World Council of Churches - Agenda
Media contact: + 41 22 791 6153 +41 79 507 6363

For immediate release: 26 September 2005

October 2005

> Middle East, US, Caribbean and Latin American churches prepare for WCC Assembly
> Women's Voices and Visions on Being Church
> Aram I and Kobia at US seminar on the future of ecumenism
> Global Communicators' Network Meeting
> Kobia at International Conference on Violence and Christian Spirituality

> Middle East churches prepare for WCC Assembly
> 28 September - 1 October, Damascus, Syria

The WCC Middle East pre-assembly meeting will gather over 50 participants, including Assembly delegates from WCC member churches and youth stewards from the region, as well as resource persons and guests from the Catholic church. They will reflect on the assembly theme and prepare for their involvement in the WCC 9th Assembly in Porto Alegre. Participants will also discuss the situation and future of Christians in Palestine.

> US churches prepare for WCC Assembly
> 8-12 October, Chicago, USA

WCC member churches from the US will gather for their pre-assembly conference in Chicago from 10-12 October. Church leaders and ecumenists will engage in theological reflection on the theme of the WCC Assembly. Plenary sessions will focus on justice concerns and stewardship of the earth. The meeting will be co-hosted by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Leading up to the WCC conference a youth event "Shift Your Space - Transform The World" will be held from 8-10 October in Chicago. The gathering will enable seminarians, students and youth delegates to the WCC Assembly to strategize on new ways of engaging with the vision promoted by the WCC Decade to Overcome Violence.

> Caribbean churches prepare for WCC Assembly
> 10-13 October, Eggelston, Dominica

The Caribbean Conference of Churches - in collaboration with the WCC and the Dominica Christian Council - will organise a WCC pre-assembly meeting (10-11 October) along with its annual Regional Forum for National Councils of Churches (12-13 October). The meeting will gather WCC Assembly delegates from the region and guests from the Caribbean churches. The theme for the Forum will be "Crime and Violence - an Ecumenical Response" and it will be based on a "Pastoral letter on Crime and Violence" prepared by the bishops of the Roman Catholic Antilles Episcopal Conference.

> Latin American churches prepare for WCC Assembly
> 16-18 October, Mendes, Brazil

The Latin American pre-assembly meeting will gather some 50 delegates of WCC member churches from the region and other participants to prepare for the WCC’s 9th assembly. The programme will include analysis of the situation in Latin America, as well as discussion and reflection on Latin America’s contribution to the Assembly. The programme will be co-hosted by the Latin American Council of Churches.

> Women's Voices and Visions on Being Church
> 17-20 October, Geneva, Switzerland

Women from all WCC member confessions will draw together the findings of the "Women's Voices and Visions: On Being Church" process in the past 6 years. The study process is a follow-up to the 1988-1998 Ecumenical Decade of Churches in Solidarity with Women. This meeting will bring together women's concerns from all six world regions, and it will look at the role of women at the 9th Assembly of the WCC and beyond.

> Aram I and Kobia at US seminar on the future of ecumenism
> 22 October, New York, USA

WCC moderator Aram I, Catholicos of Cilicia, Armenian Apostolic Church (Lebanon), will convene a seminar entitled "Challenges facing the ecumenical movement in the 21st century" at the Interchurch Center in New York. Keynote speaker will be WCC general secretary Samuel Kobia. The meeting is co-hosted by the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA and the US Conference of the WCC.

> Global Communicators' Network Meeting
> 25-30 October, Havana, Cuba

The theme for this conference is "Communication and Power: Independence and Responsibility in a Globalized World". The meeting will involve around 60 participants and will include presentations, debates, workshops as well as sharing of visual and other productions by Global Communicators' Network (GCN) members. The local host is the Cuban Council of Churches. The GCN is an association of ecumenical communication professionals who work with mass media. It is co-ordinated jointly by the Lutheran World Federation and WCC.

> Kobia at International Conference on Violence and Christian Spirituality
> 27-29 October, Boston, USA

Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, in co-operation with WCC and the Boston Theological Institute, will host an international conference on "Violence and Christian Spirituality". Opening remarks will be given by WCC general secretary Samuel Kobia. Keynote speaker will be Archbishop Demetrios of America, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America. Scholars from nearby Harvard University, Boston College and Boston University will contribute to the programme.

> Major WCC events coming up:

Interreligious event on "My Neighbour's Faith and Mine"
12-14 November, Geneva, Switzerland

Roman Catholic Church and WCC: 40 years of co-operation
17-20 November, Bossey, Switzerland

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2006
18-25 January 2006, world-wide

WCC 9th Assembly (2006)
14-23 February 2006, Porto Alegre, Brazil

Media representatives interested in attending any of the events listed above should contact the WCC media relations office in advance. Unless noted otherwise, events are by invitation only and not open to the general public. Dates and venues may change without notice.

Additional information: Juan Michel,+41 22 791 6153 +41 79 507 6363

The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, today the WCC brings together 349 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing more than 560 million Christians in over 110 countries, and works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church. The WCC general secretary is Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, from the [Lutheran] Church of Norway. Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.