- The Early Stages: Pre-1910
- Laying the Foundations: 1910–1948
- Pivotal Years: 1948–1965
- Intense Activity: 1965–1990
- Consolidation and Challenge: 1990—Present
- Pentecostal and Charismatic
- Mission and Evangelism
- Faith and Order
- World Council of Churches
- Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
- Bilateral Dialogues
- Chevetogne, Taizé, and the Groupe des Dombes
- United and Uniting Churches
- Regional and National Councils of Churches
- Interchurch Families
- Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
- Global Christian Forum
- Britain and Ireland
- United States of America
- Latin America
- The Middle East
- The Unity We Seek
- In Search of a Way
- Method in Ecumenism
- Kenotic Ecumenism
Abstract and Keywords
The ecumenical movement exists to make the unity of Christ’s church more visible and effective in the churches’ own lives, and in their common witness and service to the world. Since 1990 it has made remarkable progress in such areas as ecclesiology, worship, mission, prophetic witness, and service in global, regional, national, and local contexts. Not least, it has broadened its scope as new partners have come to the table. Churches, councils of churches, bilateral discussions, united and uniting churches, and church aid and development agencies have all contributed to this success. But while ecumenism is now embedded in the lives of many churches, it faces challenges posed by the churches’ declining resources, their growing focus on internal issues, and the general societal distrust of organizations beyond the local level. Notions such as mutual accountability may help the churches live out their ecumenical vocation.
Thomas F. Best, a pastor of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), served from 1984-2007 on the staff of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches, and as its Director from 2005-2007. He is President of the North American Academy of Ecumenists.
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