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Assembly message invites churches and world to unite in prayer for transformation


Wendy Evans


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The "Message" of the 9th Assembly is an invitation to prayer. In proposing the document for adoption, message committee moderator Wendy Evans explained that the message is neither a report nor an exhaustive listing of concerns, but that "the message reflects the heart of the Assembly".


Evans, a delegate from the United Church of Canada, is the only committee moderator in the category of "youth". The committee brought three drafts of the proposed message to plenary sessions of the assembly, collecting suggestions for textual changes on each occasion. The final version of the message was agreed by consensus on the afternoon of the last day of the meeting, Thursday 23 February.


This is the text of the official message:


"God, in your Grace, Transform the World"

Message of the 9th Assembly

of the World Council of Churches:

An Invitation to Prayer


Sisters and brothers, we greet you in Christ. As representatives of churches from all the world's regions, we gather in Porto Alegre, Brazil, meeting in the first decade of the third millennium, in the first assembly of the World Council of Churches held in Latin America. We have been invited here to join in afesta da vida, the feast of life. We are praying, reflecting on the scriptures, struggling and rejoicing together in our unity and diversity, and seeking to listen carefully to one another in the spirit of consensus.


Meeting in February 2006, we are made aware by Assembly participants of cries arising daily in their home countries and regions due to disasters, violent conflicts and conditions of oppression and suffering. Yet we are also empowered by God to bear witness to transformation in personal lives, churches, societies and the world as a whole.


Specific challenges and calls to action are being communicated to the churches and the world in the reports and decisions of the Assembly, such as: the quest for Christian unity; our mid-term call to recommitment to the Decade to Overcome Violence (2001-2010); discernment of prophetic and programmatic means to achieve global economic justice; engagement in inter-religious dialogue; full inter-generational participation of all women and men, and common statements addressing the churches and the world on public issues.


The theme of this Ninth Assembly is a prayer, "God, in your grace, transform the world". In prayer our hearts are transformed, and so we offer our message as prayer:


God of grace,

together we turn to you in prayer, for it is you who unite us:

you are the one God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - in whom we believe,

you alone empower us for good,

you send us out across the earth in mission and service in the name of Christ.


We confess before you and all people:

We have been unworthy servants.

We have misused and abused the creation.

We have wounded one another by divisions everywhere.

We have often failed to take decisive action against environmental destruction,

poverty, racism, caste-ism, war and genocide.

We are not only victims but also perpetrators of violence.

In all this, we have fallen short as disciples of Jesus Christ

who in his incarnation came to save us and teach us how to love.

Forgive us, God, and teach us to forgive one another.


God, in your grace, transform the world.


God, hear the cries of all creation,

the cries of the waters, the air, the land and all living things;

the cries of all who are exploited, marginalized, abused and victimized,

all who are dispossessed and silenced, their humanity ignored,

all who suffer from any form of disease, from war

and from the crimes of the arrogant who hide from the truth,

distort memory and deny the possibility of reconciliation.

God, guide all in seats of authority towards decisions of moral integrity.


God, in your grace, transform the world.


We give thanks for your blessings and signs of hope that are already present in the world,

in people of all ages and in those who have gone before us in faith;

in movements to overcome violence in all its forms, not just for a decade but for always;

in the deep and open dialogues that have begun both within our own churches and with those of other faiths in the search for mutual understanding and respect;

in all those working together for justice and peace -

both in exceptional circumstances and every day.

We thank you for the good news of Jesus Christ, and the assurance of resurrection.


God, in your grace, transform the world.


By the power and guidance of your Holy Spirit, O God,

may our prayers never be empty words

but an urgent response to your living Word -

in nonviolent direct action for positive change,

in bold, clear, specific acts of solidarity, liberation, healing and compassion,

readily sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.

Open our hearts to love and to see that all people are made in your image,

to care for creation and affirm life in all its wondrous diversity.


Transform us in the offering of ourselves so that we may be your partners in transformation

to strive for the full, visible unity of the one Church of Jesus Christ,

to become neighbours to all,

as we await with eager longing the full revelation of your rule

in the coming of a new heaven and a new earth.


God, in your grace, transform the world. In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit;



Assembly website:www.wcc-assembly.info


Contact in Porto Alegre:+55 / 51 8419.216