WCC Assembly worship resources are available for churches
By Catherine Ferguson SNJM
Praying and worship are central activities for churches.
The World Council of Churches (WCC) 11th Assembly exemplified this in its resources. Its prayers, readings and songs are available online for churches to integrate, adapt and make part of their worship experiences.
Each resource was carefully planned to engage members and lead to prayerful reflection and action at the Assembly.
The resources are multicultural and multilingual. The music was a trip around the world and through different Christian cultural and theological traditions.
The key resource for worship services, "Oasis of Peace," is a volume of spiritual resources that inspired the collective prayer and praise of Assembly participants. That resource for the nine-day event contained 332 pages because many sections are repeated in the Assembly's four languages: German, French, Spanish and English.
The assembly theme, "Christ's Love Moves Us to Reconciliation and Unity," was set to draw participants into the heart of their Christian faith: the mystery of redemption through the transformative potential of divine love as given in Christ's incarnate, salvific presence.
The Oasis of Peace resource includes the opening worship and daily morning and midday prayers, exploring the theme in its multiple dimensions, especially as seen in the life and work of Jesus portrayed in the gospel readings that formed the core of the assembly's morning prayer, Bible studies and thematic plenaries.
Each day's service evoked praise for the Creator, invocation of Christ's salvation, reassurance of God's forgiveness and petition for the needs of participants and people around the world.
The resource also includes chants, songs and liturgical actions to invoke the inspiration of God's Holy Spirit, active in and around God's people, the cosmos and all creation.
Because it is available online—at oikoumene.org/sites/default/files/2022-08/Oasis-of-Peace_WEB_Pages.pdf—liturgists and worship leaders in this region and around the world can develop worship services and prayers drawing on those resources.
Other Assembly resources are available for the use of those in this region and around the world.
Other resources include Bible study materials in a publication online at https://www.oikoumene.org/resources/publications/when-he-saw-the-crowds-bible-studies
Each Bible study includes a scripture passage, a reflection by participants from different parts of the world, and questions for those doing the study for their reflection, inspiration and action.
Other publications to help persons planning ecumenical events are available. For example, the Ecumenical International Youth Day 2022 Event Toolkit on Indigenous Youth and Land Rights Activism was launched during the Assembly. Other publications are online at oikoumene.org/resources/publications.
In addition, at the WCC YouTube channel all the sessions, morning worship services, evening worship services by different confessions, daily news reports, speeches, business plenaries, thematic plenaries, press conferences and interviews remain online, along with videos taken since the assembly.
Videos are youtube.com/c/worldcouncilofchurches/videos.