The World Council of Churches (WCC) General Assembly Planning Committee (APC) met online from 23-25 March to continue planning for the WCC 11th Assembly which will take place in Karlsruhe, Germany, from 31August to 8 September 2022 on the theme “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity”. More than 30 participants of the meeting included the leadership of the WCC, members of the hosting German churches and the Assembly Worship Planning Committee, as well as different sub-committees. The meeting was attended by Reverend Andrzej Choromanski, staff member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity for multilateral relations, who has represented the Catholic Church in the APC since its establishment in 2017.
The APC is a counselling body that assists the Assembly Secretariat and the WCC governing bodies in planning for the Assembly. During this fifth meeting, the second held online, the APC focused on the spiritual life of the Assembly from the perspective of the thematic framework. Among the spiritual activities proposed to the participants of the Assembly there will be daily prayers following different church traditions, preaching by church leaders, pilgrimages to local shrines, Bible studies and prayer groups. Participants coming from a variety of denominations will also have the possibility to meet for worshiping following their own Church traditions. Among other topics discussed during the three-day meeting there were Home Groups, “Brunnen” Workshops and Ecumenical Conversations. The Home Groups, a new feature in WCC Assemblies, will provide space for delegates to reflect together each day in small groups on the theme of the Assembly. “Brunnen”, which is German for “the well,” will be a space of encounter featuring networking zones for the participants, guests, visitors and local hosts, thematic workshops, exhibitions and cultural activities. Ecumenical Conversations will focus on current challenges facing the churches and the ecumenical movement in the current context.
Since its foundation in 1948 in Amsterdam, Netherlands, the WCC has held ten General Assemblies to date. Official Catholic observers have taken part in this important WCC event since the Third Assembly in New Delhi in 1961. The last one took place in 2013 in Busan, South Korea, on the theme “God of life, lead us to justice and peace” and was attended by an official Catholic delegation of 27 members from around the world led by Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council.