Steps toward unity of great historical significance

 — Dec. 13, 200013 déc. 2000
by Rev. Thomas Ryan for the Prairie Messenger. Ryan is coordinator of ecumenical and interreligious relations in North America for his community, the Paulists.

In the movement for Christian unity, does dialogue just lead to more dialogue, or at some point does concrete action toward unity actually come from it? You be the judge.

Canadian Anglicans and Evangelical Lutherans:
The Waterloo Declaration, prepared in 1997 between the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada (ELCIC), has been widely circulated in synods in both churches in Canada and around the world, and to ecumenical partners. In the light of responses to it, a slightly revised version of the declaration has been prepared by the Joint Working Group.

American Evangelical Lutheran and Reformed Churches:
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the Reformed Church in America, the United Church of Christ, and the Presbyterian Church USA are now in full communion with each other.

American Evangelical Lutheran and Episcopal Churches:
In 1997, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the U.S. Episcopalian Church (EC) judged that their process of growth in agreement had reached sufficient maturity to put an agreement for full communion with each other before their General Synods. The EC approved the agreement; the ELCA rejected it by less than one per cent of the votes. A revision of the original proposal was approved by the ELCA in 1999; the EC met in Convention this past July and once again accepted it. A full communion status between the two will begin in January 2001.

Roman Catholic and Lutheran Churches Worldwide:
Last Oct. 31, the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation churches signed a common declaration on Justification by Faith, a theme that was at the heart of the Reformation. This declaration opens up new possibilities of Lutheran — Catholic reconciliation and agreement, and creates a new context on the road to full communion between the Reformation Churches and the Roman Catholic Church.

Consultation on Church Union (COCU):
Nine churches in the U.S. continue to take steps forward in a 35-year process toward a covenantal form of church order that would bring them into full communion. This new relationship among them, called Churches Uniting in Christ, projects inauguration Jan. 18 – 21, 2002, during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, and will be characterized by: mutual recognition of each other’s churches, baptism and ordained ministry; provision for the celebration of eucharist together with regularity; engagement together in common mission, especially all marginalization in church and society based on race, gender, forms of disability, sexual orientation and class; an ongoing process of theological dialogue and appropriate structures for consultation and decision-making.

Posted: Dec. 13, 2000 • Permanent link:
Categories: OpinionIn this article: Christian unity, ecumenism, full communion
Transmis : 13 déc. 2000 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : Christian unity, ecumenism, full communion

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