The Ninth Assembly of the World Council of Churches is scheduled for February 14-23, 2006 in Port Alegre, Brazil. According to a recent WCC press release, this is the first time that a WCC Assembly will take place in Latin America. The event will take place at the Pontifical Catholic University. So far, the planning committee estimates that no less than 3,000 people will attend this gathering.
Commenting on a visit to Port Alegre last November, Norman Shanks of the Church of Scotland said he was encouraged by what he saw. He added that the planned assembly “promises to be an excellent venue, and the assembly itself to be a very good experience indeed for all who attend it.” Norman Shanks is currently the coordinator of the WCC planning committee.
WCC General Secretary Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia said in an open statement on Tuesday, “The testimonies of the churches and the challenges faced by the societies throughout the continent will inform our work in Brazil.” Rev. Kobia also expressed optimism for the event that will take place in Port Alegre.
Late last year, Rev. Kobia paid a visit to the city of 1.5 million. He commented “the role of the WCC in expressing support and solidarity with the Latin American people” during the difficult times of dictatorships “is great acknowledged and appreciated.”
The World Council of Churches is a fellowship comprising of more than 340 churches such as ones associated with Protestantism, Anglicanism, and the Orthodox. The World Council of Churches has member churches in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, North America, and the Pacific Islands.