"It will not be an assembly like the other ten before," Sauca told the two bodies. He said that the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as current challenges such as the war in Ukraine and related travel restrictions, would continue to severely affect planning. "And yet we are full of confidence that it will be an important and groundbreaking assembly in Karlsruhe.”
The theme of the assembly, "Christ´s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity,” has now proved to be a prophetic phrase, Sauca reflected. "The world needs reconciliation and unity, which we as churches can witness to in the world,” he said.
Sauca also presented some of the issues to be discussed at the assembly, including climate change, inter-religious dialogue and increasing militarisation. "We have a mandate to take a stand and develop perspectives on these issues from the Gospel message,” he said.
At the St John's reception, Sauca conveyed the WCC's thanks to the German churches for their hospitality and thanked federal president Frank-Walter Steinmeier for the support of the federal government. "This cannot be taken for granted and enables us to bring together the churches of the world for dialogue and witness to the faith in Germany," said Sauca, adding that he looks forward to Steinmeier’s presence in Karlsruhe to welcome churches from all over the world.