26th General Council: 29 June to 7 July 2017: Leipzig, Germany
Every seven years hundreds of people—women and men, lay and clergy—come from churches around the world to form a General Council. Gathered together they discern God’s will through Scripture to set the World Communion of Reformed Churches’ direction and elect new leadership.
This General Council’s theme—Living God, renew and transform us—not only reflects the WCRC’s heritage but centres the Council around the God of Life and challenges participants to renew themselves and the church so that the world can be transformed.
A Global Reformation
The upcoming General Council will be held in Leipzig, Germany, in 2017—the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The WCRC is returning to the birthplace of the 16th-century Reformation to demonstrate that this event belongs to Christians around the world—and to witness to the world in these times of injustice and violence.
The business of the Council will be taken up in Leipzig, but two other cities will play prominent roles in the life of the Council.
Leipzig is an appropriate site for such a gathering. It has welcomed visitors to its conference grounds for 1,000 years. The local Reformed congregation is a vibrant cultural centre in a city known for its dedication to the arts. And the candlelit peace prayer vigils of 1989 sparked the reunification of Germany.
In Wittenberg, the birthplace of the Reformation, the General Council will affirm its visible support to Christian Unity at an ecumenical worship service in Martin Luther’s church. Historic sites will be visited. And an exhibition on the many facets of the Reformation will debut, showing the impact the Reformation has had around the world.
Berlin will see the Council engage in the Church’s Witness to the World. An internationally broadcast worship service will be held in the Berliner Dom. The Council will immerse itself in the life of the city—visiting diaconal institutions, historic sites and local congregations. And it will engage globally at a reception hosted by Germany’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
You’re invited to join in the events of the General Council, even if you’re not a delegate:
Pray that the work of the General Council will be guided by the unifying power of the Spirit.
Visit. Hundreds of visitors will take part in the public events of the Council, including the excursions to Wittenberg and Berlin. In addition, a special visitors programme will offer interaction between visitors from around the world with each other and with prominent leaders, theologians and artists. A Youth Gatherin will bring young people from the around the world together to experience Christian fellowship and explore what it looks like to be a disciple of Christ Jesus.
Support. While the General Council is financed through member church donations and special grants, additional contributions are always welcome.