Ecclesiology and Mission
Communion has been the hermeneutical framework for comprehending the nature and mission of the Church. Despite differences in understanding and applying the concept, and divisions over a number of theological questions, churches ascribing to it, have developed a common theological language and share a considerable common ground.
Increased migration in Europe has been changing the ecclesial landscape. European churches with historical longevity have now spread into new contexts. Vibrant Evangelical and Pentecostal churches are growing, charismatic movements are emerging, and ancient Oriental churches are finding a new home in European societies.
In view of this reality, CEC facilitates theological dialogue among its Member Churches and National Councils of Churches to examine their understanding of Church unity and witness in conversation with “migrant” and “minority ethnic” churches in Europe.
CEC’s work in this area is founded on the Charta Œcumenica, a joint document of CEC and the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE) signed by the presidents of the two organisations in 2001. The document seeks to strengthen fellowship among churches. Learn more and read here responses to the Charta Œcumenica presented by our Member Churches, National Councils of Churches and Organisations in Partnership.
For the period 2018 to 2023 our work focuses on the following areas:
- Evaluating the impact of the Charta Œcumenica
- Facilitating dialogue on questions of ecclesiology and mission
- Exploring Christian unity together with “migrant” and “minority ethnic” churches
- Studying the mutual recognition of baptism in Europe
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11 Oct, 2021
Study on mutual recognition of baptism in Europe ties theological reflection to real-life experience
A church wants to receive a Christian who was baptised in a different church. A woman wants to marry someone from another faith tradition. A child is growing up in an inter-church family. These real-life situations are evidence that thinking about mutual recognition of baptism shouldn’t be relegated solely to lecture halls in theological institutions. Recognising that mutual recognition of baptism—and the obstacles toward it—is an issue that affects the daily lives of countless Christians across Europe and beyond. The Conference of European Churches, through its Thematic Group on Ecclesiology and Mission, has initiated a study process to explore this topic.
4 Oct, 2021
To connect with CEC Member Churches across Europe, CEC general secretary Dr Jørgen Skov Sørensen brings highlights from significant CEC activities in a video update each month.
9 Sep, 2021
As part of CEC’s new online series of Theological Reflections titled “Communion in Crisis: The Church during the COVID-19 Pandemic,” this month’s reflections on “Holy Communion as a Communal Feast amid COVID-19” are penned by Bishop Dr Jari Jolkkonen from the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland.
27 Jul, 2021
As part of CEC’s Theological Reflections series “Communion in crisis: The Church during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dr Katherine Shirk Lucas from the French Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission, reflects on seeking, sharing, and serving the risen Lord, and the Church as communion during the Covid-19 pandemic”.
1 Jul, 2021
The CEC Annual Report 2020 is now available. The report titled Living in Hope in Pandemic Times reviews CEC activities carried out in the tumultuous year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
29 Jun, 2021
As part of CEC’s monthly Theological Reflections series “Communion in Crisis: The Church during the COVID-19 Pandemic,” theologian Rev. Cristian Sonea from the Romanian Orthodox Church reflects on Eucharist and Communion during the COVID 19 pandemic.
6 Jun, 2021
As part of CEC’s monthly Theological Reflections series “Communion in Crisis: The Church during the COVID-19 Pandemic,” Dutch theologian Jutta Eilander-van Maaren reflects on solidarity, togetherness and Eucharist during the COVID-19 pandemic, sharing practices from the life of the Old-Catholic Church of the Netherlands.
20 May, 2021
Hosted by the European Parliament, the Conference of European Churches and the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) held an online Ecumenical Prayer for Christian Unity and for the Future of Europe on 21 May 2021.
4 May, 2021
As part of CEC’s monthly Theological Reflections series “Communion in Crisis: The Church during the COVID-19 Pandemic” read below reflections from Rev. Ruth Gee, BA, M.Litt, Assistant Secretary of the Conference of the Methodist Church in Britain and Connexional Ecumenical Officer.
21 Apr, 2021
Video recording of the Ecumenical Service celebrating 20th Anniversary of the landmark document Charta Œcumenica – Guidelines for the Growing Cooperation among Churches in Europe is now available on CEC YouTube.