The 9th Assembly of the World Council of Churches was one of the most representative gatherings of Christians ever held - with representatives of ecumenical organizations and groups, delegates from member churches, observers and visitors coming from all around the world. During the Assembly, there were multiple opportunities for encounter and exchange among the participants on a range of issues and themes of significance to the churches and the ecumenical movement.
During the programme, there were several plenary sessions dedicated to key themes chosen for their central importance to the WCC fellowship. A series of ecumenical conversations allowed participants to engage in a sustained way on issues of concern. Bible studies encouraged participants to discuss issues in the light of theology and spirituality. The ecumenical 'mutiraõ' provided a context for many to celebrate, present and discuss matters of concern.
Beyond the scope of the formal programme, a gathering as large and diverse as the WCC Assembly allowed people to discuss a whole range of other themes and issues related to the experience of Christians and churches, to the numerous ecumenical studies and initiatives underway in different parts of the world, and to the specific mandates of ecumenical organizations and programmes. The WCC understands itself as a privileged space for such dialogue and encounter, rooted in a common vision of unity and a respect for differences and divsersity.