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Preparing for creative participation

Before the WCC's 8th Assembly in November 1998 in Harare, Zimbabwe, more than 1000 women gathered for an Ecumenical Decade (of churches in solidarity with women) Festival

Pre-Assembly women's meeting
11-13 February 2006

During this two-day meeting in Porto Alegre, panel discussions and multi-media presentations helped the approximately 300 women delegates to prepare themselves to deal creatively with the content - the issues and themes slated for discussion in plenaries and in "ecumenical conversations" - and the style - including the rules of debate and the consensus model of decision-making - of a WCC Assembly.

Alongside these sessions, community-building - including worship, Bible study, and creation of "sister" groups - also helped prepare the women delegates to play a central role in the life of the Assembly.

At the Assembly, a women's space - the "Colméia", which means beehive - allowed delegates, Brazilian and other women visitors to meet with prominent women coming to the Assembly, discuss Brazilian and Latin American women's concerns and link these to global ones, or simply to rest and be silent. The "Colméia" was managed and run by local women.