World Council of Churches Office of Communication|
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Taking Shape: Global Christian Forum
The full text of the communiqué from the meeting issued on 11 September is as follows:
"Thirty representatives from throughout the world gathered from 9-11 September 2000 at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California, to explore the idea of a Global Christian Forum that would include a wide spectrum of churches and organizations. Those present came from Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Anglican, Reformation Protestant, Pentecostal and Evangelical churches as well as Christian networks and para-church organizations.
Although the idea of such a Forum originally arose in conversations within the World Council of Churches, the development of a proposal is now under the leadership of an independent continuation committee. The discussions at the meeting explored ways to go beyond the present ecumenical structures so that churches from a wider range of traditions may have a common space to discuss issues of mutual concern.
Papers were presented on the history of inter-church relations from Evangelical, Orthodox, Pentecostal, Anglican, Protestant and Roman Catholic perspectives. The realities of regional challenges were presented by representatives from Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Europe, Middle East and North America. Hopes and expectations of churches organized on the world-level, as well as traditional state churches and independent or free churches, were openly and frankly discussed. The representatives agreed on the possible contours of a future Forum that would include the following purposes:
In the spirit of John 17:21 "that all of them may be one . . . so that the world may believe that you have sent me" and because of our common faith in a reconciling God (II Cor. 5:18-21), the forum is intended:
Further work on the proposal will be carried out by the continuation committee over the next few months.
The meeting was marked by an atmosphere of mutual partnership, trust and consensus building and was undergirded by warm and deep fellowship."
Members of the Continuation Committee present at the Consultation on the Forum Proposal:
Rev. Dr Hilarion Alfeyev, Moscow Patriarchate, Russian Orthodox Church
The World Council of Churches is a fellowship of churches, now 337, in more than 100 countries in all continents from virtually all Christian traditions. The Roman Catholic Church is not a member church but works cooperatively with the WCC. The highest governing body is the assembly, which meets approximately every seven years. The WCC was formally inaugurated in 1948 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Its staff is headed by general secretary Konrad Raiser from the Evangelical Church in Germany.