Just Community of Women and Men Pre-Assembly

The Just Community of Women and Men Pre-Assembly meets on 29-30 August 2022 in Karlsruhe, Germany.

The Women and Men’s pre-assembly meets 29-30 August 2022 (arrivals on 28 August).

Your presence can be the difference we need.

The pre-assembly will afford you an opportunity to explore the assembly theme ‘Christ’s Love moves the World to Reconciliation and Unity’ from a contextual gendered perspective. You will have opportunities to reflect theologically on the theme using contextual Bible studies, liturgical frames and keynote presentations.  In addition to the spiritual life, the joint sessions with the other pre-assemblies will offer opportunities for theological reflection through the lens of those who are often on the margins.

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Meeting on the WCC pre-assemblies in Bossey

Members of planning groups for four pre-assemblies met together in Bossey and online, 26 November - 2 December 2021.

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The Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace motif will be woven in the fabric of the pre-Assembly, as delegates will celebrate the gifts and lament the wounds in making recommendations for transformation of gender injustice.

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.

As we prepare for the WCC assembly, we reflect on the theme, "Christ's loves moves the world to reconciliation and unity" with (from) a gender perspective. Your thoughts and stories on any or all of the questions below will contribute and help guide our discussions and recommendations during the Just Community of Women and Men Pre-Assembly.

Please share your reflections sending them to email Nicole.Ashwood@wcc-coe.org by June 20. A second set of questions may be posted at the end of June for further input.  Watch also for online dialogue sessions on the questions and themes that arise.

Our questions follow the methodology of the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace:

Visiting the wounds:

Where have you seen or experienced gender injustice in your Christian journey?

Celebrating the gifts:

In what ways have you seen the church as one which overturns the tables of gender injustice?

Transforming injustice

How might the church, through this assembly, be a beacon for gender justice?

 

Letters, group reflections, artwork can also be sent to:

Nicole Ashwood
Just Community of Women and Men
World Council of Churches
P.O. Box 2100
1211 Geneva 2
Switzerland

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.

Draft programme of the Just Community of Women and Men Pre-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 (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.

Documents

Gender Justice Principles with Code of Conduct

The World Council of Churches (WCC) central committee, during its February 2022 meeting, approved a set of Gender Justice Principles that clearly define the WCC’s own approach to gender justice.

A Gender Advisory Group developed the principles through many rounds of review by leadership and staff, as an internal document for WCC staff, governing bodies, commissions, and reference groups.

WCC Programmes
Bible studies

Thursdays in Black Bible Studies Series 1

Listening, Learning and Responding to the Word of God

Led by Thursdays in Black Ambassadors – leaders in their communities committed to being visible and outspoken against such violence – a series of Bible studies are being prepared for individual and congregational reflection on sexual and gender-based violence. Such reflection will help us listen to the word of God and apply our faith and vision of justice, peace, and love in our contexts today. This first series of reflections address critical topics in our societies and Christian communities that contribute to or respond to gender-based violence and provide diverse perspectives from our wide ecumenical fellowship.

A core group of Thursdays in Black Ambassadors oversaw this Bible study series: Anders Göranzon, Claudia Bandixen, and Karen Georgia Thompson.

Seven Weeks for Water 2020, week 3: "Feminization of Water Poverty: Women’s Perspective on Water Justice", by Adi Mariana Waqa

The third reflection of the seven weeks for water 2020 of the WCC’s Ecumenical Water Network is by Adi Mariana Waqa, the Child Protection Coordinator of the Pacific Conference of Churches with contributions from Frances Namoumou Programmes Manager, PCC  and Mereani Nawadra (Project Officer for Gender Equality Theology,  Methodist Women’s Fellowship. In the following reflection they critique Abraham’s decision to send off Hagar into the wilderness with a child with very little water. They draw comparisons that Hagar then and women of today take on the responsibility of securing water needs of the family at the cost of their own safety and wellbeing. This reflection is to commemorate International Women’s day in the context of right to water.

WCC Programmes