Busan plenary

WCC 10th Assembly, Busan, Republic of Korea, 2013.


A series of short narrated videos shares the spirit of each assembly and the world context into which it unfurled.

The narration begins with the WCC 1st Assembly in Amsterdam in 1948, explaining: “In 1948, three years after the end of the Second World War, the world was devastated…”

The videos then move through each assembly, noting historical facts, the assembly theme, and the evolution of the ecumenical movement.

From, as the narrator notes, “the increasing importance of the WCC on the international stage” in 1954 in Evanston, to the first assembly to take place outside Western Europe or North America in 1961 in New Delhi, WCC assemblies have accompanied the world through many crises.

In 1991, in Canberra, for the first time, the WCC assembly theme took the form of a prayer: “Come, Holy Spirit, renew the whole creation.”

Since then, the theme has more than once been enfolded in a prayer, including the themes “God, in your grace, transform the world” (2006) and “God of life, lead us to justice and peace” (2013).

The videos were produced by the WCC Communication team under the leadership of Dr Stephen Brown, editor of the WCC journal The Ecumenical Review, and documentary photographer and videographer Sean Hawkey.

On the short path left to the WCC 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, the WCC invites all to walk, reflect, and view the encapsulated history of assemblies past—and therein find illumination on the way to the present.