News Archives

Ecumenical group moves toward better cooperation

3/17/2003 News media contact: Linda Bloom · (646) 369-3759 · New York

By United Methodist News Service

Following a "watershed" meeting in Chicago, the ecumenical movement called Churches Uniting in Christ is progressing toward its goal of better cooperation and working relations among the nine member denominations, according to United Methodist Bishop Melvin Talbert.

The bishop is president of CUIC's coordinating council, which met March 7-8 at the Chicago offices of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The council has one voting member from each denomination, with ecumenical officers attending as observers.

Talbert told United Methodist News Service that the three task forces that form the "lifeblood" of CUIC all made recommendations to the council. The racial justice task force, for example, is organizing a one-day event, "Eradicating Racism, Liberating Tomorrow's Children," Sept. 15 in Chicago. Using a "think tank" approach, he added, an invited group of people will help the churches look at the issue of racism and work on practical models for congregations to use in overcoming racism in society.

Eliminating racism is the top moral agenda item for Churches Uniting in Christ, which was formed in January 2002 as a successor to the Consultation on Church Union.

The local and regional task force plans to promote grassroots implementation of the organization's goals through new communications resources, including a video, study pamphlet and brochure. Communications staff members from the various denominations will be called upon to help with that effort, Talbert said.

Council members, he said, "spent considerable time" deciding upon a response to the ministry task force, which wanted to know whether its deadline for 2007 involved achieving reconciliation of ministries among member communications or having the "foundational directions" for the reconciliation set in place. Topics to be reconciled include the role of bishops and the order of ordained ministry.

Noting the need to be intentional but cautious, council members instructed the task force that the deadline was for setting the foundational directions. The council believed that if the goal to actually accomplish reconciliation of ministries was set for 2007, "many of our churches will say it's impossible and give up," Talbert explained.

During the meeting, Brother Jeff Gros was welcomed as an official observer from the Roman Catholic Church.

Besides the United Methodist Church, other Churches Uniting in Christ members are the African Methodist Episcopal Church, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Christian Methodist Church, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Episcopal Church, International Council of Community Churches, Presbyterian Church and United Church of Christ. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Moravian Church (Northern Province) are considered "partners in mission and dialogue."

Executive director of CUIC is the Rev. Bertrice Wood, a United Church of Christ pastor based in Cleveland. The coordinating council's next meeting will be in October.

Back : News Archives 2003 Main

Contact Us

This will not reach a local church, district or conference office. InfoServ* staff will answer your question, or direct it to someone who can provide information and/or resources.


*InfoServ ( about ) is a ministry of United Methodist Communications located in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. 1-800-251-8140

Not receiving a reply?
Your Spam Blocker might not recognize our email address. Add to your list of approved senders.