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What Are the Churches Saying About the Church?

Key Findings and Proposals from the Responses to The Church: Towards a Common Vision

Faith and Order Paper no. 236

This report was developed by the WCC Commission on Faith and Order as part of an ongoing conversation by churches about the Church that has included various elements. Following the publication of the two volumes of Churches Respond to The Church: Towards a Common Vision, this text provides an accessible summary of the findings of a process that took years of intense and hope-filled listening. It provides some highlights and impressions of what those who have listened have discerned what they heard.

The Commission on Faith and Order hope that readers will find this short text fascinating, challenging, and significant and that it will encourage the churches to take stock of the theological unity made evident here.

Churches and Moral Discernment (III)

Volume 3: Facilitating Dialogue to Build Koinonia

Faith and Order Paper No. 235

The study document “Churches and Moral Discernment: Facilitating Dialogue to Build Koinonia,” harvests the fruits of the study process on moral discernment which began in 2015. In its analysis, the document describes patterns in the complex negotiations between continuity and change as churches respond to moral challenges. At its core, the study document invites the churches to more deeply understand the significance of “the conscience of the church” in moral discernment processes and points to its ecumenical potential. The document offers a tool to analyse core elements in the conscience of the church that shape moral discernment.

Indigenous peoples and the pandemic in the land of inequalities

476 million indigenous people live around the world, of which 11.5% live in our Latin American region. In these years that we are going from the COVID 19 pandemic in our territories (indigenous or tribal at the Latin American level), the presence of many extractive companies, mainly uranium and lithium, has increased, land traffickers and among other monoculture companies with fires for the cultivation of oil palm, logging, putting vulnerable peoples at greater risk than what is already experienced.

Arctic communities to WCC pilgrims: “We need your voice”

Lorraine Netro, who was raised in the Gwichin First Nation of Old Crow, Yukon (Canada), is part of an indigenous community—but shes also a global citizen.

Todays Arctic peoples are important members of global society,” Netro said. The survival of Arctic cultures and communities remains tied to the wildlife and landscape of the Arctic Refuge.”

Economic and fiscal challenges from COVID-19

The aftermath of the pandemic will present enormous long-term political, social and economic challenges. After the pandemic has subsided, there will be an enormous financial cost to be calculated – especially in terms of increased government debt for almost every country. In particular, there is a very real risk that the UN Sustainable Development Goals will not be met. As Christians, we cannot use COVID-19 as an excuse for inaction and the preferential option for the poor must be recognised.

Churches Respond To The Church: Towards A Common Vision Volume I

Faith and Order Paper No. 231

This publication and its companion volume collect the responses received to The Church: Towards a Common Vision (TCTCV) between 2013 and 2020.
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.
These responses are of great importance, not only because they test the points of convergence and of difference identified in TCTCV but also because they express the interests and concerns of many member churches and ecclesial bodies engaging in the work for Christian unity. They also provide invaluable insight and guidance for future work on ecclesiology.

Churches Respond To the Church: Towards a Common Vision Volume II

Faith and Order Paper No. 232

This publication and its companion volume collect the responses received to The Church: Towards a Common Vision (TCTCV) between 2013 and 2020.
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.
These responses are of great importance, not only because they test the points of convergence and of difference identified in TCTCV but also because they express the interests and concerns of many member churches and ecclesial bodies engaging in the work for Christian unity. They also provide invaluable insight and guidance for future work on ecclesiology.

Love and Witness

Proclaiming the Peace of the Lord Jesus Christ in a Religiously Plural World

Faith and Order Paper No. 230

“Love and Witness,” intends to flesh out more fully the insights of Come and See with regard to peace and religious plurality. It seeks to engage with the insights of the World Council of Churches (WCC) and others to ask what our many traditions can say together as we journey towards visible unity about the encounter with other religions that will necessarily be a part of the Church’s pilgrim way.

Cultivate and Care

An Ecumenical Theology of Justice for and within Creation

Faith and Order Paper No. 226

The alarming climate change demands that the churches’ journey toward visible unity must include a sustained dialogue with a theology for justice for and within creation and seek ways to put the fruits of that dialogue into practice.

This theological document seeks to demonstrate how a committed response to the environmental devastation of our time can be motivated by Christian faith in God the creator, redeemer, and sanctifier.

We have sought, first, to point to some of the urgent environmental situations which cry out for Christian reflection and action. Next, we have sought to root such a response in the progressively increasing ecumenical consideration of creation on the part of the WCC in recent decades and in various theological, ecclesiological, and ecumenical convictions which our churches share and which call them to join together in engagement to protect the environment. Finally, we have proposed ways in which such engagement can take form.

Churches and Moral Discernment (I)

Volume 1: Learning from Traditions

Faith and Order Paper No. 228

The volume features 14 self-descriptions of different traditions regard­ing moral discernment: their sources, the interplay of sources, and the processes of ecclesial deliberation. The different self-descriptions are presented to enable reflection on and provide awareness of how processes of moral discernment are envisioned by the respective traditions. They invite the reader, as well as churches, to study them, reflect on the moral discernment of their own tradition, and learn how others engage in moral discernment.

 

Churches and Moral Discernment (II)

Volume 2: Learning from History

Faith and Order Paper No. 229

Many of the tensions between and among churches can be traced to the different positions they take on important ethical issues that face the churches and society. Yet, even within traditions positions change. In this second volume examining moral discernment in church traditions, the authors imagine changes in position on issues such as usury, slavery, marriage, suicide, as well as freedom of religion, apartheid, and involvement in war and peace.

The rights and dignity of the other

In the words of Prof. Rev. Dr John Langan SJ, a human right "is a right that a human person has simply by virtue of being (human), irrespective of his or her social status, cultural accomplishments, moral merits, religious beliefs, class memberships or cultural relationships.” 

Mission Rediscovered: Transforming Disciples

A Commentary on the Arusha Call to Discipleship
Kenneth R. Ross

This book offers a commentary on the Arusha Call to Discipleship, unpacking the meaning of its 12-part summons. It provides an up-to-date theological and missiological view on a major ecumenical mission document with a personal reflection on the state of the world desperately in need of change and transformation. It intends to be a key resource for discovering what it means to become what Pope Francis described as "missionary disciples". Primarily meant for individuals and study groups in churches, mission agencies and theological institutions, it is a useful tool for anyone interested in the ecumenical mission movement and World Christianity.

As repeat hurricanes threaten, churches offer vital services in Nicaragua, Honduras

Two weeks after Hurricane Eta struck, Nicaragua and Honduras are now bracing for another massive storm, Hurricane Iota. Eta killed at least 120 people in flash floods and mudslides. By 15 November, ahead of Iota’s landfall, some 63,500 people had been evacuated in northern Honduras, and 1,500 people in Nicaragua had been moved from low-lying areas of the country's northeast. Carlos Rauda, a regional officer with ACT Alliance, offers a glimpse of this unfolding situation, and the important role of churches.

For International Orthodox Christian Charities, global partners build “information sharing, collaboration, and funding”

The World Council of Churches is publishing a series of interviews that portray insights and reflections from the leaders of faith-based global and regional humanitarian and development organizations. Constantine Triantafilou is executive director and CEO of International Orthodox Christian Charities, which offers emergency relief and development programs to those in need worldwide, without discrimination, and strengthens the capacity of the Orthodox Church to so respond.