WCC-Pentecostal Dialogue on the Church

There’s some good stuff on ecumenical methodology in this report on discussion between the World Council of Churches and the Pentecostal churches which occurred over the past five years. The actual report is a PDF file that is very clearly organized.

Sections 1 and 2 give some context for the discussions – this was the second five-year round.

The JCG met annually between 2007 and 2012, building on the relationships and hard-earned trust developed during the first round of conversation. Each meeting helped to deepen dialogue, but also to engage with national churches and local congregations – both Pentecostal churches and WCC member churches – making every effort to learn from and share with local churches through dialogue, fellowship and prayer.

Section 3 offers the methodological lessons learned for “fruitful ecumenical conversations”: five major points with detailed, specific recommendations given as subpoints. If you are interested in ecumenical dialogue, I strongly recommend reading this section.

Section 4 described the makeup of the group and how its goals were influenced by its membership. Section 5 describes the shared resources of faith in Christ, personal testimonies, communal prayer, and Bible study.

Section 6 offers the group’s reflections on the four creedal marks of the church (one, holy, catholic, and apostolic). Section 7 identifies “unexpected fruits,” additional ecumenical efforts that grew out of this dialogue. Section 8 summarized the personal testimonies of the members at the end of the process:

We learned that we must take the time to grow in love for one another.
We were transformed and reoriented toward a common hope.
We gained a deeper understanding of the challenges we face together as Christians.

Section 9 offers ten recommendations to the WCC regarding the work of the WCC, conversations among Pentecostals, and broader ecumenical conversation.

Finally, Appendix 3 includes a useful list of biblical texts that were used in discussions of the marks of the church. (Appendix 1 lists the team members; appendix 2 contains the text of the Nicene-Constantinople creed, from which the marks are taken.)

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