For Meuhlstedt, who attended the assembly in person, the word “reconciliation”—part of the assembly theme “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity”—resonated. “I think this what the world needs today, and what Christianity can propose to resolve the recent conflicts,” she said, “so whatever was connected with this was interesting for me.”
For Daniela Rei Visan of the Radio Romania Cultural, the assembly was an opportunity to tell stories of recovering hope, a sense of belonging to a community, and a new direction in our life. “Even though I was not able to be in Karlsruhe in person, I could feel the atmosphere and followed most of the events due to the hybrid system,” she said. “I was happy to learn about health and healing from a Christian perspective, to judge the individual health and healing in a global, social process.”
Simon Barrow, managing editor of Ekklesia, reflected that telling the stories of the assembly showed that we cannot separate the task of seeking unity in the church from seeking justice and peace in the affairs of humankind.
“The overall theme, and numerous moments of illumination in the assembly, illustrated just how vital ecumenism is, as well as the programmatic work enabled and supported by the World Council of Churches,” he said.
Journalists who covered the WCC 11th Assembly received breaking news and connections to interviews from an onsite press center and an online press center open daily from 7:30 am to 10 pm. WCC Communications hosted more than 18 media events during the assembly with daily media orientations at 8:15 am and 4:15 pm, and daily press conferences at 11:15 am plus thematic press briefings in the late afternoons, all livestreamed in four languages.
“Media is very important to the ecumenical movement now and in the past, as they are conveying information through their storytelling,” said Marianne Ejdersten, WCC director of Communication. “Media has always been very present at each assembly—for example, more than 700 media covered the 4th WCC Assembly in Uppsala, Sweden, in 1968. In Karlsruhe, Germany, at least 360 media were accredited but many more were able to follow the setup online across the globe.”
We are living in a time when the world needs—and even demands— that churches, media and communicators use their prophetic voices. “Know something that people want to know about, say something that people have an interest in understanding – most important, be authentic, transparent, inspiring—and be fair and bring hope,” said Ejdersten.