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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.

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.

Growth in Agreement IV:

International Dialogue Texts and Agreed Statements, 2004–2014, Volumes 1 and 2

A gift to the ongoing work of reconciliation among Christians, the textual fruits of ecumenical dialogue over the last decade are presented here in complete documents. The vast yield is here collected in two volumes, incorporating bilateral and multilateral dialogues of the churches across the Christian confessions—Orthodox, Catholic, and Reformation traditions—and evinces not only agreements and disagreements but also the new insights that dialogue itself reveals.