The responses address the church’s mission, unity, and its being in the trinitarian life of God in order to encourage and advance the churches’ growth in communion with each other in apostolic faith, sacramental life, mission, and ministry for the sake of God’s world.
The Commission on Faith and Order, convening online from 23-25 February, is thankful to make the responses available to the wider public, said Rev. Dr Stephanie Dietrich, who served as an editor for the volumes. “We highly recommend these to everyone interested in the development of ecumenical ecclesiology to study what churches, ecumenical organisations and other bodies have responded to The Church: Towards a Common Vision,” said Dietrich. “The responses clearly show that our search for Christian unity is as relevant as ever before, when churches seek together in their longing for unity in faith and life, as churches in and for the world."
Rev. Dr Ellen Wondra, also an editor, described the publication as another stop in the reception of ecumenical conversations about the nature and mission of the church. “The responses are both appreciative of the work so far, and also rich in suggestions about how to advance both the conversation and mutual cooperation further,” said Wondra.
Dr Ani Ghazaryan Drissi, WCC programme executive for the Faith and Order Commission, called this a historic moment. “I am delighted to see the fruit of the commission's commitment and labour to The Church: Towards a Common Vision,” said Ghazaryan Drissi. “This work essentially validates all the Faith and Order reflection on ecclesiology from 1993-2013 and beyond.”