sie das Poster zur Vollversammlung hier herunter: JPGPDF

 

Als höchstes Entscheidungsgremium des ÖRK ist es Aufgabe der Vollversammlung, die Programmarbeit zu überprüfen, öffentliche Erklärungen zu formulieren und die allgemeinen Arbeitsschwerpunkte des ÖRK festzulegen. Darüber hinaus wählt sie die Präsidentinnen und Präsidenten und einen Zentralausschuss mit 150 Mitgliedern, der die Arbeit des ÖRK bis zur nächsten Vollversammlung überwacht.

Wie kann ich an einer ÖRK-Vollversammlung teilnehmen?

Delegierte und Beraterinnen und Berater der Mitgliedskirchen
Die Einladungen an die Mitgliedskirchen, Delegationen für die Vollversammlung zu nominieren und diese beim Zentralausschuss einzureichen, wurden 2019 versandt.

Delegierte Vertreterinnen und Vertreter von Partnerorganisationen
Ökumenische Partner des ÖRK, die vom Zentralausschuss anerkannt sind, sind eingeladen, delegierte Vertreterinnen und Vertreter zur Teilnahme an der Vollversammlung zu nominieren. Ökumenische Partner können sein: assoziierte oder nationale Kirchenräte, kirchliche Dienste und Werke, weltweite christliche Gemeinschaften, regionale ökumenische Organisationen und internationale ökumenische Organisationen.

Delegierte Beobachterinnen und Beobachter von Kirchen, die nicht Mitglied im ÖRK sind
Auch Kirchen, die nicht Mitglied im ÖRK sind, sind eingeladen, an der Vollversammlung teilzunehmen. In diese Kategorie fallen Vertreterinnen und Vertreter der römisch-katholischen Kirche, der Pfingstkirchen, mit denen der ÖRK im Dialog ist, und Vertreterinnen und Vertreter von Kirchen, die einen Antrag auf Mitgliedschaft im ÖRK gestellt haben.

Beobachterinnen und Beobachter sowie Gäste von Kirchen, Partnern und anderen Religionen
Viele Kirchen und Partner entsenden Beobachterinnen und Beobachter zur ÖRK-Vollversammlung. Auch Vertreterinnen und Vertreter von interreligiösen Partnern des ÖRK nehmen als Beobachterinnen und Beobachter an der Vollversammlung teil.

Stewards
Junge Menschen im Alter von 18 bis 30 Jahre können als Stewards an der Vollversammlung teilnehmen und in dieser Funktion zum reibungslosen Ablauf der Veranstaltung beitragen und sich ökumenisch bilden. Wenn Sie im Alter zwischen 18 und 30 Jahren sind und Interesse haben, am Stewards-Programm teilzunehmen, können Sie sich zwischen September 2021 und Februar 2022 hierzu anmelden.

Vollversammlungsteilnehmende
Alle Interessierten aus Mitgliedskirchen, ökumenischen Netzwerken und Partnerorganisationen sind willkommen und eingeladen, an der 11. ÖRK-Vollversammlung teilzunehmen. Leitlinien für diese Teilnahmekategorie werden ab September 2021 zur Verfügung stehen und dann wird auch eine Anmeldung möglich sein.

Teilnehmende aus der Region Europa
Das lokale Koordinierungsbüro der Vollversammlung in Karlsruhe (KALO) wird ein regionales Programm für ökumenische Begegnung organisieren, das sich insbesondere an ortsansässige Teilnehmende und Teilnehmende aus der Region richtet. Dieses Programm wird parallel zur Vollversammlung laufen. Weitere Informationen zur Anmeldung für dieses Programm finden Sie auf der Website des lokalen Koordinierungsbüros.

Tagesgäste
Sollten Sie Interesse haben, einen Tag der Vollversammlung mitzuerleben, werden Ihnen hierzu kurz vor der Vollversammlung genauere Informationen zur Verfügung gestellt werden.

Medien
Wenn Sie als Medien-/Pressevertreterinnen und -vertreter über die Vollversammlung berichten und aus diesem Grund daran teilnehmen wollen, können Sie sich ab September 2021 hierfür akkreditieren lassen.

Weitere Informationen finden Sie hier

Das lokale Koordinierungsbüro der Vollversammlung in Karlsruhe (KALO)

In Karlsruhe wurde ein lokales Koordinierungsbüro für die Vollversammlung eingerichtet, das für die Organisation der Vollversammlung vor Ort zuständig ist. Das Koordinierungsbüro arbeitet eng mit dem ÖRK zusammen und sorgt für eine gute Kooperation mit den Kirchen in der Region und den Partnern vor Ort. Das KALO koordiniert die verschiedenen Veranstaltungen im Vorfeld der Vollversammlung sowie das Programm der gastgebenden Kirchen während der Vollversammlung, z. B. ein Programm für ökumenische Begegnung und Ausflüge in die Region am Wochenende der Vollversammlung.

Unterstützt wird das Koordinierungsbüro von der Evangelischen Kirche in Deutschland, der Evangelischen Landeskirche in Baden und dem Erzbistum Freiburg. Zu den Mitarbeitenden zählen drei Theologen (zwei Protestanten und ein römischer Katholik), eine Eventmanagerin und eine Assistentin, die sich gemeinsam um alle Fragen im Zusammenhang mit der Vollversammlung kümmern und die Beziehungen unter den Kirchen in der Region und den zahlreichen Institutionen, die an der Vollversammlung mitwirken, stärken.

Weiterhin arbeitet das Büro mit zahlreichen Freiwilligen zusammen, die bei den Vorbereitungen und der Umsetzung der Vollversammlung auf unterschiedlichen Ebenen helfen.

Neben der Planung der inhaltlichen Gestaltung und der Logistik für die Programmbeiträge der gastgebenden Kirchen, sorgt das Koordinierungsbüro in Zusammenarbeit mit dem ÖRK dafür, dass die Vollversammlung umweltverträglich ist, kümmert sich um die Beförderung der Teilnehmenden vor Ort und arbeitet eng mit den verschiedenen zuständigen Sicherheitsbehörden zusammen. Das Koordinierungsbüro ist bemüht, so viele Kirche aus der Region wie möglich in die Vorbereitungen der Vollversammlung einzubeziehen. Interessierte können sich jederzeit mit ihren Fragen zur Vollversammlung an das Koordinierungsbüro wenden.

Links

Kontakt zum Koordinierungsbüro auf ekiba.de

Stadt Karlsruhe

Karlsruhe Tourismus

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 the 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 Groups 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 provided for delegates and visitors to participate in evening confessional prayers. This will allow for 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. 

Our times of worshipping together we believe 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.

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Busan prayer service
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 in order to ensure a thematic as well as spiritual flow.

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Bishop Brian Farrell speaks at WCC 10th Assembly
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.

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plenary session during WCC 10th Assembly
Ecumenical conversations

Ecumenical conversations 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 conservation will take place in the same group for 4 days. This will give the possibility for creating safe spaces and a 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.

In Karlsruhe, 20 – 22 ecumenical conversations will run parallel. Participants will be able to register for one. More information on ecumenical conversations will be posted here later.

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ecumenical conversation
Brunnen

Brunnen is a German word for “well.” The well is traditionally a space for encounter and sharing, satisfying one’s thirst, greeting a visitor and welcoming a stranger. The German churches propose Brunnen as a concept to welcome the world to Karlsruhe and help give shape and meaning to the assembly. In the 2013 Busan, the 2006 Porto Alegre and 1998 Harare assemblies, the respective concepts of MadangPadare and Mutirão referred to a shared space for workshops, exhibitions and side events involving different groups and ecumenical partners.

The objectives of the Brunnen are to:

  1. Provide space for encountering the diversity of the church and ecumenical partners; 
  2. Become an animated and lively space within the assembly venue; 
  3. Allow for assembly participants to engage with themes/issues and ideas related to the host context; 
  4. Provide space for the ecumenical family to discuss issues of common concern and/or emerging challenges in an environment of mutual learning; and 

Introduce and promote the exploration of themes/issues in visual, interactive, dynamic and innovative ways.

    Components of the Brunnen programme:

    The purpose of the Networking Zone is to create a lively and dynamic space where participants can gather around several ecumenical hubs. These hubs (large booths) must provide dynamic, interactive and diverse activities. A limited number of these hubs will be available (5). More information on the networking zones will be posted here later.

    Workshops
    Workshops are only given once for a period of 75 minutes to provide an opportunity for up to 50 assembly participants to discuss and explore a specific thematic topic. Applicants should come from WCC member churches and/ or ecumenical partners. A limited number of workshops will be offered with simultaneous interpretation into different languages.

    More information on workshops and how to apply will be posted here later.

    Exhibitions & Booths
    Exhibitions & Booths are spaces (either running for the duration of the assembly or for shorter periods) that provide an opportunity for assembly participants and the wider public to enjoy a range of diverse offerings from the membership and/ or ecumenical partners. Exhibitions & Booths are not limited to static presentations and displays (photo essays, art exhibitions, etc.) and must include a variety of offerings. These booths will be approx. 3x2m.

    More information on exhibitions and booths, and how to apply, will posted here later.

    Side-events & performances
    Side events & performances are events for the fellowship, ecumenical partners and wider public that may include music,  theatre, dance, or visual arts, designated spaces for discussion (e.g. a series of conversations with key ecumenists), a youth space etc. There will be a ‘hub’ for the events space that will include a stage for performance. This will be coordinated and animated by an artistic coordinator. More information on side-events and performances will be posted here later.

    Information
    A specific area will be dedicated to providing information to participants. This area will have a WCC assembly information desk and registration but also information about the City of Karlsruhe, local churches, programme elements and more.

    Catering
    The Brunnen will house a large catering operation. This catering zone will host lunches and dinners but also be a space for tasting culturally diverse food. In addition, running parallel to the Brunnen, there will be the Food Truck Alley serving various food.

    Animation
    The Brunnen coordinator will work with the different networking zones, side-events & performances to provide a harmonious yet diverse artistic experience of the Brunnen. The Brunnen will serve to root the assembly in the host context and help to give it shape and meaning, as was the Madang in the 10th assembly in Busan or the Mutirão at the 9th assembly in Porto Alegre.

    Networking Zone
    The purpose of the Networking Zone is to create a lively and dynamic space where participants can gather around several ecumenical hubs. These hubs (large size booths) must provide dynamic, interactive and diverse activities. A limited number of these hubs will be available (5).

    More information on the networking zone will be posted here later.

    Workshops
    Workshops are events (in principle only given once and running for a period of 75 minutes) that provide an opportunity for the assembly participants (between 20-50 participants) to come together to discuss and explore a specific thematic topic. Applicants should come from WCC member churches and/ or ecumenical partners. A limited number of workshops will be offered with simultaneous interpretation into different languages.

    More information on workshops and how to apply will be posted here later.

    Exhibitions & Booths
    Exhibitions & Booths are spaces (either running for the duration of the assembly or for shorter periods) that provide an opportunity for the assembly participants and the wider public to enjoy a range of diverse offerings from the membership and/ or ecumenical partners. Exhibitions & Booths are especially not limited to static presentations and displays (photo essays, art exhibitions etc) and must include a variety of offerings. These booths will be approx. 3x2m.

    More information on exhibitions and booths, and how to apply, will posted here later.

    Side-events & performances
    Side events & performances are events for the fellowship, ecumenical partners and wider public that may include music, cultural performances (theatre, dance), concerts, or visual arts, designated spaces for discussion e.g. a series of conversations with key ecumenists, a youth space etc. It is envisaged that there will be a ‘hub’ for the events space that will include a stage for performance (dance, theatre etc.).

    This will be coordinated and animated by an artistic coordinator. More information on side-events and performances will be posted here later.

    Information
    A specific area will be dedicated to providing information to participants to the assembly. This area will have a WCC assembly information desk and registration but also information about the City of Karlsruhe, the local churches, programme elements and more.

    Catering
    The Brunnen will house a large catering operation. This catering zone will be in operation will host lunches and dinners but also be a space for tasting culturally diverse food. In addition, running parallel to the Brunnen there will be the Food Truck Alley serving various food.

    Animation
    The Brunnen coordinator will work with the different networking zones, side-event & performances selected to provide a harmonious yet divers artistic experience of the Brunnen. The Brunnen will serve to root the assembly in the host context and help to give it shape and meaning, as it was the Madang in the 10th assembly in Busan or the Mutirão at the 9th assembly in Porto Alegre.

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    madang
    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.

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    group discussion
    Stewards programme

    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 more 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 prioritised. 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 up the ecumenical movement. They are leaders in their churches, communities, organisations and in the ecumenical movement and they are or will be the ones taking the ecumenical movement, moving forward.

    Sewards’ working areas include: floor management, communication, worship, documentation, 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 co-ordinated 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!

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    Busan stewards
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    youth pre-assembly busan
    Pre-Assemblies

    Youth pre-assembly

    A WCC assembly is an inspiring and exciting event that celebrates Christian unity and diversity. It is a moment of grace during which our Christian faith is strengthened and our ecumenical commitment nurtured and reinforced.

    At this juncture in the ecumenical movement, Christian churches around the world are striving for a renewed vision of ecumenism that responds to the current aspirations and challenges in the world. Inter-generational dialogue with young adults is indispensable. However, inter-generational dialogue does not simply mean mentorship, but rather youth empowerment and leadership. We must move from beyond the traditional mindset that young people are merely the future of the church. Young people represent today’s church, together with the older generations. Their vision and aspirations are therefore essential to communicate a better understanding of what we mean by “church” today.

    One of the tasks of the WCC 11th Assembly will be to move beyond token representation of young people and into substantive and active contribution. Young professionals will be invited to fully contribute to the Assembly from their respective contexts and their ecclesial experiences.

    The aim of the youth pre-assembly is to invite young delegates into in-depth discussions with interactive sessions on thematic issues. It also prepares them for their respective roles and responsibilities during the assembly. It is a space where young delegates – some of whom have little or no previous experience at ecumenical gatherings – will be empowered as they acquire the necessary tools and insights to contribute meaningfully to the life of the church.

    The pre-assembly is also an opportunity to build fellowship among young people and to amplify their presence as a “community of young pilgrims.”

    Throughout these two days young delegates will be immersed in assembly-like sessions.

    Four other programmes of the WCC will meet prior to the assembly to address issues of concern to their groups.  There are already pre-existing elements of synergy and intersectionality among these groups. The nature of the previous assemblies did not always provide opportunity for collaboration and engagement, despite the complementary nature of the constituencies.  At Karlsruhe, all four pre-assemblies will have joint sessions which will provide participants opportunities to interact and to articulate a more cohesive orientation and reporting framework to the assembly.

    The Karlsruhe pre-assembly will seek to:

    • Orient participants to the WCC and to the nature and desired outcomes of a WCC Assembly (jointly - with the other preassembly groups);
    • Familiarize the structure and history of WCC as an institution and as a fellowship
    • Unpack contextual issues relevant to the programmatic work of the WCC in response to the assembly theme (in regions and with ecumenical partners);
    • Create a space for intentional interaction of the WCC pre-assemblies through collaborative activities, as they prepare for assembly sessions and plenaries;
    • Prepare delegates and assembly participants for intentional proactive engagement in the assembly 
    • Promote intentional mentoring between experienced and new participants and sharing of resources and best practices;
    • Promote solution-oriented networking between delegates, ecumenical  partners, and other participants
    • Review the strategies and programmatic outcomes from youth engagement in the ecumenical movement;
    • Harvest recommendations for consideration during the 11th assembly and beyond

    Expected outcomes

    The joint pre-assemblies MUST influence the policies and programmatic direction of the WCC during the assembly and into the next term. Through deliberate engagement, the pre-assembly groups will have a better grasp of the core issues affecting them collectively. In so doing, they seek to realize the following outcomes:

    • Report to be submitted to the assembly
    • More intentional engagement in assembly by delegates who have participated in previous assemblies through sharing of best practices 
    • Stronger networks and solidarity among pre-assembly participants for supportive participation in the assembly and beyond
    • A space to learn and share about our different traditions and families of the WCC member churches
    • A directory of young people’s networks 
    • At least 100 intergenerational women and men agreeing to (in)formal mentoring relationships

    Pre-Assembly Theological Framework

    The pre-assembly will give participants an opportunity to explore the assembly theme ‘Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity’ from young people’s perspectives. Participants will reflect theologically on the theme using contextual Bible studies, liturgical frameworks and keynote presentations.  In addition to spiritual life, the joint sessions with other pre-assemblies will offer opportunities for theological reflection through the lens of the marginalized.

    The Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace motif will be woven through the fabric of the pre-assembly, as delegates will celebrate the gifts, lament the wounds, and offer recommendations for transformation regarding the under-representation of young people in the ecumenical movement.

    Content may include

    • Orientation to German context/issues impacting young people in Germany & Europe
    • Intentional interaction and reflection of committee members and pre-Assembly delegates
    • Reflection on the lessons from the young people-led PTVs 
    • Unpacking the theme using PJP framework
    • Where are the spaces of brokenness in the world? Identifying the justice-related issues which demand ecumenical engagement in those space
    • What are the virtues to be found in Christ’s love for the dispossessed? Why are persons excluded from Christ’s love? Who needs to experience the love of Christ?
    • Mobilization of the world to reconciliation and unity requires agency.  Who acts on this and how? Identifying the avenues for reconciliation and justice between women and men resulting in the call to joint action and collaboration by women and men

    Participants
    We propose that approximately 150 young people (30 years old and below) participate in the assembly and participate in the pre-assembly.  The approach is inter-programmatic.  In this regard, conversations will commence with internal colleagues from Public Witness and Diakonia; Unity and Mission and Ecumenical Education and Formation programmes and Just community of women and men, Church relations, Interreligious Dialogue and Spiritual life.

    Collaborative partners include, but are not limited to WSCF, EYCE, YMCA, EKD-Youth, CEC, Syndesmos.

    In addition to the traditional presentation methods, there will be potential for interactive formats, including round table-campfire conversations, TED talks, workshops, “fishbowl” exercises, Theatre of the Oppressed, meditation-reflection, exhibition and speed dating/amended Pecha Kucha presentations. These activities will present greater opportunities for information sharing, while creatively engaging participants.

    Just Community of Women and Men pre-assembly

    Since the inaugural 1948 Amsterdam Assembly and subsequent general assemblies of the WCC, a women’s pre-assembly has underscored women’s participation and called for special focus on women’s concerns, struggles and contributions in church and society.

    The outcomes of those pre-assemblies have influenced some of the decisions of the WCC governing bodies, especially with regard to framing the programmes of the secretariat and member churches.

    These include the establishment of the Women in Church and Society desk (now the Just Community of Women and Men); the commissioning of what would later be known as the Sheffield Report; the constitutional inclusion of women as voting delegates to the assembly; and the call for an Ecumenical Decade of Churches in Solidarity with Women. The Decade issued a call for solidarity between women and men; emphasizing the need for women’s equal participation in church and society and an end to sexual and gender-based violence – a call echoed and amplified at the 2018 20th anniversary consultation in Jamaica.

    The amplification of this cry brings us to the present, where the invitation to the pre-assembly gathering of Women and Men in Karlsruhe beckons us to pursue reconciliation and unity actively.

    As persons of faith in partnership with the WCC fellowship and motivated by Christ’s love, you are invited to join us at the Women and Men’s pre-assembly in Karlsruhe. At the pre-assembly, you have the opportunity to

    • Gain a deeper understanding of the polity and procedures of the World Council of Churches’ governance meetings
    • Find safe spaces to express best practices and concerns related to men and/or women in special break-out sessions during the Pre-Assembly.
    • Share and be educated about ministry at grassroots and administrative levels in the contexts of our delegates and partners;
    • Reflect on the impact of COVID-19 on communities of Women and Men in your contexts
    • Demonstrate your solidarity with women and those who are marginalized/vulnerable and enhancing their gifts through agency, accompaniment and support;
    • Accompany persons at the seat of power in addressing their own vulnerability;
    • Network with others working towards a just community of women and men, as well as with participants of other pre-assemblies during joint sessions; 
    • Shape the programmatic thrust for the post-assembly work of the WCC.

    The pre-assembly meets for 3 days prior to the assembly. Your presence can be the difference we need.

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    Harare women pre-assembly
    Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network (EDAN) pre-assembly

    The EDAN pre-assembly will meet under the theme of "Different gifts and the unity of the church." The structure of the pre-assembly will include opportunities to harvest what has been done through the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, which calls on us to walk together in a common quest in celebrating life and in concrete steps towards transforming injustice and violence. This will take the dimension of celebrating the gifts of persons with disabilities; visiting the past and present wounds and come up with steps of how the transform the injustices.

    The gathering will also prepare persons with disabilities to take the opportunity through their participation at the assembly to remind the churches that their pilgrimage of justice and peace is not only a God‐given demand and obligation, but also a matter of credibility in the world. The churches can only be faithful to their mission by giving a common witness to Jesus Christ in witness and service, respect for people's dignity and solidarity with those on the margins like those pushed to the margins due to their disability.

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    EDAN pre-assembly 2006
    Indigenous’ People pre-assembly

    Theme - Reconciliation: Restoring Wholeness in Creation

     

    The Indigenous Peoples pre-assembly is an open invitation to all who seek to join with us, in committing anew to act with compassion, to practice inclusive and relational justice, and to affirm our unity in Christ whose love moves us to restoring wholeness in all of creation. This is an invitation to a worldwide partnership of Indigenous Peoples and church related network of peoples dedicated to the self-determination[1] of Indigenous Peoples and to the renewal of Creation in dreaming together a continuing vision of a new heaven and a new earth.

    Too often reconciliation has been experienced as a process seeking too easily the restoration of harmonious relationships without fully addressing or engaging the sources and actions of oppression in the past and the present. The destructive effect of human sin manifested through varying forms of colonialism, imperialism and capitalism, has destroyed indigenous cultures, communities and the interconnected web of creation. The process and acts of reconciliation are thereby not only about restoring broken human relationships but also humanity’s broken relationship with creation.

    The indigenous pre-assembly seeks to challenge and critique notions of reconciliation that are too eager to gloss over the wrongdoings and violations of the past without addressing the ongoing systemic and structural causes of oppression and injustice of the past and present. Reconciliation is an intentional commitment to restoring wholeness in all creation. Indigenous peoples bring many insightful perspectives, wisdom and knowledge from their experiences, cultures and contexts that will enrich the ecumenical dialogue on reconciliation and the broader assembly theme with the hope that we can continue to reimagine a just and equitable future together.

    The pre-assembly program will provide the space for:

    • Ecumenical Indigenous Peoples Youth Program 
    • Engagement with the indigenous peoples in Europe
    • Reflection and testimonies on the learnings from the various PTV visits 
    • Orientation to German context/issues 
    • Intentional interaction and reflection with assembly committee members and pre-assembly delegates

    The pre-assembly will enable participants the opportunity to explore the assembly theme from a contextual, indigenous and intersectional perspective. Participants will have opportunities to reflect theologically on the theme by using indigenous contextual Bible studies, worship, keynote presentations, plenaries and workshops.  The workshop themes are reflective of the contextual issues of indigenous peoples of the varying WCC regions. The workshops will explore the following topics: Indigenous women and The Earth, Climate Change/Justice, Indigenous Spirituality, Language revitalization, Decolonisation and Self-determination, Trauma and healing, Displacement and Youth. There will be joint sessions with the other pre-assemblies. Furthermore, in affirmation and celebration of the rich diversity of indigenous peoples’ cultures, there will be exhibitions, performances, arts and craft in the market place.

    Participants
    The Indigenous pre-assembly will host approximately 100 to 150 (maximum) participants, including Indigenous Youth. The invitation is open to ecumenical regional networks, delegates to the assembly, visitors, indigenous and non- indigenous participants.

    Contact

    Rev Dr Seforosa Carroll
    Programme Executive
    Ecumenical Indigenous Peoples Network
    Seforosa.Carroll@wcc-coe.org


    [1] The understanding of "Self-determination” varies according to different contexts.  In some countries, it could mean armed resistance for independent movement against the government but in some countries it is assertion of right to land and its resources, customary law, language, culture, and spirituality. In the ecumenical context, “self-determination” is an inclusive term which embraces right to life, respect of diversity and freedom from all forms of unjust system that excludes indigenous people.

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    indigenous pre-assembly Busan

    Friedensstifter für das Leben

    Predigt von Bischöfin Mary Ann Swenson, von der Evangelisch-Methodistischen Kirche in den USA, stellvertretende Vorsitzende des ÖRK-Zentralausschusses, für den gemeinsamen anglikanisch-katholischen Friedensgottesdienstes in der katholischen Friedenskirche in Hiroshima am 5. August

    Central Committee
    10th Assembly, Busan 2013
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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