Churches agree to joint assemblies

Published April 1, 2006

Porto Alegre, Brazil
Leaders of two world Christian groupings have reacted positively to a proposal by Rev. Samuel Kobia, World Council of Churches general secretary, that the three worldwide bodies jointly hold the next meetings of their highest governing bodies.

“This is an important step forward for the ecumenical movement and for as many Christian world communions to join us as wish to,” said Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick, president of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC).

Mr. Kobia made the suggestion in his main address to the WCC’s assembly held here, saying that “the next assembly of the WCC should provide a common platform for the wider ecumenical movement.”

Bishop Mark Hanson, president of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), welcomed the proposal.

In his address, Mr. Kobia said, “we should also invite any other world Christian body to join us in this dialogue.”

Many of the WCC’s 340 member churches also belong to world communions, such as WARC and the LWF, which like the WCC, have their headquarters at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva.

Like the WCC, these bodies hold large assemblies every few years, often gathering thousands of people.


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