As it concluded its meeting in Cyprus, held from 9-16 January, and hosted by Metropolitan Vasilios of Ammochostos and Constantia of the Church of Cyprus, the World Council of Churches (WCC) Assembly Planning Committee (APC) released a report to the WCC Executive Committee detailing building blocks for the 11th WCC Assembly, to be held in Karlsruhe, Germany in 2021.
There will be 775 delegates at the assembly. The Assembly Worship Planning Committee will hold its first meeting in the Karlsruhe region on 5-11 July 2019. A host committee is soon to be established in order to involve churches on national, regional and local levels. The APC also discussed the theme for the assembly: “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity.” In its report, the APC described the 11th Assembly as “a place of listening to each other, building trusted relationships, discerning together the way forward, encouraging each other to work together for change, and celebrating Christ’s gift of love with gratitude and joy.”
The APC recommended having an environmentally friendly assembly, envisaging an electronic assembly and encouraging new methods for presenting material not too weighed down by printed documents. In particular, the APC suggested creating an assembly app as part of an overarching communications plan.
Building blocks of the assembly will include prayer and Bible study, home groups, business plenaries, thematic plenaries, ecumenical conversations, committees and a ‘Marktplatz’ (marketplace) as well as regional and confessional meetings.
The APC also discussed the participation of youth and millennials, and their influence on the life of the assembly. “Youth should be fully integrated into all aspects of the assembly, including the planning stages and implementation,” reads the APC report.
In addition, the APC received a discussion paper on some elements of an assembly communication strategy. This included a timeline towards the assembly. The APC discussed what aspects of communication were most beneficial to the different contexts of the fellowship, and recommended that a draft communication strategy for the assembly be presented to the WCC Executive Committee in May 2019. “This strategy should include the building of an intentional and inspiring marketing approach,” reads the APC report.
The APC also recommended that information and resources relating to the upcoming 11th Assembly be launched and shared in the WCC website as early as possible.