Over the past several weeks, this website has been sharing United Methodist coverage of the recent World Council of Churches General Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany. As the final part of that coverage, here are links to interviews or reflections about that experience by four United Methodists who participated in the meeting as delegates:
First, Rev. Jean Hawxhurst, Ecumenical Staff Officer for the Council of Bishops, shared this summary of the meeting, including her reflections on it. Rev. Hawxhurst offers three reflections, including this one: "There is a shift happening in the WCC, and it will both help marginalized voices to be heard and reduce the visible leadership of The United Methodist Church. ... It is time for The UMC to humbly live into a place that continues our strong voice but also recognizes equity at the table is necessary for the healthy functioning of the WCC in this time."
Mr. Byrd Bonner, a lay United Methodist from Texas, shared these reflections in his local church's newsletter. Mr. Bonner was particularly struck by the conversation around Ukraine and other global crises, gender justice, and a speech from Dr. Azza Karam, a Muslim woman who addressed the WCC.
Klaus Ulrich Ruof of the German UMC interviewed Rev. Ann Jacobs from Washington, a UMC delegate who was subsequently elected to membership on the WCC's 150-seat Central Committee. In the interview (originally reported in German, Google translated here), Rev. Jacobs talks in particular about the role of youth at the General Assembly.
Finally, Sigmar Friedrich of the Swiss UMC interviewed Rev. Sarah Bach from Switzerland, who also served as a UMC delegate to the General Assembly. In that interview (originally in German, Google translated here), Rev. Bach speaks about the processes used by the WCC, youth voices at the General Assembly, and discussions about climate change.
Now that the WCC General Assembly is over, the question remains, as Rev. Bach points out, how will what happened there make its way back into the lives of churches in the UMC and throughout the world?