Church and Ecumenical Relations

Bringing churches together in prayer, witness and service

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At the heart of the ecumenical movement stands the keen desire of Jesus “that all may be one,” and churches around the world for over a century have answered this call through earnest and intentional efforts to overcome historic divisions and to unite in fellowship and service of the coming reign of God.

The constitutional basis of the World Council of Churches says that the WCC is a "fellowship of churches." For a strong fellowship, the member churches, as well as related regional and national councils, need to nurture a strong sense of ownership of the WCC’s work. The WCC agenda must reflect their experiences, concerns and expertise – that’s why they are encouraged to participate actively in planning and implementation of the WCC’s programmes and initiatives.

The WCC was created by the churches in order to call each other to visible unity. It also serves to strengthen relations and cooperation with churches outside the WCC, and among all Christians. Two advisory bodies help the WCC and its partners in this task: the Joint Working Group between the Roman Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches (JWG), and the Joint Consultative Group between the WCC and Pentecostals (JCG). The WCC also participates in the meetings held annually by the conference of secretaries of Christian world communions.

Summary of the Ninth Report

This document offers a summary of the Ninth report from the Joint Working Group between the Roman Catholic Church and the WCC, which relates the focus and work of the group from 2007 through 2012. As the group approaches its fiftieth year, its recent foci include in-depth work on the notion of ecclesial reception of ecumenical work, the spiritual roots of ecumenism, church participation of youth, and emerging work on migration.

Joint Working Group

Ninth report of the Joint Working Group

This report outlines the activities of the JWG during 2007-2012 and includes the two study documents and reflections on the role of youth. The JWG members offer these texts to the parent bodies, i.e. the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU) and the World Council of Churches (WCC), and hope that they will be received by churches and Christians around the world, inspiring them in their own ecumenical journey.

Joint Working Group

International Dialogues in Dialogue: Context and Reception. Tenth Forum on Bilateral Dialogues, 2012

Meeting for the first time outside Europe, the tenth Forum on Bilateral Dialogues met in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in March 2012. Following the recommendations on the reception of ecumenical texts from the ninth forum, the meeting in Dar Es Salaam gave special attention to the reception of the achievements of the bilateral dialogues in the Global South. Its recommendations urge the international theological dialogues to be more intentional about questions of membership, methodology, and theological questions about Christian unity that emerge from the variety of contexts in the South.

Commission on Faith and Order

Communiqué of the JWG Plenary Meeting 2011

The island of Malta located in the Mediterranean Sea between Italy and the shores of Tunisia and Libya was the setting for the last plenary meeting of the Joint Working Group between the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) and the World Council of Churches (WCC) before the forthcoming WCC assembly in 2013 in Busan (Korea). Malta has been at the crossroads of Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East throughout its history.

Joint Working Group

Obituary for Dom Emmanuel Lanne

Tribute to the life and work of Dom Emmanuel Lanne on the occasion of his death. Father Lanne belonged to the first group of Roman Catholic theologians that became in especially close ways associated with the WCC as members of the Commission on Faith and Order.

WCC Programmes

Many ways to Christian unity? The Ninth Forum on Bilateral Dialogues, 2008

Bilateral dialogues are official talks between two Christian churches or families of churches (often known as Christian World Communions, CWCs). They aim at overcoming inherited divergences often related to doctrine and church order, so that the two partners in dialogue may move to declaring that they are in fellowship. The proliferation of bilateral dialogues as from the 1960s has led to the creation of the Forum on Bilateral Dialogues. The Forum provides space and time for CWCs engaged in bilateral dialogues to exchange information, consult together on emerging issues and trends and reflect on the coherence and integrity of the dialogues. The ninth such forum was held in Breklum, Germany, 10-15 March 2008.

Commission on Faith and Order

Joint consultative group WCC-Pentecostals: Third Annual Meeting

The third annual meeting of the Joint Consultative Group, a discussion between members of the World Council of Churches and the global Pentecostal Movement was held in Kwang Lim Seminar House outside of Seoul, Korea, November 8-13, 2002. The group, established in Harare at the Eighth Assembly of the WCC, had met previously in France and in Ecuador. The theme for the week was the "Unity of the Church" and it was rooted in daily bible studies based upon the New Testament book of Ephesians.

Joint Consultative Group Pentecostals - WCC

Member church relations

Each WCC member church has been assigned a liaison person from among the WCC staff. If you are not sure who is your WCC staff liaison, contact the coordinator:

Rev. Dr Benjamin Simon
email: Benjamin.Simon@wcc-coe.org or churchrelations@wcc-coe.org
phone: +41 22 960 6029

Ecumenical relations and Joint Working Group with the Roman Catholic Church

Relations with ecumenical partners are coordinated by:

Dr Vasile-Octavian Mihoc
email: Vasile_Octavian.Mihoc@wcc-coe.org
phone: +41 22 791 6551

Joint Consultative Group between the WCC and Pentecostals

Doug Chial
email: Doug.Chial@wcc-coe.org
phone: +41 22 791 6202