The publication leads with a fulsome description of what a WCC assembly is and does, including a description of the working parts of the assembly, its chief plenary sessions, and explanations of the assembly’s business (Part One).
There follows theological reflections on the assembly theme (Part Two).
Documents that must be received or acted upon by the assembly delegate comprise Part Three. Among the pieces collected in Part Three is the draft unity statement, proposed for consideration and action by the assembly and meant to crystallize the contemporary meaning of Christian unity in the context and amid the challenges facing churches today.
The most important governance documents, often referenced at the assembly, are printed in Part Four, with highlights of proposed changes to the Constitution and Rules.
Finally, not all documents relevant for assembly concerns could be published in this volume. Some important documents are simply too long or are to be published closer to the date of the assembly or are reports produced by related commissions or reflections for or from the several pre-assemblies.
These other documents, listed and linked in Part Five of this volume, are either separately available in published volumes and/or are available online, linked from the assembly resources webpage at oikoumene.org/assembly. Part Five thus provides synopses of and links to recent WCC programmatic or strategic documents germane to the plenary sessions and other meetings at the assembly. There readers will find important programmatic documents and statements and reports and studies published since the last assembly, spanning the range of topics and issues that have captured the attention and dedication of the fellowship during the nine years since the last assembly, held in Busan, Republic of Korea, in 2013. They range from understanding the meaning and character of church to learning from those with impairments, from protecting children to promoting global health, from envisioning the prospects for Christian unity to uniting in our ongoing, shared Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace.
Items in this volume appear here in their original published form, not edited for style. As mentioned, some of the lengthier pieces are abridged or summarized, with links to the full document or publication online at the assembly webpage on oikoumene.org. This volume itself is also available online there.
The last part of this volume contains a summary of the agenda. This will be expanded in the Assembly App and on-site resources.
It is hoped that this collection and the supplemental materials available online will inform and enliven reflection and discussion before and at the assembly and thereby illumine deliberations and decisions about the future of the WCC, its fellowship and its programmes.
From the Foreword by Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca