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This week in ecumenical history

Jan 12, 1982

Lima Text, a statement of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches (WCC) on "Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry" (BEM), unanimously approved at the Commission plenary meeting at Lima, Peru. It purports to be a statement of convergence rather than full consensus and is submitted to the churches for their reception and response.

Jan 20, 2002

The Churches Uniting in Christ (CUIC) inaugurated in Memphis, Tennessee, which is an ecumenical organization that brings together mainline American denominations.

Feb 7, 1991

(February 7, 1991 - February 20, 1991) - The WCC seventh assembly occurred in Canberra, Australia, under the theme "Come, Holy Spirit - Renew the Whole Creation."

Feb 12, 2016

Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill signed a joint declaration on religious unity at their meeting in Havana, Cuba, the first papal meeting with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church after the 1000-year historic schism between Catholics and Orthodox.

Feb 14, 2006

(February 14, 2006 - February 23, 2006) - The ninth assembly occurred in Porto Alegre, Brazil, under the theme "God in your grace, transform the world."

Mar 8, 1970

Protestant Council of the Congo delegates voted thirty-two to fourteen, with two abstentions, in favor of the new constitution that formed the Church of Christ in the Congo.

Apr 20, 1963

The All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) was founded in Kampala, Uganda. AACC is a fellowship of 204 members comprising Churches, National Councils of Churches (NCCs), theological and lay training institutions, and other Christian organizations in 42 African countries.

Apr 23, 1968

The United Methodist Church was created by merging the Evangelical United Brethren Church and The Methodist Church at the constituting General Conference in Dallas, Texas.

May 4, 589

The opening of the Third Council of Toledo, which marks the entry of Visigothic Spain into the Catholic Church and is known for codifying the filioque clause into Western Christianity. The filioque clause spread through the Latin-literate West rather than the Greek-speaking East. This contributed to the Great Schism (1054) between the Eastern Orthodox and Catholics.

May 25, 1995

Pope John Paul II published an encyclical on ecumenism, Ut Unum Sint (That They May Be One). This document remains foundational to understanding the Roman Catholic Church's commitment to ecumenism and elaborates on the spirituality of ecumenism born at the Second Vatican Council.

Jun 5, 1960

Pope John XXIII established a Secretariat for promoting the unity of Christians.

Jun 10, 1925

United Church of Canada was established in Toronto, Ont, by the union of the Congregational, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches of Canada.

Jun 10, 1969

Pope Paul VI's first visit to the WCC headquarters.

Jun 19, 2000

June 19-23, 2000 - The Joint Consultative Group WCC-Pentecostals (JCGP) met for the first time at the Abbey of Hautecombe, France.

Jun 22, 1977

The Uniting Church in Australia (UCA) was founded by most congregations of the Methodist Church of Australia, about two-thirds of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, and almost all the churches of the Congregational Union of Australia, united under the Basis of Union.

Jul 4, 1968

July 4, 1968 - July 20, 1968 - The fourth assembly occurred in Uppsala, Sweden, under the theme "Behold, I make all things new."

Jul 16, 1054

Patriarch of Constantinople Michael Cerularius was excommunicated from the church in Rome, starting the “Great Schism” that split the church into the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches.

Jul 23, 2006

World Methodist Council adopts the Lutheran/Catholic Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification.

Jul 24, 1983

July 24, 1983 - August 10, 1983 - The sixth WCC assembly occurred in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, under the theme "Jesus Christ - the Life of the World."

Jul 30, 381

At the close of the First Council of Constantinople (the second ecumenical council), the church adopted the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed (known as Nicene Creed) through the imperial decree of Emperor Theodosius.

Aug 3, 1927

August 3–21, 1927 - The first Faith and Order World Conference was held in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Aug 12, 1976

The Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians was formed in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Aug 15, 1954

August 15, 1954 - August 31, 1954 - The second WCC assembly occurred in Evanston, Illinois, USA, under the theme "Christ - the Hope of the World."

Aug 23, 1948

The World Council of Churches was officially founded at its Amsterdam Assembly.

Aug 31, 2022

August 31, 2022 – September 8, 2022 - The eleventh WCC assembly occurred in Karlsruhe, Germany, under the theme "Christ's love moves the world to reconciliation and unity."

Sep 1, 2021

The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew, Pope Francis of Rome, and Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury issued a joint statement, "Joint Message for the Protection of Creation."

Sep 3, 1957

September 3, 1957 - September 10, 1957 - About 300 theologians, clergymen, and laymen from the U.S. and Canada, representing 29 Protestant denominations and five Eastern Orthodox bodies, participated at the Conference on Faith and Order, Oberlin, Ohio, U.S.A., under the theme "The Nature of the Unity We Seek."

Sep 27, 1947

The Church of South India formed at St George's Cathedral, Madras, India, from the union of the SIUC (South India United Church itself, a union of churches from the Congregational Presbyterian and Reformed traditions); the southern provinces of the (Anglican) Church of India, Pakistan, Burma, and Ceylon; and the Methodist Church of South India.

Oct 8, 451

October 8, 451 - November 1, 451 - The fourth ecumenical council of the Church was convened in the city of Chalcedon, Bithynia (Istanbul, Turkey), which was convoked by the Roman emperor Marcian.

Oct 30, 2013

October 30, 2013 - November 8, 2013 - The tenth WCC assembly occurred in Busan, Republic of Korea, under the theme "God of life, lead us to justice and peace."

Oct 31, 1517

Martin Luther posted his Ninety-five Theses on the door of the church at Wittenberg, Germany.

Oct 31, 1999

The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification was signed by the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church on 31 October 1999 in Augsburg, Germany, resolving the conflict over the nature of justification and salvation as free gifts from God.

Nov 19, 1961

November 19, 1961 - December 5, 1961 - The third WCC assembly occurred in New Delhi, India, under the theme "Jesus Christ - the Light of the World."

Nov 21, 1964

Vatican II’s Decree on Ecumenism (Unitatis Redintegratio) was issued. Unitatis Redintegratio is divided into three chapters covering the principles and practices of ecumenism and the churches and ecclesial communities separated from Rome.

Nov 23, 1975

November 23, 1975 - December 10, 1975 - The fifth WCC assembly occurred in Nairobi, Kenya, under the theme "Jesus Christ Frees and Unites."

Nov 29, 1950

The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America (NCC) was formed in Cleveland, Ohio, to unite Christian denominations.

Nov 29, 1970

The Church of North India (CNI) was established by bringing together the Baptist Churches in Northern India, the Church of India, Pakistan, Burma, and Ceylon, the Methodist Church (British and Australian conferences), the Methodist Church in Southern Asia and the United Church of Northern India (UCNI).

Dec 3, 1998

December 3, 1998 - December 14, 1998 - The eighth WCC assembly occurred in Harare, Zimbabwe, under the theme "Turn to God - Rejoice in Hope."

Dec 7, 1965

Pope Paul VI and the Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople nullified the mutual anathemas pronounced by Pope Leo IX and Michael Cerularius, Patriarch of Constantinople, in 1054, at the start of the Great Schism.

Dec 13, 1996

Published Joint Declaration by Karekin I, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, and Pope Paul VI, the declaration stated the two churches agree on the long divisive issue of how to define Christ’s natures, although they have different terminology to describe it.

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