Migrant workers praying at the Tanzi Church in Taichung, Taiwan, Photo: Paul Jeffrey/Life on Earth pictures

Migrant workers praying at the Tanzi Church in Taichung, Taiwan, Photo: Paul Jeffrey/Life on Earth pictures

The webinar—the last in an ecclesiology series—will finalize the work done by the ecclesiology study group of the commission between 2015 and 2022. 

The Faith and Order ecclesiology study group worked along two lines after the publication of the Convergence document “The Church: Towards a Common Vision" (TCTCV). A part of the group reviewed and analyzed the responses to TCTCV that the churches had sent to the Commission. The results of their study were published as Churches Respond to The Church: Towards a Common Vision, Common Threads: Key Themes from Responses to The Church: Towards a Common Vision, and What Are the Churches Saying About the Church

In parallel the second part of the group undertook the task of broadening the table of ecclesiological dialogue. This was achieved by going into more and wider conversations with ecclesiological perspectives from various regions (mainly Asia, Africa, and Latin America), denominational families (such as Evangelical, Pentecostal, Charismatic, and independent churches), and forms of being church (ecclesial movements, new forms of monasticism, and online churches), which have not always been clearly or strongly part of discussions on the way to TCTCV.

The commission decided the ecclesiology study group to turn to some of these churches and seek responses to TCTCV from their ranks, through a series of consultations that were organized with theologians representing many of the above perspectives. With the additional responses, the commission aimed at constructing a more globally informed portrait of what the Church is. 

How do these churches  understand the Church in light of TCTCV? Do they see themselves as being well-represented in that document? From their perspective, what do they view as missing from the document? What do they believe they could bring to the study of ecclesiology that would enrich the WCC’s understanding of the global church? 

The first volume in this set included 24 chapters written from the perspectives of theologians from the global South: Asia, Latin America, and Africa. The majority came from Pentecostal or Charismatic churches. The commission responded positively to its publication, as have other readers since its release.

 In this second volume, nearly all of the chapters come from commissioners who have worked on ecclesiological issues during this past term. In the first section, several commissioners have reviewed official reports from existing international dialogues of Pentecostals or Evangelicals with the Roman Catholic Church, the World Communion of Reformed Churches, or the Lutheran World Federation. 

The editors chose also to include the dialogues of Pentecostals with various member churches of the WCC, known as the Joint Consultative Group. These contributions have met the goal of harvesting the fruit of other ecumenical conversations that include many of the churches absent from the WCC. 

The upcoming webinar is the sixth and final one, focused on the work of the Faith and Order Commission’s work on the Church. Several contributors will present their papers and their vision for the future work on ecclesiology that the Commission will undertake.


Register here to join this webinar live, Thursday, 14 December, 4 pm CET