world council of churches

8th Assembly
Hearings Phase II
Directions for future work

The focus for each of the six sets of hearings in Phase II (of which every delegate will follow one) will be one of the same six clusters of related issues around which the Padare is organized. During these three sessions, participants in the Phase II hearings will articulate key concerns in the following areas and generate ideas about how these should be addressed ecumenically:

Issues related to worship, spirituality, the visible unity of the church, and ecclesiology and ethics.

Justice and Peace
Issues arising for the church in facing a world marked by conflict, violence and globalization, and in building reconciled communities.

Moving Together
Issues related to communication of the ecumenical movement and within the ecumenical movement, to conciliar ecumenism and to an understanding of the "one ecumenical movement".

Issues related to inter-religious relations and to Christian and ecumenical formation which takes account of the cultural and religious plurality of the world.

Issues arising in the communication of the gospel through witness and evangelism, and around the problem of proselytism in church relationships.

Issues related to the churches' concern for the environment, for the development of just and sustainable communities and for practical actions of empowerment and capacity-building.

For each Padare stream space will be available for informal conversations about issues and writing comments on newsprint. Official assembly participants will also be able to place in a box their written suggestions on priority issues and why these issues are important for the WCC.

Several members of the Programme Guidelines Committee will be assigned to each of the Padare streams. They will attend various offerings, listen to the informal conversations, read the comments posted and the suggestions placed in the box. They will use all this material to prepare for the discussion in Phase II of the hearings.

At the first session of each of the hearings in Phase II, the moderator will invite the Programme Guidelines Committee members who were present in the corresponding Padare stream to present a synthesis of what they have heard and of the suggestions made regarding the issues in this area. They will also comment on how these issues relate to the policy statement on the Common Understanding and Vision of the WCC and to the Council's new structure.

During the remainder of this session and in the second session, participants in the hearing will respond to this presentation, identifying concerns they feel have been overlooked or not given enough emphasis, sharing experiences on the issues raised from the perspective of their own churches, indicating issues which might more effectively be taken care of by other ecumenical organizations or churches. The Programme Guidelines Committee members will listen, respond, ask questions and press for clarification.

At the third session, the Programme Guidelines Committee members will share their reflections on the discussion in the first two sessions, including any information gained from related discussions in other hearings, and offer an initial indication of directions for the report. There will be time for further questioning and clarification by the participants.

Following Phase II of the hearings the Programme Guidelines Committee will prepare its report to be presented to the assembly.

Hearings Phase I
8th Assembly and 50th Anniversary
copy right 1998 World Council
of Churches. Remarks to: webeditor