The CEC Assembly planning process

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From May 26 – 29 the Assembly Planning Committee (APC) for the CEC Assembly meets in Stuttgart for their last meeting before the CEC General Assembly meets itself. Time will be spent on finalising preparations, in particularly details of the Assembly programme.

It has been an interesting two and a half years journey for the Planning Committee. The aim was to compose a group of people with some event organizing experience. However, there was also a wish that group would represent a geographical and denominational church variety. At the same time the size of the group was to be kept as small as possible. This has formed a small, honest and open group planning the Assembly. But it also means that each member has had to take on a number of concrete tasks. From the beginning it has been necessary to invite members of staff, Central Committee, Revision Working Group and/or the Finance Committee into various parts of the process. 

The immediate challenge for the group was that there was not a CEC General Secretary, Finance secretary, or an Assembly organizer in place by the time we started planning the Assembly. The first task was therefore to map the financial situation, create a budget and start immediate hands-on fundraising for the Assembly. Some members have done a tremendous fundraising work, and we are deeply grateful to the churches who have committed their support in order to make this Assembly possible. 

The financial situation of CEC has made it necessary to scale down the size of the assembly. APC has spent much time trying to keep the assembly at a minimum, while at the same time ensuring a democratic and balanced representation following the current CEC constitution. This has unfortunately affected the number of partners, guests and observers present. Also, as church delegations have been minimized, we see that this affects the balances of gender, age and positions within the delegations. The matter should be for consideration at the Assembly itself. 

The most important task for APC has been to form a programme which can help the assembly delegates work and make decisions for the future of CEC in a democratic and transparent way. This could only take place after the proposal for revision of CEC was received. APC has therefore analysed the revision document, the reception process among CEC member churches, and the Uppsala report, in order to prepare the Assembly programme. The preparatory work of the Revision Working Group and the member churches in this process has been tremendous. 

To ensure the active participation of the member churches in the revision process, APC has chosen to prepare a very full and demanding business programme for the delegates. We are most grateful to the Worship Committee who has contributed significantly to the planning of the programme, to the ecumenical youth organisations who have helped planning the youth and stewards’ programme, to the Local committee for preparing welcoming, programme parts and logistics, and to staff and volunteers who carry the burden of making all things come together. We hope that delegates will be actively participating in plenaries and group work, as well as in worship life and informal conversations, all for the better of future ecumenical cooperation in Europe!

/Beate Fagerli
APC member, Church of Norway

Assembly Planing CommitteeAssembly Planing Committee