The General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia, will make his first visit to the Germany since he first took up his ministry in the WCC in January 2004.
Kobia is expected to stay in Germany from June 28 to July 2. During his few days in Hanover, Kobia will mainly be having meetings with one of the most important active Christian groups - the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD). Together with the other various EKD member churches, Rev Kobia will introduce to them the current work of the WCC.
The EKD is the institutional form chosen by a community of 24 Lutheran, Reformed and United regional churches. It operates closely not only within the local churches, but also with ecumenical bodies throughout the world. WCC has a strong partnership with the EKD in terms of ecumenical movement.
At the EDK headquarters in Berlin, Dr. Wolfgang Huber, chairman of the EKD Council and bishop of Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Oberlausitz; Dr. Rolf Koppe, bishop for ecumenical relations and ministries abroad; and Dr. Margot Kässmann, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hanover, together with other members, will be present at the meeting with the WCC’s general secretary.
Especially as the European Constitution has been formed recently, this visit may provide an opportunity for EDK and WCC to exchange opinions on the issue. On July 1, prominent politicians and members of society have been invited to the meeting as well.
For the rest of the schedule, Kobia has been invited to give a lecture entitled “Grounded in faith - a spirituality of resistance and alternatives to injustice, violence and despair.” Kobia will then visit the Protestant Institute for Ecumenical Studies and Research in Bensheim to hear about the institute’s work.
Political issues and theological issues are never off the list of the ecumenical movement, and discussions on the WCC Decade to Overcome Violence (2001-2010), the WCC 9th assembly in 2006 in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) are to be addressed in meetings with representatives of EKD member churches in Bavaria, Kurhessen-Waldeck, Thuringia, Württemberg and the Palatinate as well as meetings with Free Church representatives from other WCC German member churches.