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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.

WCC Faith and Order Commission publishes two volumes on moral discernment

Current tensions within and between churches are often the result of disagreements over moral issues. Churches thus face challenges to preserve unity and meet obstacles to restore unity. Seeing the urgency of the matter, the World Council of Churches’ (WCC) Faith and Order Commission took up the task to assist the churches in finding a way to deepen mutual understanding leading to dialogue. Its study group on moral discernment presents two publications.

Churches and Moral Discernment

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.

Christians worldwide gather in prayer for unity— even if distanced

Even as nations continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, final preparations are under way for one of the world’s largest annual prayer observances, traditionally celebrated 18-25 January. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity involves Christian communities from many traditions and all parts of the globe. At a time when public health concerns put a limit on physical gatherings, it provides an opportunity for churches to come together by means of a typically Christian practice that long predates modern transport: prayer.

Bilateral dialogue “an activity of the churches themselves”

In a look back at how history has shaped the formation of bilateral dialogues, the World Council of Churches (WCC) on 27 October hosted the first in a series of webinars focusing on ecumenical bilateral dialogues and their importance for the one ecumenical movement.

1920 (4): Towards a Universal Conference of the Church of Christ on Life and Work

Hotel Beau-Séjour, Geneva, 8 August 1920. It’s been too cold an August, with average temperatures around 17.3 Celsius. Tomorrow is the opening day of a very promising post-war international consultation. Its title is “The Preliminary Meeting to Consider an Ecumenical Conference of the Church of Christ on Life and work.” However, I can tell you that a Church of Scotland delegate, J.-A. MacClymont, will certainly object to this awkward use of the word “ecumenical.”

Ecumenical statement on migration received by European Commission

The advocacy statement of ecumenical organisations responding to the new EU Migrant Pact and the situation of migrants and refugees in Europe was received 25 September in the European Commission offices in Brussels. The statement was addressed to Vangelis Demiris, cabinet member of the vice president of the commission Margaritis Schinas, who is coordinating the commission’s work on the New Pact on Migration and Asylum. Dr Jørgen Skov Sørensen, general secretary of the Conference of European Churches, and Dr Torsten Moritz, general secretary of the Churches' Commission for Migrants in Europe, delivered the statement to Demiris, who is responsible for the dialogue with the churches and faith-based organisations.