(LWI) - Christians from all over the world are gathering in Karlsruhe, Germany, from 31 August to 8 September, for the 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC). Together they will reflect and pray on the Assembly theme "Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity."
The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is represented at WCC’s highest-governing body by a delegation from the LWF Communion Office. Representatives from many of the communion’s member churches are also taking part as official delegates, visitors, and as co-opted staff.
This will be a wonderful opportunity to meet Christians from the whole world, learn from each other and reflect together on our shared journey and common work for unity and justice.
– Rev. Anne BURGHARDT, LWF General Secretary
"More than 500 representatives of churches in the Lutheran tradition are expected to be at the Assembly. This will be a wonderful opportunity to meet Christians from the whole world, learn from each other and reflect together on our shared journey and common work for unity and justice," said LWF General Secretary Rev. Anne Burghardt, who leads the LWF delegation. "It is also a great opportunity for us to meet as Lutherans, in anticipation of our own Assembly which takes place in Krakow, Poland, next year."
Shared journey towards unity
The WCC Assembly is the largest ecumenical gathering of its kind and is estimated to bring together more than 4,000 Christians. “We are happy to join the Assembly where we can meet representatives of the churches as well as ecumenical partners and discern jointly about our shared journey towards unity,” said Prof. Dr. Dirk Lange, LWF Assistant General Secretary for Ecumenical Relations.
General Secretary Burghardt will moderate a Lutheran confessional meeting on 1 September. The meeting takes place in the main plenary hall (Gartenhalle) from 19:15-20:45. She will also participate in an interactive discussion event on climate justice, jointly hosted by the LWF, ACT Alliance, and WCC, earlier that day. LWF staff are also participating in workshops on Lutheran approaches to inter-religious engagement and participating in ecumenical conversations.
LWF staff joined meetings prior to the Assembly, including a pre-assembly for youth, where the LWF Program Executive for Youth Ms Savanna Sullivan led a delegation of Lutheran youth. LWF Program Executive for Identity, Communion, and Formation Rev. Dr Chad Rimmer participated in a meeting of the Global Ecumenical Theological Institute.
The WCC Assembly is taking place in Karlsruhe at the invitation of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), the Protestant Church in Baden, the Council of Churches in Germany, the Union of Protestant Churches in Alsace and Lorraine (UEPAL), and the Protestant Church in Switzerland.