Visitors Programme

Leipzig, Germany: 28 June – 7 July 2017

“Living God, renew and transform us”
Under this theme the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) will be holding its 26th General Council in Leipzig with day trips to Berlin and Wittenberg.

The WCRC is an international ecumenical organization comprised of 230 member churches from over 100 countries representing 80 million Christians. Meeting once every seven years, the General Council will see some 1000 participants attend from around the world. Together they will discern God’s will through Scripture to set the WCRC’s direction and elect new leadership.

In Leipzig (28 June-1 July, 3-4 July, 6-7 July) the Council will:

  • Open in the Leipzig Townhall with participation from German elected officals
  • Attend the Monday Prayer Service in the Nikolaikirche
  • Sponsor a Psalm concert in the Nikolaikirche
  • Be addressed by featured speakers
  • Conduct business
  • View the interactive social arts project held at several sites in the city

In Berlin (2 July: “Witnessing to the World”) the Council will:

  • Worship in a broadcast service from the Berliner Dom
  • Be received by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Visit diaconal and historic sites throughout the city

In Wittenberg (5 July: “Affirming the Unity of the Church”) the Council will:

  • Participate in an ecumenical ceremony at which the WCRC will:
    • associate with the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, joining with the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF)
    • sign a declaration of intent for closer relations with the LWF
  • Visit historical sites and exhibits

The Visitors Programme

The Visitors Programme provides an opportunity for persons who would like to attend the General Council. Visitors are invited to the public sessions of the General Council. Visitors:

  • Fully participate in worship life and Bible studies
  • Can accompany the General Council during its sessions in Berlin and in Wittenberg
  • Are welcome to listen to the speakers that unfold the Council theme during the plenary sessions; have the opportunity to discuss with these speakers in special workshops for visitors
  • Are invited to the cultural events that will take place in the time of the Council
  • Can take part in sightseeing trips in and around Leipzig

Daily Programme Highlights

Wednesday, 28 June
Afternoon and Evening: A gracious welcome from the Reformed Church in Leipzig

Thursday, 29 June
Bible study: Bae Hyun-ju (Leipzig Messe)
Reception in the Leipzig New Town Hall

Friday, 30 June: Leipzig Messe
Morning: Welcoming worship (Nikolaikirche)
Keynote Address: Jürgen Moltmann

Saturday, 1 July: Leipzig Messe
Bible study: Elsa Tamez
Keynote Address: Isabel Phiri & Philip Peacock

Sunday, 2 July: Berlin
Worship in the Berlin Dom
Reception by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Visits: historical and diaconal sites

Monday, 3 July: Leipzig Messe
Bible study: Mitri Raheb
Keynote Address: Farid Esack & Wesley Granberg-Michaelson
Peace Prayer at the Nickolaikirche

Tuesday, 4 July: Leipzig Messe
Bible study: Elsa Tamez
Keynote Address: Tinyiko Maluleke
Psalm Concert (Nickolaikirche)

Wednesday, 5 July: Wittenberg
Ecumenical Worship Service: Stadtkirche
Visit to the World Reformation Exhibition

Thursday, 6 July: Leipzig Messe
Bible study: Mitri Raheb
Business Sessions

Friday, 7 July: Leipzig Messe
Final decisions, adoption of official message
Closing Communion Worship Service

Special Offerings for Visitors


Featured speakers will include:

  • Bae Hyun-ju: Professor of New Testament Studies at the Busan Presbyterian University (South Korea); member of the World Council of Churches’ central and executive committees; contributor to Korean Feminists in Conversation with the Bible, Church, and Society.
  • Farid Esack: South African Muslim scholar, political activist and anti-apartheid campaigner; author of On Being a Muslim: Finding a Religious Path in the World Today.
  • Wesley Granberg-Michaelson: former General Secretary of the Reformed Church in America; author of From Times Square to Timbuktu: The Post-Christian West Meets the Non-Western Church.
  • Tinyiko Maluleke: academic, currently serving the University of Pretoria as Advisor to the Vice-Chancellor and Principal; social and political commentator, especially for the Mail & Guardian.
  • Jürgen Moltmann: German Reformed theologian; Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at the University of Tübingen; author of The Living God and the Fullness of Life.
  • Philip Peacock: ordained deacon in the Church of North India; Associate Professor of Social Analysis at Bishop’s College (Calcutta, India); author of Dalit Theology in the Twenty First Century: Discordant Voices, Discerning Pathways.
  • Isabel Apawo Phiri: academic and ecumenist from Malawi; World Council of Churches Associate General Secretary for Public Witness and Diakonia; editor of Postcolonial Mission: Power and Partnership in World Christianity.
  • Mitri Raheb: President of Dar al-Kalima University College (Bethlehem); senior pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem; co-author of the Kairos Palestine document; author of Faith in the Face of Empire: The Bible through Palestinian Eyes.
  • Elsa Tamez: Mexican-born feminist and liberation theologian; Emeritus Professor of the Universidad Biblica Latinoamericana (San José, Costa Rica); author of The Bible of the Oppressed.

Registration costs

Full time visitors – North America/Western Europe (including public transport)

  • Without meals: 155 €
  • Meals* included: 470 €

Full time visitors – other parts of the world (including public transport)

  • Without meals: 75 €
  • Meals* included: 390 €

Day pass for Leipzig – North America/Western Europe (excluding public transport)

  • Without meals: 15 €
  • Meals* included: 50 €

Day pass for Leipzig – other parts of the world (excluding public transport)

  • Without meals: 5 €
  • Meals* included: 40 €

Day pass for Berlin or Wittenberg – North America/Western Europe (including transport)

  • Without meals: 35 €
  • Meals** included: 70 €

Day pass for Berlin or Wittenberg – other parts of the world (including transport)

  • Without meals: 25 €
  • Meals** included: 60 €


Please direct all enquiries to the coordinator of the Visitors Programme, Rev. Paul Kluge:

* Meals while in the Leipzig Messe are lunch and supper, served through a buffet.
** Meals in Berlin are a light lunch and supper later; in Wittenberg, a light lunch, and supper at the Leipzig Messe upon returning.