WCC Faith and Order Commission Holds Meeting in Nanjing

By Karen Luo, June 28, 2019 08:06 AM

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Faith and Order Commission held its meeting in Nanjing on June 12 to 19, 2019. (CCC&TSPM )

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Faith and Order Commission held its meeting in Nanjing, China from June 12 to 19, 2019. 

According to the WCC, "having been hosted by the China Christian Council (CCC), the commission met to discuss and make decisions about the results of the work of its three study groups on ecclesiology, moral discernment and the pilgrimage of justice and peace."

The meeting marked the third major WCC meeting conducted in China after the organization hosted the executive meeting in 2016 and its Commission of the Churches on International Affairs met in 2012. 

The participants included Rev. Dr Susan Durber, Faith and Order moderator, and representatives from different denominational churches from more than 30 countries.

According to China Christian Council & Three-Self Patriotic Movement, Rev. Wu Wei, president of the China Christian Council, stated in his welcoming speech that the Church in China had been faced with multiple challenges despite its fast development. For instance, the research and study on ecclesiology awaited improvement. "At the end of last year, when the 10th National Assembly of Chinese Christians was convened, delegates extensively discussed church regulations, in which the understanding of ecclesiology was an important part."

Rev. Dr. Odair Mateus, Faith and Order director, and Rev. Dr. Susan Durber, Faith and Order moderator respectively shared about the commission's mission and work. 

WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit attended the meeting on June 15. 

On June 16, the participants joined in the worship services that took place in Nanjing's Mochou Lu and St. Paul's Churches. 

Rev. Kan Baoping, vice-chairman of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM), introduced the current situation of Chinese Christianity and the challenges confronting it. Some Christians had a narrow understanding of God and extreme views of society due to fundamentalism. Theological construction was set up to eliminate these views. The sinicization of Christianity was ongoing for the indigenization and contextualization of the Christian faith and the continuation of theological development. 

The commission committee was also grateful for the Chinese translation of the book, The Church Towards a Common Vision

Listed as one of three international Christian organizations, the WCC has 345 Protestant and Orthodox member churches covering 110 countries and regions. The executive committee holds two meetings every year, one conducted at the headquarter of the WCC and the other held in one of the member's churches.  

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