Assembly delegates will be asked today to endorse four questions to WCC member churches which the Program Guidelines Committee report says are "central to the purposes of the World Council of Churches".
The questions are:
- How do we as churches engage together in mission and evangelism in the midst of a highly pluralistic world?
- How do we understand baptism as a foundation for the luife in community to which we are called to share together?
- How do we offer our resources, witness and action for the sake of the worlds very future?
- How do we walk together on the path towards visible unity?
"Our sadness has been the reminder that receiving the work undertaken by the council into the life of the local church has been at best patchy and all too often invisible," says the repot.
"In this next period, if resources are to be used effectively, more time and imagination will have to be given to creating new ways by which the councils work can affect the life of the member churches."
"Before we meet again in assembly, the life of each member church must be addressed ecumenically with these four questions," says the report.
"Our shared responses will build our common life and empower our witness in the world. No task is more important than this. All the WCCs work should be focused by these four concerns."
The report says this can be done only through a fundamental change in the working style of the council.
Earlier in the report, there are a number of references to networking, finding partners and expanding the ecumenical fellowship as the council addresses its program work.
It also states the need to develop an ecumenical approach to the issue of human sexuality, to develop an action plan on debt cancellation, and to give "concentrated attention" to the issue of globalisation.
The report declares that "the only sustaining path toward the heart of the unity we seek leads us together in worship, prayer and shared spiritual life."
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Related documents and articles:
Program Guidelines Committee
Read other articles in this issue:
Mandela to WCC: tribute, and the development goal
Four fundamental questions for churches
Experiences people have had: Living the ecumenical connection
Orthodox preachers shares testimony about being lost
Visitors take home gift of a covenant
Bulgarian Orthodox quit WCC
Looking for the vision
WCC to set up commission with Orthodox churches
Trees will be reminder of the 8th assembly
Listen! Children can work
Letters: Provocative, misleading
50 years ago: Report from Amsterdam
Zimbabwe Christians criticise government
WCC celebrates 50th anniversary
Assembly yes to Christian 'forum'
|8th Assembly and 50th Anniversary|