World Council of Churches

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

The Nature and Mission of the Church - Presentation by Rev. Dr Hermen Shastri

Consensus on ecclesiology is central to the future of theological ecumenism, says Rev. Dr Hermen Shastri in his contribution to the discussion on the future of the study "The Nature and Mission of the Church".

13 October 2009

by Rev. Dr Hermen Shastri

Introduction

The Faith and Order study on Ecclesiology—with an initial study-text published as Faith and Order Paper No 181 (1998)—was revised in December 2005. The revision was based on the responses received and after careful discernment by the Standing Commission at its various meetings.

As it now stands, the text 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 subtitle of the texts, A Stage on the Way to a Common Statement, indicates that it is a provisional text; in other words, it is still a work in progress. The text, it is hoped, will be enriched and become more mature as the Commission takes into consideration the responses received since 2006 from the churches, and others, and the responses that will be received until the end of January 2010.