The year 2025 marks the 1,700th anniversary of the world’s first ecumenical Council, the Council of Nicaea of 325. The theologians gathered then were seeking unity, and the story of Nicaea needs to be remembered faithfully and thoughtfully. Then, as now, the call to unity was heard within the context of a troubled, unequal, and divided world.
The commemoration of Nicaea is a key moment in the story of Christian faith and in the ecumenical journey today. It offers us an opportunity to reflect on the faith we share, and on the Church, called to be sign and servant of the mission of God. How shall we live, pray, and celebrate the apostolic faith together, as one, in our times? If ever we needed an opportunity to consider the unity of the Christian family, and its witness to the world, surely that time is now!
The purpose of the WCC’s Faith and Order Commission is “to serve the churches as they to call one another to visible unity,” and in this historic year, the Commission will convene a number of events to commemorate Nicaea – as a Council, a Creed, a moment in history, and a touchstone for Christian life and faith – and to reflect on its meaning for today and tomorrow.
We hope the Christians of the world will join us and one another to remember, to reflect, and to renew their faith and hope in the love, justice, and unity of Jesus Christ.
“Faith and Order” came to birth in its “First World Conference,” held in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1927. It has continued to hold “world conferences” at key moments in its life and work. In physics, a “moment” is the centre of gravity around which an object turns. In Faith and Order, it is something that compels the commission to invite a wider consideration of its “object:” its purpose and work. Over the decades there have been five Faith and Order World Conferences:
- Lausanne, Switzerland 1927
- Edinburgh, Scotland – 1937
- Lund, Sweden – 1952
- Montreal, Canada – 1963
- Santiago de Compostela, Spain – 1993
Each Conference gathered large numbers of church representatives from around the world who wrestled with the issues of faith and church in the contexts of their day. We believe it is time to gather in this way once more. The anniversary of Nicaea offers us not only a time for reckoning, but an opportunity for celebration, as we reflect on what the churches have said and done together, what they learned about problem-solving across differences, and where those hopeful accomplishments might lead us.
Faith and Order will convene a “World Conference” in 2025 (for church delegates, with public online viewing also available) to ask, “Where now for visible communion?”
But it won’t start, or stop, there! There will be many ways for Christians to engage in the provocative questions and topics that this Nicaea anniversary proposes. Therefore, watch for:
- Worship resources: expressing our reflection in liturgical form
- Study resources on the present work of Faith and Order
- A new study programme on the Faith and Order study: Apostolic Faith Today
- Webinars on key Faith and Order work
- Publications and articles on pertinent topics
- Contributions to conferences and gatherings around the world
- Attention to significant research projects on related themes
- Online and local interactive presentations and conversations
- Links to parallel Nicaea commemorations among the churches
- Space to share artistic contributions, including music and visual arts
Information about all of these events and activities will be posted on this webpage as they become available. We hope you will join us!