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Assembly elects new presidents, central committee


New WCC presidents


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A new body to lead the World Council of Churches (WCC) into the next decade was elected in Porto Alegre on Wednesday. Delegates at the WCC's 9th Assembly also endorsed measures designed to strengthen youth participation in the organization's decision-making.


The Assembly elected a 150-member central committee, which serves as the main decision-making body of the Council between assemblies. The Assembly also appointed presidents for each of the world regions and for the Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches.


During the Assembly, the WCC leadership and many delegates urged the Council to find ways of strengthening youth participation and of involving young adults in the leadership and decision-making of the church fellowship. Proposals for a new representative body for youth will be discussed on the last day of the Assembly.


"I am pleased to report that the number of youth has increased to 22, representing 15% of the central committee," said Bernice Powell-Jackson, moderator of the Assembly Nominations Committee, presenting the final slate of names for approval.


The new 150-person central committee counts 63 women and 6 indigenous persons. 97 members of the committee are ordained. The nominations committee worked with a pool of names put forward by the WCC's 348 member churches. A 25-person executive committee, a moderator and two vice-moderators will be elected by the central committee later this week.


The role of the WCC presidents is to promote ecumenism and to interpret the work of the WCC, especially in their respective regions. The presidents are ex-officio members of central committee.


The eight WCC presidents are:

Africa: Rev. Prof. Dr Simon Dossou, Methodist Church in Benin

Asia: Rev. Dr Soritua Nababan, Protestant Christian Batak Church (HKBP)

Caribbean/Latin America: Rev. Dr Ofelia Ortega, Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba

Europe: Dr Mary Tanner, Church of England

North America: Rev. Dr Bernice Powell Jackson, United Church of Christ

Pacific: Mr John Taroanui Doom, MaĆ²hi Protestant Church

Eastern Orthodox: Archbishop Dr Anastasios of Tirana and All Albania, Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania

Oriental Orthodox: His Holiness Abune Paulos, Ethiopian Orthodox Church


Assembly website:www.wcc-assembly.info


Contact in Porto Alegre:+55 / 51 8419.216