The World Council of Churches held its 11th Assembly from August 31 to September 8, 2022, in the German city of Karlsruhe. I attended the Assembly as a delegate from the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil and was asked to be part of the Committee on Programme Guidelines, which discusses the activities of the WCC for the following 8 years.
The Assembly was particularly focused on the care for God’s Creation and the issues of environmental, economic and social justice, the three pillars of sustainable development. As a cross-cutting issue, which permeates almost all human activities, the three pillars were addressed in thematic plenary sessions, in approved documents, in ecumenical conversations, and in discussions about all forms of injustice. It also was the theme of many workshops held by participants in what was called the ‘networking zone’. The struggle of indigenous peoples to keep their ancestral lands and conserve their biodiversity, so important for their culture and spirituality, was particularly emphasized, together with Climate Change, which is already being felt acutely in Europe. It became clear that climate justice is the most pressing issue of our time for the Churches, and that it involves the quality of life on Earth and our very survival. In the final plenary, the report of the Programmatic Guidelines Committee, of which I was part, requested the Central Committee to create a Commission on Climate Change and Sustainable Development.
Elisabeth Ivete Sherrill – ACEN Steering Committee participant for Brazil
Photo WWC – Thematic Plenary – the wholeness of life