Ecumenism and interfaith share many of the same attributes and goals as guests at the February meeting of the Abilene Interfaith Council learned.


Dr. Douglas Foster

Guest speaker was Douglas Foster, professor of church history in the Graduate School of Theology and director of the Center for Restoration Studies at Abilene Christian University.

Foster, a popular speaker at various venues in Abilene, spoke Feb. 12 on “The Global Ecumenical Movement.” Foster shared his PowerPoint presentation with Spirit of Abilene. Following are highlights:



1. Both proceed from a reconciling impulse.

2. Both embody goals of mutual understanding, respect and enrichment.

3. Both seek ways for religions to collaborate with one anther in response to common societal problems.

4. Ecumenism‘s unique goal is unity in faith and worship with all other Christians.

Ecumenism Has Existed for Many Centuries

  • Efforts to heal the East-West Schism have been ongoing.
  • The Institutional Ecumenical Movement Has Existed a Little Over a Century.

Important Dates in the History of the Ecumenical Movement

  • 1908 Federal Council of Churches USA
  • 1910 Edinburgh World Missionary Conference
  • 1921 International Missionary Council
  • 1925 after WWI—Life and Work Movement
  • 1927 Faith and Order Movement
  • 1948 (delayed by WWII) World Council
  • of Churches
  • 7. 1950 National Council of Churches USA

Ecumenism Exists at Many Levels

  1. World Level—World Council of Churches
  2. National Level—National Councils of Churches

World Communion Level

  • A. 1867 Anglican Communion
  • B. 1875 World Communion of Reformed Churches
  • C. 1881 World Methodist Council
  • D. 1930 World Convention of Churches of Christ
  • E. 1947 Lutheran World Federation

The World Council of Churches Marks 70 Years in 2018

The WCC Meets in General Assembly Every Seven Years. The 10th General Assembly of the World Council of Churches took place in Busan, South Korea, in October 2013.

The WCC is a worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service. The WCC brings together churches, denominations and church fellowships in more than 110 countries and territories throughout the world, representing over 500 million Christians and including most of the world’s Orthodox churches, scores of Anglican, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist and Reformed churches, as well as many United and Independent churches.





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