In your eyes, why is the presence of visitors and ecumenical friends at the WCC 11th Assembly so important?
Dr Witzenbacher: The WCC assembly offers a unique opportunity to meet sisters and brothers from all over the world, to learn from each other and to look at the common witness of the churches from different perspectives. For us in Germany, ecumenism is usually seen as a communion between the Protestant and Roman Catholic church. We hope that the assembly will strengthen multilateral ecumenism and promote mutual learning in the face of the challenges of our time. We also want to share the work of the WCC and the results of the assembly widely with congregations. For this, it is important that many people also bring their own personal events to share.
How can we make visitors feel welcome?
Dr Witzenbacher: The assembly offers space for exchange and encounter. This is ensured on the one hand by the Brunnen area and the encounter places in the city. I think it is important that the WCC also goes into the city and is present there. The church should not hide behind walls or fences, but engage in dialogue with all people. Therefore, open meeting places and openness to different points of view and spaces for discussion are very important. In addition, the various church services on the venue and in the city will be important opportunities to praise God with each other and to get in touch with each other.
Are there aspects of the assembly you’d like to highlight for our visitors?
Dr Witzenbacher: The assembly is about issues that are on everyone's mind. We may look at them from different angles, but they are also about our future as human beings on this troubled planet. In the encounter places in the city, we take up themes of the WCC so that they also become more present in the churches. In addition, a stage on the market square offers the opportunity to experience international groups from Karlsruhe, but also from all over the world. The Schlosslichtspiele (light festival) are a special highlight, with video artists staging the façade of the castle to reflect the assembly theme. Karlsruhe will be very much under the sign of the assembly during these days. It is worth coming to Karlsruhe!