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I. Unity: The Church and its mission

Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry (Faith and Order Paper no. 111, the "Lima Text")
This famous text, adopted by Faith and Order at its plenary commission meeting in Lima, Peru in 1982, explores the growing agreement - and remaining differences - in fundamental areas of the churches' faith and life. The most widely-distributed and studied ecumenical document, BEM has been a basis for many "mutual recognition" agreements among churches and remains a reference today.
Called to be the One Church (The Porto Alegre Ecclesiology Text)
Called to be the One Church (The Porto Alegre Ecclesiology Text) This concise text (about 2,300 words) was adopted by WCC member churches at the Porto Alegre Assembly (February, 2006) as a basis for their renewed commitment to the search for visible unity. It invites the churches into a renewed conversation - mutually supportive, yet open and searching - about the quality of their fellowship and communion, and about the issues which still divide them. WCC member churches are asked to respond officially to the text by the next WCC Assembly; study groups and individuals are also invited to offer comments and reactions.
Frequently asked questions about the date of Easter
In 2007 Christians from all traditions will celebrate Easter on the same day, April 8. But in many years major Christian traditions celebrate Easter on different dates, thus giving the impression of a divided witness to this fundamental aspect of the Christian faith. In recent years the desire to find a common date for the celebration of Easter, the Holy Pascha, the feast of Christ's resurrection, has become more and urgent. Initiatives by the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches have urged churches to address this issue. This page seeks to provide some answers to frequent questions asked about the date of Easter.
(Previous stage) The Nature and Purpose of the Church: A stage on the way to a common statement
This text, from the Faith and Order study on Ecclesiology, was issued as Faith and Order Paper no. 181 in 1998. Now superseded by The Nature and Mission of the Church, Faith and Order Paper no. 198, issued in 2005, it is included here to enable comparison of these two texts.
The Church: Towards a Common Vision
What can we say together about the Church of the Triune God in order to grow in communion, to struggle together for justice and peace in the world, and to overcome together our past and present divisions? The Church: Towards a Common Vision a remarkable answer to this question. Produced by theologians from the widest range of Christian traditions and cultures, The Church addresses first the Church’s mission, unity, and its being in the Trinitarian life of God. It then addresses our growth in communion – in apostolic faith, sacramental life, and ministry – as churches called to live in and for the world.
The Nature and Mission of the Church - A Stage on the Way to a Common Statement
This extended text (about 18,000 words) was published in December 2005 and is the latest result from Faith and Order's study on Ecclesiology. It seeks to express common convictions about the church, its nature and mission, and to identify the ecclesiological issues which continue to divide the churches today. The text has been sent officially to the churches for evaluation and response; study groups and individuals are also invited to offer comments and reactions. This text replaces the previous study document The Nature and Purpose of the Church (Faith and Order Paper no. 181, issued in 1998).
The Unity of the Church: Gift and Calling - The Canberra Statement
This text developed by Faith and Order is another of the "unity statements" adopted by WCC Assemblies over the years. It is one attempt to indicate the elements of "full communion" among churches.
Towards a Common Date for Easter
Moral Discernment in the Churches
A Study Document: One of the major challenges in the 21st century is the division that exists between churches – and within churches – over moral issues, divisions that threaten the aim of Faith and Order for visible unity in one faith and one Eucharistic fellowship. This study text does not focus on moral questions per se, but rather on the discernment process. This is a necessary prerequisite for ecumenical dialogue about specific moral issues. To that end, this study identifies sources that churches use for moral discernment (cf. §§ 30-48) and articulates some of the causative factors of the disagreements within and between churches over moral issues as a prolegomenon to ecumenical dialogue that seeks unity.
La Chiesa: verso una visione comune
Italian translation of "The Church: Towards a Common Vision", courtesy of Rivista Il Regno, Bologna, Italy
교회: 공동의 비전을 향하여
Korean translation of "The Church: Towards a Common Vision", courtesy of the Korean Host Committee for the WCC 10th Assembly
Kirkko: yhteistä näkyä kohti
Finnish translation of "The Church: Towards a Common Vision", courtesy of the Finnish Ecumenical Council.
Dokumenty Výboru pro víru a řád Světové rady církví o povaze, poslání a směřování církve
Czech translation of two documents of the WCC Commission on Faith and Order, namely The Nature and Mission of the Church (Faith and Order Paper No. 198) and The Church: Towards a Common Vision (No. 214). Both documents have been translated by Ms Svetlana Hanke-Jarosova,Master student at the Theological Faculty in České Budejovice (CZ).
Η Εκκλησία: Προς ένα Κοινό Όραμα
Greek translation of "The Church: Towards a Common Vision"
The Church: Towards a Common Vision, Armenian translation