Many Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) members are currently preparing for the 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) which will take place from 31 August to 8 September 2022 in Karlsruhe, Germany.
A gathering of the global Church is always an exciting and important occasion, but this particular Assembly comes at a critical moment where churches are reflecting on their priorities in the context of a world that has been changed by COVID-19 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The formal purpose of the Assembly is to serve as the supreme legislative body for the WCC. Ordinarily it meets every eight years to review policy and practice and make appointments to the senior offices of the Council. It appoints a Central Committee to serve as chief governing body during this period.
The Assembly is also a vital space for reflection, discernment and planning and each assembly adopts a specific theme to guide this process. The theme chosen this year is “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity”. The Assembly resources explain the theme in this way:
“In this fragmented and fractured world, the Assembly theme is an affirmation of faith that Christ’s love transforms the world in the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit. Against the powers of destruction and sin, the Assembly theme affirms that the love of the compassionate, crucified, and risen Christ is at the heart of this world. It is a radical call to the churches to work together unceasingly and with people of other faiths and all those of good will for just peace and reconciliation. It is a call for the visible unity of the church to become a prophetic sign and a foretaste of the reconciliation of this world with God, and the unity of humankind and all creation.”
The WCC website has lots of information to help you understand how the Assembly works, plus resources to help you reflect on the theme, including those for prayer and Bible study.
CTBI’s General Secretary, Dr Nicola Brady, wrote an introduction to the WCC 11th Assembly (PDF) in CTBI’s Spring 2022 magazine, including how the theme that has been chosen, and the vision for the role and contribution of the Church that underpins it, aligns very closely with the work of CTBI.