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Ecumenism and Peace

From Theory and Practice to Pilgrimage and Companionship
Fernando Enns

This publication provides a practical overview of global ecumenism and reconciliation. The globally reconciling-conciliar Church is on the path - the via transformativa - toward unity through action and reflection, guided by the gospel visions of justice and peace. Fernando Enns analyzes what has been learned in recent decades on the ‘testing grounds’ of ecumenical theory and practice, then demonstrates how the new era of the WCC’s action-oriented programs produce ongoing, diverse ecclesial efforts toward social and spiritual transformation.

Achieving Consensus

A Guide for Conducting Meetings

This guide is intended to introduce the reader to consensus decision-making in the World Council of Churches and to the procedures for implementing it in the conduct of meetings. Both the rule for the conduct of meetings (Rule XIX) and these guidelines are worded so as to apply to a meeting of the assembly of the Council, and they are to be used also in meetings of all its governing and consultative bodies. Finally, the flowchart of consensus procedures outlines the different steps involved in achieving consensus during the meetings.

Health-Promoting Churches Volume III

Contextual Bible Studies on Health and Healing

Health and healing have always been important in the work of the World Council of Churches. and the WCC has previously used the Contextual Bible Study methodology to good effect in helping churches address various challenging issues.  In this publication, the focus is on a range of challenging health issues including women’s health, disability, mental health, and health inequality, among others.

Bible studies in this manual was produced by participants from churches around the world, through a series of online workshops, ensuring that various voices and experiences are represented, enriching the publication for a global audience.

Oasis of Peace Opening Prayer

This multilingual volume will guide the opening prayer of the 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches on 31 August. In addition to the order of service it includes the text of the homily to be presented by John X Patriarch of Antioch and all the East and the youth testimony Ms Ann Jacob, United Methodist Church, USA.

Visions of Christian Unity

Olav Fykse Tveit

In this volume, Olav Fykse Tveit sketches an ecumenical movement that reveals a horizon of hope and illumines many of our most pressing global challenges.

Rather than focusing inward, Tveit envisions an ecumenism that leverages the Christ-inspired unity of the global fellowship into transformative engagement with the world. He shows how the recent journey of the Christian fellowship reframes its diversity and differences through solidarity in witness and service.

Then, ranging across issues of economic and ecological justice, interreligious encounter and gender justice, just peace, racism, and xenophobia, he demonstrates the potential of Christians and Christian churches to engender authentic discipleship, reform and renew the churches, and pursue justice and peace for the whole human family.

Pilgrims on the Path of Peace

The Journey of the WCC from Busan to Karlsruhe (Illustrated)

This report, received by the WCC central committee in February 2022, is the accountability report of the central committee to the WCC 11th Assembly, describing and offering an assessment of the activities of the WCC, since the 10th Assembly, in Busan, Republic of Korea, in late 2013.

This illustrated version is a narrative of a fellowship of churches committed to moving together on a Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, conveying something of the energy, excitement, ambition, and initiative that have marked the WCC’s journey since Busan. It aims to assist assembly delegates to understand the council’s journey in this period and help them actively participate in the assembly, and to share the ecumenical vision reflected in the WCC’s activities with member churches, partners, and the wider fellowship.

This report is available in English, Spanish, French, and German.

Orthodox Reflections on the Way to Karlsruhe

Christ’s Love Moves the World to Reconciliation and Unity

Representatives of the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches gathered in May of 2022 in Paralimni, Cyprus, as part of their preparation for the World Council of Churches’ 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany. The preparation included reflection on the Assembly theme “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity” and on the themes of the thematic plenaries as well as discussion on the participation of the Orthodox Churches in the fellowship of the WCC.

In addition to the theological contributions, this Orthodox resource book contains the official report reflecting the thoughtful deliberations, which occurred during the consultation. The Inter-Orthodox Pre-Assembly Consultation has proven to be an important exercise of coming together, praying together, and deliberating in times of turbulence and war affecting the Orthodox family and the entire world. Above all, a great spirit of fraternal love and communion prevailed among participants, who are looking forward to a common Orthodox witness during the Assembly in Karlsruhe, and beyond.

Seek Peace and Pursue It: PJP Series 4

Reflections on the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace in Europe

The Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace is intended to be an expression of international solidarity with people, particularly those in difficult circumstances.

This publication looks at work done directly within the context of the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace in Europe, as well as justice and peace issues promoted by churches that complement the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace agenda.

In the first section, the publication provides an overview of Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace events in Europe, offering reflections on some of the ways in which churches and ecumenical organizations were challenged and inspired and sharing stories and insights about the pilgrimage in Europe.

Section 2 does not necessarily represent official parts of the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace but contains essays on issues of justice and peace in Europe from individuals working with churches and ecumenical partners across Europe, intended to stimulate debate, interest, and international comparison.

The Appendix includes additional resources, including statements from the WCC on the use of armed force to resolve disputes that could be resolved by dialogue.

A Hundred Years of Mission Cooperation

The Impact of the International Missionary Council 1921-2021

With its sister volume, this book is a must for anyone, academic, pastor, or mission practitioner, interested in knowing how Christianity was considerably expanded in the 20th century, through churches’ mission and missionary work, and was transformed into World (or Global) Christianity.

The book is divided into two parts. The first part contains the introduction—background reading for the reports of the study process produced by the IMC Centenary Study process. The second part of the book includes 13 regional reports. Contributions from all over the world analyse and evaluate the impact—or the absence thereof—of the IMC and the CWME from 1921 until today.

 

Together in the Mission of God

Jubilee Reflections on the International Missionary Council

What is so important in the International Missionary Council (IMC) and its historical successor, the World Council of Churches’ (WCC) Commission on World Mission and Evangelism, that they will have their own centennial volume?

By reading this book, the reader will gain a better understanding of how important and crucial they have been in the development of the ecumenical movement and of what today is often called World Christianity.

This volume aims to highlight how, in the course of the past century, structured efforts to foster unity in mission cooperation have shaped not only Christianity but even the world.

Strengthening Christian Perspectives on Human Dignity and Human Rights

Perspectives from an International Consultative Process

The WCC, the Protestant Church in Germany and the United Evangelical Mission, initiated a two-year process of ecumenical study and reflection on the relationship between human dignity and human rights from biblical, theological, and victims’ perspectives, culminating in a Conference on Christian Perspectives on Human Dignity and Humans Rights held in Wuppertal (Germany) and online from 9–12 April 2022.

This publication consists of papers received from theologians, people with different academic backgrounds, experts in ethics and human rights, and human rights defenders—together with the joint message of the conference participants.

Our Feet into the Way of Peace: PJP Series 6

Holistic Approaches to Peace-building in the Context of the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace

Within the framework of the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, this publication is a reflection on the lived experiences of the pilgrimage from the perspective of the people and churches from Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Korean Peninsula, Palestine and Israel, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine and Colombia.

It consists of an overview of the peace-building process in each country since the 10th Assembly and practical steps churches can take together toward the 12th Assembly.

Hate Speech and Whiteness: PJP Series 5

Theological Reflections on the Journey Toward Racial Justice

During the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, initiated in 2013 at the 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches, the issue of racism has emerged as one of the pilgrimage’s four common themes. The chapters that make up this publication represent a selection of the papers presented at a series of webinars organized in late 2020 by the Theological Study Group of the Pilgrimage. Organized around three major themes—whiteness, including its relationship to slavery; racism; and hate speech—the contributions represent an invitation to the ecumenical fellowship to engage in self-critical examination of how practices, orders, configurations, methodologies, and structures of the church(es) have perpetuated the discrimination, xenophobia, and racism that counter unity in Christ.

Towards an Ecumenical Theology of Companionship: PJP Series 3

A Study Document for the Ecumenical Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace

During the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, four central themes emerged: Truth and Trauma; Land and Displacement; Gender Justice; and Racism. During the  COVID-19 pandemic that revealed so much injustice in our world, a fifth theme was added; health and healing.

After listening carefully during the various Pilgrim Visits, the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace-Theological Study Group (PJP-TSG) and the Reference Group of the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace (PJP-RG)-revisited the themes and reflected on them theologically in light of an emerging Ecumenical Theology of companionship.

Tenth Report Study Documents

Joint Working Group between the Roman Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches

Peace is a Treasure for All: An Ecumenical Reflection on Peacebuilding in Situations of Conflict and Violence

Migrants and Refugees: Ecumenical Challenges and Opportunities

These Study Documents to the JWG 10th Report—Walking, Praying and Working Together, together with the report, encourage intensive ecumenical cooperation of all Christians and people of goodwill, with a particular emphasis on the contributions that can be made by the WCC and the RCC together.

Walking, Praying and Working Together

10th Report of the Joint Working Group of the WCC and the Roman Catholic Church

The JWG offers this report and two study documents to the 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe in 2022 with recommendations for the parent bodies. The study documents address two critical areas of ecumenical cooperation in today’s world:

Peace Is a Treasure for All: An Ecumenical Reflection on Peacebuilding in Situations of Conflict, and

Violence and Migrants and Refugees: Ecumenical Challenges and Opportunities Together, these documents encourage intensive ecumenical cooperation of all Christians and people of goodwill, with a particular emphasis on the contributions that can be made by the WCC and the RCC together.

Cooler Earth - Higher Benefits (Third Edition)

Actions by those who care about children, climate, and finance
Frederique Seidel
Emmanuel de Martel
Eric Begaghel

This document was developed by the WCC’s Child Rights programme in response to requests by children and youth urging adults to find solutions to the climate crisis. This is the third updated edition.

The research examines the impact of financial choices on global warming and reviews related solutions which can bend the CO2 emissions curve (also called the “Keeling Curve”). It shares information, good practices, and suggestions on the efficiency of financial measures to address global warming. It aims to support discussions and discernment among working groups and decision-makers who want to consider influential strategies to address the climate crisis.

Christ’s Love (Re)moves Borders

GETI 2022 Prayer Booklet

The spiritual life during GETI 2022 embodies the WCC ethos of holding spirituality and critical reflection together as parts of an integrated whole. In that regard, this Global Ecumenical Theological Institute (GETI) is envisioned as a holistic process encompassing formative and informative dimensions of learning. This prayer booklet contributes to holistic learning. It is a resource for spiritual life, a formative dimension of the GETI 2022 experience and learning. It illuminates the theme “Christ’s Love (Re)Moves Borders” liturgically. This, therefore, serves as a resource for (spi)ritual and prayerful reflection for all during the residential phase of the study process that was also anticipated during the online phase.

 

When He Saw the Crowds - Bible Studies

When He Saw the Crowds - Bible Studies 

Und da er das Volk sah - Bibelstudien 

Voyant les foules - Études bibliques 

Al ver las multitudes - Estudios bíblicos

The plenary Bible studies are an important aspect of the work of the assembly. They give participants an opportunity to meet daily around a Bible passage to reflect on the theme and the experience of the assembly. Participants can discern together God’s purposes for themselves and the ecumenical movement. They meet in groups which are small enough to allow everyone to contribute and large enough to give a range of perspectives. The Bible study sessions provide an opportunity for participants to explore the assembly theme together in the light of the biblical texts, knowledge, and experience. To be involved in group Bible study is to be open to one another, to the Bible passage and to the Holy Spirit. It is not to win an argument or to persuade others to a particular point of view. These sessions should be a place where the participants can integrate all they have heard and done in the assembly and discover together the possibilities of transformation that God offers us.

Conversations on the Pilgrim Way

Invitation to Journey Together on Matters of Human Sexuality

This document was received at the meeting of the central committee held from 9-15 February 2022 by video conference.

The Report of the Programme Committee underlined in the introduction that this is a resource document for those member churches that are interested in deepening the discussion. It was requested by member churches for information and guidance. While it remains clear that human sexuality is a sensitive topic and that some churches may have objections to even discussing this topic, the Busan Assembly stated that controversial themes, like human sexuality, should have a safe space for conversation.

The programme committee, while aware that human sexuality could be a divisive topic in churches and in our fellowship, underlined the importance of ecumenical dialogue in a safe space on topics that could be divisive and welcomed the invitation in this document to journey together in ethical dilemmas.