Present at the meeting were Dr Agnes Abuom, WCC central committee moderator and vice moderator Bishop Mary Ann Swenson. The leadership also gave a special welcome to H.E. Metropolitan Nifon of Târgoviște as a newly appointed vice moderator to fulfill the service of the late Metropolitan Gennadios. WCC acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca, WCC general secretary-elect Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay, and members of the WCC staff leadership group were also present.
In addition to assembly planning, the central committee leaders also received a draft of the WCC Code of Conduct and updates on finance and the Green Village project. They also heard reports about the latest situation on COVID-19 in Karlsruhe and across the world, and discussed plans for protecting people and preventing infections onsite at the assembly.
The leadership body heard reports from Sauca, who recently visited Syria, Lebanon, and the Holy Land to listen to the member churches and local voices ahead of the assembly.
Abuom, speaking after the meeting, urged people to attend the assembly in whatever ways they can. “I want to invite you to come to Karlsruhe and to participate in the assembly, and if you cannot be with us there, please follow the programme on the internet and accompany us with your prayers.”
Abuom underlined: “An assembly is not only the highest governing body of the World Council of Churches, it is a spiritual, celebrative, and mutually encouraging gathering of the member churches—indeed the most comprehensive and most inclusive event of world Christianity in our times.”
She reflected that an assembly unfolds its theme through common prayer, Bible studies, thematic plenaries and reflections on the most important challenges of our time—challenges that require clear responses by the churches together. “It is the space where the churches set new directions for their common journey towards reconciliation and unity of all humankind and all creation,” she said.
Abuom concluded: “When the WCC 10th Assembly convened in 2013 in Busan, the churches called each other and all people of good will to embark together on a pilgrimage of justice and peace. We will bring the harvest of this nine-year long journey to the assembly, and we will decide on the next steps we have to take in our common witness of Christ’s love.”
”Every assembly of the World Council of Churches is a unique reflection of its time. Assemblies have been signposts for the churches since the WCC’s founding in 1948 in Amsterdam. How do we sustain the spirit of the movement? This is what I expect in Karlsruhe 2022,” said Abuom.
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