"May they all be one so that the world may believe"

3-7 March 2009, Berekfürdö, Hungary

Approaching the centenary of Edinburgh 1910, representatives of two WCC Commissions met on 3-7 March 2009 in Berekfürdö, Hungary. The Commission on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME) and the Commission on Faith and Order (F&O) both have their roots in the World Missionary Conference of 1910 and are working together to mark Edinburgh 2010. The respective working groups on ecclesiology of both Commissions recognized one another's work, in view of the fact that mission lies at the very heart of the church. They shared insights and looked toward supporting one another in future activities.

This was a multilateral gathering of the two Commissions coming from 13 countries across the world. The moderators and staff of both Commissions were present and the meetings were chaired by Dr Mary Tanner, President of the WCC. Our meetings were in the context of prayer and Bible study. We were graciously received by the House of Reconciliation Conference Centre of the Reformed Church in Hungary at Berekfürdő. We began our consultation at Debrecen Reformed Theological University, where we were officially welcomed by the rector, Prof. Dr Sandor Fazakas, and joined by faculty and students.

The working groups will recommend to their Commissions the following areas for future collaboration:

  • Joint working on various projects on mission and unity, such as questions of unity and mission with newly emerging churches

  • Representation on one another's Commissions

  • Celebrating together the 50th anniversary of the integration of the International Missionary Council and the WCC in 1961, as well as the historic ecclesiological statement of the New Delhi with its roots in both Mission and Faith and Order.

The Faith and Order working group gratefully received the CWME response to Faith and Order's text on The Nature and Mission of the Church. CWME welcomed Faith and Order's contribution to their study project on ‘Mission and Unity' for Edinburgh 2010. We were delighted to be informed that both Commissions have decided to invite representatives of the other to forthcoming major events: the Faith and Order Plenary Commission in 2009 and the Edinburgh 2010 conference.

Participants enjoyed a lively exchange of views, warm fellowship and meaningful worship together, and wish to express their grateful appreciation to their local hosts, particularly to Rev Prof Dr Gusztáv Bölcskei, the presiding bishop of the Reformed Church of Hungary, for his visit to the consultation.