The World Council of Churches executive committee met virtually on 1-3 June. The work of the committee, in three intense sessions, focused on governance matters, giving consideration to the ways of working until face-to-face governance meetings can occur again; and to finance matters, with the need to address the requirement for a revised budget for this year.”
The World Council of Churches is an ecumenical partner supported by the Interdenominational Cooperation Fund apportionment, which enables United Methodists to share a presence and a voice in the activities of several national and worldwide ecumenical organizations.
The executive committee, on behalf of the central committee of the World Council of Churches, has decided, in close consultation with the Evangelical Church in Germany and other host churches and local partners, to postpone the 11th assembly, originally planned for September 2021 in Karlsruhe, Germany, until 2022.
The decision, announced on 3 June, was made because of the gravity and uncertainties related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Evangelical Church in Germany, Evangelical Church in Baden, Council of Churches in Germany, and other churches of various confessions in Germany, France, and Switzerland jointly invited the assembly to Karlsruhe, in a European region located between the borders of the three countries. They have reaffirmed their invitation for 2022, which has been warmly accepted by the WCC.
Metropolitan Prof. Dr Gennadios of Sassima, vice-moderator of the WCC and moderator of the WCC Assembly Planning Committee said that the priority of the WCC is the safety, inclusivity and love of the fellowship as a whole.
Bishop Prof. Dr Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, chair of the Evangelical Church in Germany Council, said, "Karlsruhe remains in many ways an ideal place for a cross-border ecumenical assembly with a European dimension.”
Dr Frank Mentrup, mayor of the city of Karlsruhe, said the invitation to the WCC would of course also be valid for 2022. "The whole of the city is very happy to welcome church representatives from all over the world here in Karlsruhe working together and amicably connected to a future worth living,” he said.
The WCC executive committee has issued a second statement reiterating its call for a conversion that will end all forms of racism and racial discrimination.
The executive committee approved a revised budget 2020, in which no program deficit is projected. Further, a revised capital expenditure limit has been approved, ensuring that the investment in the new IT system can take place, with the project to be launched this year.
Discussions about the WCC budget centered around how the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on what was planned for both 2020 and 2021.
World Council of Churches website
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