WCC Assembly Planning Committee meeting in Karlsruhe, Germany. Photo: WCC

WCC Assembly Planning Committee meeting in Karlsruhe, Germany. Photo: WCC

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Assembly Planning Committee is meeting in Karlsruhe, Germany from 2-9 December, marking the committee’s third preparatory meeting and its first meeting with the local host committee in Germany.

The planning this week has a special focus on youth participation and spiritual life in the 11th WCC Assembly, to be held in September 2021.

Those gathered will receive information from the WCC ECHOS Commission of youth, and will consider the active participation of young people, millennials, and their influence on the assembly programme. The assembly planners will also receive advice, including a special communications plan for youth, from the Executive Committee on the participation of children. The plan will ensure youth are included in all aspects of the WCC’s work leading up to the assembly. By capitalizing on existing networks, youth-centered communication will highlight avenues of meaningful engagement. Youth will be encouraged to share their stories of why they engage ecumenically, and communications will go through channels and platforms youth already use.

The Assembly Planning Committee will also receive a report from the Assembly Worship Planning Committee containing a proposal for the assembly’s prayers, Biblical texts and reflections, and preparatory Bible studies. In addition, the committee will consider spaces for contemplation, silence, pastoral care, and spiritual guidance.

The committee will also more deeply consider the theme of the assembly, “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity.” After receiving a draft document on assembly theme reflections, the committee will discuss and further develop the daily thematic foci and the thematic rhythm of the assembly, and offer advice on how the outcomes of the assembly can feed into future programmatic work.

Work will also continue on the nature and style of the assembly; on thematic plenaries, content and methodologies; and on pre-assemblies, including the Global Ecumenical Theological Institute. The assembly “Marktplatz” will also be discussed, with time dedicated to the overall name, guidelines for applications for workshops, and exhibition space.

Photo gallery from the Assembly Planning Committee meeting

The 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches