Assembly Advisory Group meets in Uppsala

Assembly Advisory Group members. Photo: Simon Chambers

The ACT Assembly is coming soon!  Last month, the Assembly Advisory Group met in Uppsala to continue their preparations for this important event in the life of the ACT Alliance.  Here is the article they submitted to share the story of their work:

In late May, the ACT Assembly Advisory Group (AAG) met in Uppsala, Sweden to visit the assembly venue and discuss progress on the planning. First of all – you can look forward to arriving in Uppsala, it is a beautiful city full of charm and history. The venue for the Assembly is amazing – they have even painted the interior in the red ACT colour. We also tasted the food, a lovely lunch which, we are sure, will satisfy even the most picky Assembly attendee!

We discussed the programme and have put even more emphasis on engaging young people. So far only a few young people have registered and we call on all of our members to register a youth representative. We are aware the finances may be a problem and decided that the Secretariat should reach out to members who might be willing to contribute financially towards youth participation. We also decided that the programme itself should allow for more discussion on youth issues and involvement of all the ACT members in that discussion.

ACT Alliance is a global alliance and it is important to celebrate both our togetherness and our regional diversity. We will do this every night with exciting and innovative regional celebrations – so be prepared all of you and think big! We will be happy to assist with ideas and support the regional meetings.  We would also encourage you to make plans to participate in the pre-assembly exposure day on Migration & Integration on October 27. This is an excellent opportunity for members to get involved, celebrate the work of the alliance, and to witness Hope in Action.

We also had the opportunity to look at the worship programme and we invite members to get involved! Again, it is important that all the regions will be an active part of the programme. The Cathedral is beautiful and holds the “Tree of Atonement.” When Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968, the Rev. Martin Lönnebo (now Bishop Emeritus) took the initiative for a light tree that honored the civil rights activist’s memory. The light carrier was inaugurated at the WCC General Assembly in Uppsala in 1968 – 50 years ago – and will be used in our opening worship celebration.

The AAG are grateful to the Church of Sweden for hosting the planning meeting “Many thanks to Church of Sweden for their generous hospitality, that is simply an opportunity to show love and care” says Ihab Barakat, representing the MENA region. 

From Church of Sweden’s perspective, Erik Lysén, Director of International Affairs, notes that “….. as host organisation together with Diakonia, the visit of the AAG has helped us in the preparations to make sure you will all feel welcome and for a smooth running of the Assembly.  We also look forward to sharing with you the ecumenical heritage that has evolved from Uppsala over the past century, and the specific role the WCC Assembly in 1968 had in this respect.”
All in all, we discussed a lot of issues, there is much to prepare and from the AAG we would like to thank both our Swedish hosts (Church of Sweden and Diakonia) for the great work they are putting into making the assembly a success. 
But remember – we are all responsible as members to make the ACT Alliance Assembly a success. So register now, get involved and prepare for an inspiring and memorable week together in Uppsala!

Assembly Advisory Group:
Birgitte Qvist-Sorensen (DCA), Erik Lysén (CoS), Kerstin Kollander (CoS), Elizabeth Kisiigha (FECCLAHA), Minnie Anne Calub (NCCP), Lorenzo Mota King (SSID), Dayna Oliver (PCUSA), Ihab Barakat (DCA/NCA Palestine), Isabel Phiri (WCC).

If you have any question please contact Sarah Kambarami, ACT Assembly Planning Coordinator