Faith and Order marks 75th anniversary

 — May 10, 200210 mai 2002

Celebrations to be held in Switzerland on 25 August 2002

The first meeting of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches (WCC), held in Lausanne on 3 August 1927, had very high hopes. Participants believed that the goal of visible unity of the churches was really attainable.

The preacher at the time, Bishop Charles Brent of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the US, reminded the representatives of the churches of Christ’s hope “that they might all be one.”

“The 75th anniversary of that meeting in Lausanne on 25 August this year provides an opportunity to call the churches once again to the goal of visible unity,” says the present director of the WCC’s Faith and Order Commission Rev. Dr Alan Falconer.

The 1927 meeting took place when memories of the first world war were still fresh. “In 2002, in a deeply divided world, the call to unity assumes even greater urgency if the church is to provide an alternative of reconciliation between peoples and with God,” Falconer explains.

During the 75 years, Faith and Order has encouraged the search for unity on a number of levels. For parishes, it provides worship materials and brings local communities together for the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, that serves to stimulate a vision of the church as wider than the local parish.

Secondly, it brings churches who are seeking to unite, into dialogue, facilitating the exchange of information on church union negotiations and bilateral dialogues, and bringing people together for common reflection. The results of Faith and Order dialogues have become the basis for many agreements for changed relationships among churches.

“The patient work of dialogue in and through Faith and Order leads to conversion to inclusiveness and communion. It is essential for the witness of the church,” says Falconer.

The anniversary celebrations will take place in Lausanne, Switzerland, on the afternoon of Sunday 25 August. They will begin with the laying of a wreath on the grave of Bishop Charles Brent, who had been so inspired by the visions spelled out in Lausanne in 1927, especially as they were manifested in the local churches, that he later chose to spend his retirement there.

There will be a convocation with a number of presentations on the work, impact and future of Faith and Order, and the celebrations will culminate in an ecumenical service of celebration in Lausanne’s cathedral.

Arrangements for the celebrations are in the hands of a local committee of representatives of church communities in the Canton of Vaud, Switzerland, as well as of Faith and Order staff.

The WCC Central Committee is due to meet in Geneva the following week. Thus all WCC officers, Executive Committee and many Central Committee members will be present, ensuring wide international representation in the celebrations.

The celebrations will include significant Roman Catholic participation. “Since 1968, the Roman Catholic Church has been a full member of the Faith and Order Commission. They had already participated in two earlier Faith and Order world conferences (Lund 1952 and Montreal 1963). Their participation has always been intense and they have played a seminal role in Faith and Order since that time,” Falconer reports.

Sunday, 25 August 2002

75th anniversary of the first world conference of the Commission of Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches held in Lausanne, 3 August 1927

1500hrs – Wreath-laying at the grave of Bishop Charles Brent of the Episcopal Church of the USA. Bishop Brent preached the sermon at the first Faith and Order conference. He later retired to live in Lausanne. The short ceremony will be attended by officers and staff of the present Faith and Order Commission. (Cimetière du Bois de Vaux, route de Chavannes 2, Lausanne)

1600hrs – Presentations on the work, impact and future of Faith and Order, including a presentation by a young theologian, Anastasia Vassiliadou of the Church of Greece. (Aula of the University of Lausanne, Aula du Palais de Rumine, Place de la Riponne, Lausanne)

1800hrs – Ecumenical service of celebration and thanksgiving for the work of the Faith and Order movement. The preacher will be His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana, Durres and all Albania. (Lausanne cathedral, place de la Cathédrale, Lausanne)

Posted: May 10, 2002 • Permanent link:
Categories: WCC NewsIn this article: WCC Commission on Faith and Order
Transmis : 10 mai 2002 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : WCC NewsDans cet article : WCC Commission on Faith and Order

  Previous post: Ancien article : Message of the presidents of the WCC at Pentecost 2002
  Newer post: Article récent : “Hope, Good Will” Mark Exploration of Broader Christian Unity