Brunnen Workshops at the 11th WCC Assembly in Karlsruhe

The assembly will be a time to gather strength for our common pilgrimage in the world in its present reality, to hear from each other, and to encourage one another as we celebrate the love that, through the Holy Spirit, moves, heals, and empowers us.” (Assembly theme paper)

Brunnen is a German word for well. The well is the space for encounter and sharing, satisfying ones thirst, greeting a visitor and welcoming a stranger. The Brunnen has also a spiritual meaning, it is a space that shows diversity as well as existing and expected unity. It is a space of encounter that aims to open the horizon. It gives space to the broader ecumenical movement and civil society. The Brunnen provides space for harvesting the outcomes of the pilgrimage and developing ideas for the future.

Previous assemblies provided similar space through the Padare in Harare (1998), Mutirão in Porto Alegre (2006) and Madang in Busan (2013).

The Brunnen was the heart of the assembly, open from 11.00 until 21.00 every weekday of the assembly. At the assembly, the Brunnen programme was the main element for what we call the Assembly Participants track, which ran parallel to the Delegates track and the Ecumenical Encounter Programme track (programme in the City of Karlsruhe, mainly for local/regional participants).

The Brunnen programme included workshops, exhibitions, networking zones and side-events. We encouraged ecumenical partners, ecumenical networks and member churches to propose workshops, exhibitions or performances.

Workshops were events that provided an opportunity for assembly participants to come together to discuss and explore a specific topic. Each 90-minute workshop was offered one time. There were 100 workshop spaces available.

The networking zone was a lively and dynamic space where participants gathered around several ecumenical hubs. These hubs were dedicated places for WCC, ACT Alliance, EKD and the Protestant Church of Switzerland.

Agenda of the WCC space in the Networking Zone

The WCC space features a wide range of programme activities of the Council and its latest publications.

31 August

9:00 – 10:00 Overcoming racism

Restorative Justice and the legacies of racially-motivated slavery: a video on slavery and reparation, restorative or repairing justice followed by discussion.

13:00 – 14:00 Interfaith affirmations on belonging

What does your tradition teach about belonging, inclusivity? Why are these Affirmations important in the work to tackle statelessness?

14:00 – 15:00 WCC and its roots – Where are we coming from?

15:00 – 16:00 Studying at the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey

Insights from students and teaching team.


1 September

09:00 - 10:00 Thursdays in Black: Tales of Transformation

Experiences and narratives of transformation linked to the #TiB Campaign in the different regions.

10:00 – 11:00 “Walking Her-Story”: Women of faith pilgrimages

Testimonies from pilgrim team visits of women of faith.

11:00 – 12:00 Faith and Order: What are the Churches saying about the Church?

12:00 – 13:00 Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel: a conversation on peace and justice.

Presentation and conversation on 20 years of promoting peace, justice and the accompaniment of vulnerable communities in Israel and Palestine. Discussion will be led by the programme coordinator Jack Munayer and 4 Ecumenical Accompaniers from Argentina, Germany, Sweden and Ecuador.

13:00 – 14:00 “Hundred years of mission cooperation: looking back and to the future of reconciliation and unity” 

An interactive discussion on ecumenical mission in/of/after the assembly.

14:00 – 15:00 Season of creation, ecumenical care for creation and call for ecological conversion

Panel discussion bringing together Season of Creation leaderships.

15:00 – 16:00 Book launch: “Let the waves roar” – meet the authors

16:00 – 17:00 WCC communication

18:30 – 19:00  Book launch: “Cooler earth, higher benefits”

19:00 – 20:00 Human Rights and Dignity of the People of West Papua

Introduction of West Papua programme work within the WCC.

20:00 – 21:00 Phobia, hatred, and the interfaith call to life sustainability

In which effective ways can religious communities embody life sustainability in the political arena today? How can religious leaders convey to political leaders the importance of life sustainability?


2 September

09:00 – 10:00 “Why did your church apply to become a member of the Ecumenical Movement?”

Encountering applicant and new member churches of WCC.

10:00 – 11:00 Racial Justice on the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace

Racism is a human moral and ethical degeneration. It is rooted in the incapacity to recognize in the other the same nature and value as is there in yourself. It is a symptom of the brokenness of our human relating and it is sin. 

11 :00 – 12 :00 Book launch: Christian Perspectives on Human Dignity and Human Rights

12:00 – 13:00 Truth and trauma on the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace

Since 2013, the world Council of Churches has embarked on a pilgrimage of justice and peace and coming out of the pilgrimage, one of the things we have noted is that there have been cases of trauma stemming from conflict.

13:00 – 14:00 Faith and Order on Pilgrimage: Introducing Three Short Theological Reflections

The Busan Assembly asked the churches to “move together” on a “pilgrimage of justice and peace.” Faith and Order commission members representing Christians from many traditions and global perspectives, formed a study group to accept that challenge. The study group coauthored three brief theological texts.

14:00 – 15:00 HIV: overcoming stigma and discrimination at the congregation

Representatives from around the world share best practices of overcoming HIV stigma and discrimination.

15:00 – 16:00 Sexual and Reproductive Health and Faith

Intergenerational conversations on sexual and reproductive health in the context of faith perspectives from Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy (EHAIA).

16:00 – 17:00 WCC communication

18:00 – 19:00  WCC journals

19:00 – 20:00 “Out of the Shadows” campaign - Eliminating violence against children

A project shining light on the response to Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) and exploitation, through WCC member churches and ecumenical partners.


3 September

15:00 – 16:00 Ecumenical Office to the UN in New York

The Ecumenical Office to the United Nations (EOUN) – a joint office of the World Council of Churches and ACT Alliance – facilitates an important link between the ecumenical movement and the UN system in New York.

16:00 – 17:00 WCC Communication

17:00 – 18:00 Mental health wellness: tools on ensuring mental health wellness in church settings

18:00 – 19:00 Bossey 360

Welcome to the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey! We invite you to discover a 360 degree view of this beautiful space of ecumenical encounter.


4 September

14:00 – 15:00 Youth, hatred and phobia in the digital age

This panel discussion is set up to examine the following issues: can expressions of hatred and phobia on internet be considered simply as manifestations of freedom of expression? How can faith communities deal with those who promote hatred and phobia on internet, and what can they do to help young people to face hatred and phobia in the cyber space?

15.00 – 17:00 WCC Communication

17:00 – 18:00 Youth perspective on the Food Crisis and the remedial actions


5 September

09:00 – 10:00 The human rights implications of nexus between climate, water, food, health, gender and racism

An interactive dialogue between the Human Rights Rapporteurs of Water, Food and Climate between the Human Rights Rapporteurs of Water, Food and Climate.

10:00 – 11:00 Migration and life

Lifting up the intersectionalities of Migration with climate change, economic injustice, racism and HIV.

11.00 – 12:00 The impact of the inclusive humanitarian response by the ACT Alliance Disability Inclusive Development Community of Practice

12:00 – 13:00 Promoting mental health, aware of its intersectionalities

Experiences from different domains. This will bring perspectives from the Climate Emergency, HIV, and Gender relations in the context of the church, home and family.

13:00 – 14:00 Bossey alumni meeting

14:00 – 15:00 Faith and Order: Broadening the Dialogue on the Church

15:00 – 16:00 Land and displacement on the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace

Video on the experiences and narratives of communities that have experienced displacement from their lands. Harvests from Pilgrim team visits.

16:00 – 17:00 WCC communication

17:00 – 18:00 Green Village

18:00 – 19:00 Intergenerational conversation: reflecting on the future of the WCC


6 September

09:00 – 10:00 PJP priority countries: Israel and Palestine, Iraq, and Syria

This time slot will be used to present the programmatic work of the WCC on the Middle East between the Busan Assembly and Karlsruhe with specific focus on priority countries: Syria, Iraq, Israel/Palestine.

10:00 – 11:00  Economic Injustice: Root of all Crises & a way forward

NIFEA initiative/ZacTax as a way forward for transformation.

11:00 – 12:00 Faith and Order: Moral discernment: Facilitating ecumenical dialogue through learning from historic examples

12:00 13:00 PJP priority countries: Burundi, Mozambique, Cameroon, DRC, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and South Sudan

From the Busan assembly peace building under the framework of the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace (PJP) has continued to journey together and providing accompaniment with and for the churches and people from the identified priority countries in Africa.

13:00 – 14:00 The 4th Industrial revolution

Faith, Life and Justice: Panel discussion.

15:00 – 16:00 Health and Healing on the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace

In the context of the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, the regional consultations took place in 2021 as a continuation of the work previously done by the WCC COVID-19 staff support team who helped open the discussion.

16:00 – 17:00 WCC Communication

17:00 – 18:00 Green Village

19:00 – 20:00 PAWEEN reception

The Pan African Women Ecumenical Empowerment Network (PAWEEN) was launched in 2015 to create a worldwide, vibrant chain of support and empowerment among women of African descent as one contribution to the WCCsPilgrimage of Justice and Peace. 

20:00 – 21:00 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Ecumenical Prayer Cycle (digital resources)


7 September

09:00 – 10:00 Studying at the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey

Insights from students and teaching team

10:00 – 11:00 PJP priority countries: Ukraine

Global impact of the Ukraine crisis and solutions.

11:00 – 12:00 Book launch: Hate Speech and Whiteness – Racism in post-colonial contexts

12:00 – 13:00 Moral discernment – exploring a new approach and tool from the Faith and Order Commission

13:00 – 14:00 E-book launch: Killer Robots

15:00 – 16:00 Nuclear Disarmament

Screening of video testimonies of, and conversation with, ecumenical and other partners working on this issue

16:00 – 17:00 WCC Communication

17:00 – 18:00 The global crisis of food and livelihoods

18:00 – 19:00 Economy of Life and Ecological Justice

Experiences on how this is being experienced at the congregation level, as well as localized strategies for a sustainable future.

WCC activities on the main stage of the Networking Zone

31 August 

12:00 - 13:00 Anti-Black and Brown Racism, Afrophobia and Xenophobia

13:00 - 14:00 PJP document launch: Ecumenical Theology of Companionship


1 September 

12:00 - 13:00 ACT / WCC / LWF Climate event


2 September

15:00 - 16:00 Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel: a conversation on peace and justice


3 September

14:00 - 15:00 PJP priority countries: Korean Peninsula and Colombia


5 September

15:00 - 16:00 Blue Communities in Action


6 September

17:00 - 18:00 Intersectionalities of Racism, Gender, Climate Justice & Health

18:00 - 19:00 CCIA from Busan to Karlsruhe

19:00 - 20:00 Menstrual health and rights


7 September

12:15 - 12:45  ACT / WCC Ecumenical Diakonia event

17:00 - 18:00 Climate Justice - Actions from various perspectives

Exhibition stands were spaces that provided an opportunity for the assembly participants and the wider public to enjoy a range of diverse offerings from the ecumenical partners, networks and membership of the World Council of Churches.

Exhibition stands were not limited to static presentations and displays (photo essays, art exhibitions, etc.) and were encouraged to include a variety of offerings.

Exhibition stands introduced and promoted the exploration of themes and issues in a visual form, but also encouraged participants to actively interpret and explore exhibition content. They created an interactivity between people viewing the exhibition, the exhibitor and the exhibition itself. Finally, they built networks and mobilised interest around themes, issues and demonstrated partnership with churches and ecumenical partners within the fellowship.

Ecumenical partners, networks and members churches were invited to propose side-events and performances. Events included music, cultural performances, concerts, visual arts or spaces for discussion. Stages for performances were available at different locations in the Brunnen.  

We encouraged side-events to be artistically appealing to a broad spectrum of participants, to highlight the theme of the assembly, explore specific issues and include moments of celebration. Side-events provided participants the opportunity to share information and experiences, and to be a platform for cultural exchange and sharing.

Workshops at the 11th WCC Assembly

List of Brunnen Workshops at the 11th WCC Assembly