World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

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The WCC as an impulse for renewal

The contemporary spiritual crises call the ecumenical movement and the World Council of Churches to reaffirm the vocation of being an impulse for renewal.

The ecumenical movement of the 20th century has sought to bridge the gap between the churches as they are and the true fellowship with the triune God and among one another which is their calling and God's gift.

Within the ecumenical movement the World Council of Churches has sought to integrate the vision of John 17:21 ("that they may all be one... so that the world may believe") with the vision of Ephesians 1:10 (God's "plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in Christ, things in heaven and things on earth").

This vision, rooted in the life of the Christian churches, means that the ecumenical movement is more than merely a concern for inter-church relationships.

The ecumenical vision looks for the renewal of the church and the world in the light of the gospel of God's kingdom. In the face of every threat to life, it proclaims the Christian hope of life for all, the healing of the human community and the wholeness of God's entire creation.

In seeking this renewal, the ecumenical movement promotes cooperation and sharing, common witness and common action by the churches and their members. In each place and in all places, it is concerned with the true being and life of the church as an inclusive community.

The ecumenical movement is wider than the organizational forms it has taken. It has found expression in a rich variety of networks and initiatives for renewal among lay people, especially women and young people.