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Reflections on “What Are the Churches Saying About the Church” share fruits of WCC Commission on Faith and Order

Below, Rev. Dr Susan Durber, moderator of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Commission on Faith and Order and His Eminence Bishop Maxim, from the Serbian Orthodox Church and a WCC Faith and Order commissioner, reflect on the publication What Are the Churches Saying About the Church?”

The publication, which presents key findings and proposals from responses to The Church: Towards a Common Vision,” is among the many fruits being harvested by the study groups of the WCC Faith and Order Commission for the WCC 11th Assembly.

Prof. Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri, WCC deputy general secretary, featured in African Catholic Voices podcast

Prof. Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri, WCC deputy general secretary, was featured in an episode of African Catholic Voices podcast, a service of the Pan-African Theology and Pastoral Network. The episode, which aired 3 May, focuses on Phiris call on the churches in Africa to embrace life-affirming practices and reject all life-denying cultural, institutional, and denominational practices that harm God's people.

Spiritual path to the WCC 11th Assembly continues with Holy Week Bible studies

As the series of Bible studies leading up to the World Council of Churches (WCC) 11th Assembly continues, the focus moves to Holy Week and Easter. Below, Dr Ani Ghazaryan Drissi, WCC programme executive for the Faith and Order Commission, reflects on how churches, together, can focus on Holy Week in the context of of preparing for the assembly.

Common Threads

Key Themes from Responses to The Church: Towards a Common Vision

Faith and Order Paper No 233

Churches now agree more than they disagree on many characteristics of the Church and its faith, mission, and life: the responses to the convergence statement The Church: Towards a Common Vision make this clear. Within this growth in agreement, key themes come to the fore, calling for greater understanding, study, and common conversation: visible unity, communion, mission, the role of the people of God in ministry and decision-making, sin and the church, and more. 
This volume presents essays on sixteen of these key themes. Each essay was written by a member of the subgroup of the WCC Commission on Faith and Order that focused on reading and analyzing the responses. The essays were then discussed by the group and revised in light of the discussions. Some of the themes have been prominent since the 1982 convergence statement Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry. Others have emerged more recently. 

Together with the report What are the Churches Saying about the Church?, the essays illuminate the many ways in which the vision of unity has inspired and changed the churches, as well as critical areas where future work is needed.