Nurturing relationships with member churches

The specific aim of this project is to strengthen relationships within the WCC fellowship of churches (i.e., between member churches themselves, and between those churches and the WCC as an institution). 

This is done either through ongoing activities (e.g., WCC governing body meetings; visits to member churches), or through those that respond to specific emerging challenges

Ongoing: The WCC seeks to maximize the involvement of churches in its life and activities via their participation in governing bodies and programmatic work. It affirms the centrality of the ecumenical vision in the life of its member churches, and promotes reflection and concrete experiences on what it means to belong to the fellowship. 

In relating to its members, the Council as an institution takes particular care to facilitate the participation of smaller churches in the fellowship.

Time-limited: In relation to tensions that inevitably arise between member churches, the WCC offers a space in which they can experience what belonging to a fellowship embracing the fullness of the churches and the entire life and work of the WCC really means.  

In this safe space, member churches can dialogue on issues that divide them. Sometimes seeking mediation along the way, they may thus come to understand one another's points of view and, finally, to full reconciliation.  

In recent years, such dialogue and healing in inter-church relations was experienced, for example, through a Special Commission on Orthodox Participation in the WCC and its exploration of issues that troubled Protestant and Orthodox members of the Council.

But divisions still exist on issues such as proselytism, inter-religious dialogue, ordination to priesthood, and human sexuality, and the WCC continues to provide opportunities for discussion and mediation that churches may use to aid dialogue in these areas.

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