8 September 2022, Karlsruhe, Germany: Outgoing WCC central committee moderator Dr Agnes Abuom speaks at the closing press conference at the 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches, held in Karlsruhe, Germany from 31 August to 8 September, under the theme "Christ's Love Moves the World to Reconciliation and Unity."


Abuom’s comments were part of a closing press conference for the WCC 11th Assembly, which also included Metropolitan Prof. Dr Nifon of Targoviste, vice moderator of the WCC central committee; Bishop Mary Ann Swenson, vice moderator of the WCC central committee; Bishop Petra Bosse-Huber, of the Evangelical Church in Germany, moderator of the local host committee; Bishop Prof. Dr Heike Springhart, Protestant Church in Baden, moderator of the local host committee; and Dr Frank Mentrup, mayor of Karlsruhe.

Abuom spoke of the “continuous plea of young people,” throughout the assembly, saying she felt there was now a concrete plan for addressing the concerns for stronger youth engagement within the WCC. “The central committee has been given a clear mandate to follow through on these voices by extending the table to make it more inclusive.”

“We were here for more than nine days or 10 days, and it seemed like it was only three days,” commented Metropolitan Nifon, noting how time at the assembly passed in a wonderful way.

One of the goals of the ecumenical movement, said Nifon, is to discover, “what it is that unites us and what divides us. If there are things that are very different from each another, then we should try and see why we are different.”

The assembly’s Unity Statement is, “one of the main documents of this assembly,” said Nifon, noting the document speaks to what unites member churches, in what ways member churches can continue prayer and reflection, and how members can “magnify their enthusiasm towards Christian unity.”

Bishop Mary Ann Swenson, along with Bishop Petra Bosse-Huber, and Bishop Prof. Dr Heike Springhart shared appreciation for how the assembly came together – from planning with the city of Karlsruhe, to the beautiful visuals from the assembly they will carry with them going forward, such as the prayer tent and seeing the blue sky during worship services.

Mayor Mentrup noted the assembly will have a lasting legacy on the city of Karlsruhe. “You have officially signed our guest book—this eternalized your visit with us.”

Press photo gallery: WCC leadership (2022 onwards)

Livestream of the WCC 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany

Photos of the WCC 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany

WCC 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany