WCC Sets Dates for 2013 Assembly

The World Council of Churches (WCC) has set October 2-13 as the dates for its 2013 General Assembly, scheduled to be held in Busan, South Korea.

The decision was made during an executive committee meeting last week in Scotland, where WCC staff also reviewed and approved the group's planning, staffing and budget for 2011.

Several personnel cuts were made at the group's headquarters in Geneva – a decision that WCC General Secretary the Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit called "regrettable" but necessary to meet budget levels for 2011 and for the 2013 assembly.

Busan was decided on as the site for the WCC General Assembly during the group's Central Committee meeting last Fall in Geneva, with organizers expressing a desire to make the gathering more pluralistic.

"Moving together towards a wider Christian family, a wider global Christian forum – that is our goal and we are moving towards this goal," said Dr. Jong-wha Park of the assembly organizing committee last September.

"That's why Pentecostals are invited, evangelicals are invited, ecumenicals are invited to Korea. This is the clear sign that we are working towards a wider ecumenical solidarity."

In June, Tveit met with the Rev. Young-Hoon Lee, senior pastor of the 800,000-member Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, South Korea, who expressed his full support for the 2013 gathering.

"The WCC can expect to receive full support of the Pentecostal church in Korea for the 10th Assembly," Lee told Tveit.

Taking place every seven years, the General Assembly is the largest gathering of representatives from the WCC, which claims a memberships of some 560 million Orthodox, Anglican, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Reformed, United and independent Christians around the globe.

Over 600 delegates attended the group's 9th Assembly, held in 2006 in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

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