WCC and the ecumenical movement in the 21st century

Categories: Ecumenism

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The visible unity of the church is the central goal of the ecumenical movement. And while “visible unity” can be understood in various ways, it necessarily involves relationships between churches.  

Churches and other ecumenical partners pray, reflect, plan and act together. As a fellowship of some 350 Anglican, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Old Catholic, Protestant, independent and united churches, nurturing such relationships is a vital facet of the WCC’s vocation to support the churches and the ecumenical movement in their efforts to reach visible unity. 

Thus, this programme will encourage relationships with and among its member churches, but also with churches which are not members, Christian world communions, conciliar bodies and other ecumenical agencies; it will support ecumenical initiatives at regional, national and local levels and, in general, seek to promote the coherence of the one ecumenical movement. 


Ecumenical vision of the WCC
This project interprets and communicates a vision, embodied in the WCC’s 1998 policy statement “Towards a common understanding and vision of the WCC”, that seeks both to broaden the ecumenical movement and to serve it.
Global platform for theology and analysis
This project offers a global platform for theological analysis of 21st century ecumenical challenges and their implications for church and ecumenical vision, activities and structures.
Relationships with member churches
This project provides a space in which member churches can explore and experience what being in fellowship means, and seeks to maximize their participation in its governing bodies and ongoing programmatic work.
Partnership with ecumenical organizations
This project seeks to develop partnerships with and among international and regional ecumenical organizations, national councils of churches, specialized ministries, Christian world communions, and coordinate relationships with non-member churches such as the Roman Catholic, Pentecostal and evangelical churches.
Youth in the ecumenical movement
This project promotes the active participation of young adults in the life of churches and the ecumenical movement, helping them to network, and enabling them to express their concerns and visions.
Women in church and society
This project offers women from different Christian traditions, regions and age groups an opportunity to speak out and share their visions so that they might contribute to society, the ecumenical movement and the search for unity.


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