Glossary of Ecumenical Terms
Agreed Statement - Agreement on a particular point, leaving more or less significant differences on others.
BCEIA - Bishop's Committee for Ecumenical and Inter-Religious affairs of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.
BEM - Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry. The 1982 WCC Faith and Order document, also called the Lima Report.
Bilateral Dialogue - A dialogue between two churches or communions, which results in joint statements as an outcome of dialogue.
CADEIO - Catholic Association of Diocesan Ecumenical and Interreligious Officers. The national network of those who hold ecumenical and interreligious responsibilities in Roman Catholic dioceses.
Christian Churches Together in the USA (CCT) - An organization organized on a recognition of five families of Christian tradition: Evangelical/Pentecostal, Historic Protestant, Historic Racial/Ethnic, Orthodox and Catholic. Initial talks began in 2001. The ELCA became a founding member at the 2003 Churchwide Assembly.
Coalition - Groups of church units planning and/or using their resources in joint action on specific issues.
Communion - A grouping of churches having common origins and traditions and in communion with each other.
Conciliar bodies - National and worldwide organizations governed by councils such as: World Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches USA, and the Lutheran World Federation.
Consensus - A total agreement, at least in content, if not in expression.
COCU - The Consultation On Church Union, begun in 1960, is a conversation of Disciples, Episcopal, Methodist and Reformed churches exploring the formation of a Church of Christ Uniting.
CUIC - Churches Uniting in Christ is a conversation of ten denominations: American Methodist Episcopal, American Methodist Episcopal-Zion, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), CME, Episcopal Church USA, International Council of Community Churches, Presbyterian Church USA, United Church of Christ, United Methodist Church, and Moravian Church - Northern Province. The ELCA participates in CUIC as a Partner in Mission and Dialog. CUIC succeeded COCU (Consultatin on Church Union) in 2002.
Convergence - A dynamism toward a goal, rather than a substantial agreement. Council of Churches A local, regional, state, national or international association of churches seeking unity, sharing information, and cooperating in joint concerns. CUIC Churches Uniting in Christ, the new incarnation of COCU, inaugurated in January, 2002.
Dialogue - An exchange of traditions and ideas or opinions on particular issues, with a view to reaching an agreement or settlement.
EDEIO - Episcopal Diocesan Ecumenical and Interreligious Officers. The national network of those holding ecumenical and interreligious responsibilities in Episcopal Church dioceses.
Ecumenical - The movement to receive Christ's gift of visible unity among all believers..
Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople (Istanbul) - The "first bishop among equals" in the Eastern Orthodox Church. His primacy is one of seniority and coordination rather than jurisdiction.
Evangelism - Spreading the good news of Jesus. The practice of ecumenism is a vital part of any effort in evangelization.
Faith and Order - Pertaining to the doctrines of the churches and to their visible structures, especially those involving sacraments, ministry, worship, and polity. Faith and Order Conferences, along with Life and Work Conferences, led to the formation of the World Council of Churches in 1948.
Full Communion - A relationship between two distinct churches where each maintains its own autonomy and recognizes the catholicity and apostolicity of the other. The characteristics of full communion are:
- a common confessing of the Christian faith
- a mutual recognition of Baptism and a sharing of the Lord’s Supper, allowing for joint worship and an exchange ability of members.
- A mutual recognition and availability of ordained ministers to the service of all members of churches in full common, subject only but always to the disciplinary regulations of the other churches
- A common commitment to evangelism, witness, and service
- A means of common decision making on critical common issues of faith and life
- A mutual lifting of any condemnations that exist between churches
The ELCA is in a relationship of Full Communion with five denominations: The Episcopal Church, The Moravian Church, The Presbyterian Church USA, The Reformed Church in America, and the United Church of Christ.
Interfaith - Activities of dialog and cooperation among Christians, Jews, and Muslims. "Interfaith" and "interreligious" are sometimes used synonymously, although "interfaith" is usually a term used with specific reference to the three Abrahamic faiths.
Interreligious - Activities of dialog and cooperation among people of all faiths. "Interrelgiious" and "interfaith" are sometimes used synonymously.
LED - Lutheran-Episcopal Dialogue in the USA.
LERN - Lutheran Ecumenical Representatives Network. The national network of those who represent their synod bishops for ecumenical ministry in the ELCA synods.
Life and Work - Pertaining to social concerns, physical relief and advocacy. Life and Work Conferences, along with Faith and Order Conferences, led tot he formation of the World Council of Churches.
Lutheran World Federation (LWF) - The LWF is a global communion of Christian churches in the Lutheran tradition. The LWF currently has 140 member churches in 78 countries with a membership of nearly 66 million Lutherans. Headquarters are in Geneva.
National Council of the Churches in Christ in the United States of America (NCCC) - A community of 32 communions.
National Workshop on Christian Unity (NWCU) - National ecumenical leaders of Christian communions meet annually for four days of ecumenical worship, study, seminars, and planning. The location varies around the United States.
Reception - The ongoing process of organizing Christian ministry and life together based on ecumenical agreements by the communions.
SCOBA - Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas. Formed in 1960 to facilitate common action among jurisdictions in North and South America.
SCEIR - Standing Commission on Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations of the General Convention (ECUSA).
Substantial Agreement - A basic nucleus without which the message of salvation is not transmitted in its integrity, while accepting that neither doctrinal elaborations nor practices correspond entirely among partner churches. The essentials are assured, and there is the same shared intention of faith.
World Council of Churches (WCC) - A fellowship of over 300 national communions in over 90 countries.
||Anglican-Lutheran Committee on Transitivity|
||Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission|
||Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry study (of WCC F&O)|
||Called to Common Mission|
||Christian Churches Together in the USA|
||Committee to Create Lutheran-Episcopal Educational Opportunities|
||Consultation on Church Union (replaced by CUIC in 2002)|
||Church World Service and Witness (NCCC Commission)|
||Faith and Order (NCCC Commission)|
||Church of the Lutheran Confession|
||International Council of Community Churches (USA)|
||Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification|
||Justice, Peace & the Integrity of Creation|
||Life and Work|
||Lutheran/Anglican/Roman Catholic/United Methodist|
||Lutheran-Episcopal Coordinating Committee|
||Lutheran European Commission on the Church and the Jewish People|
||Lutheran Ecumenical Representatives Network|
||Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services|
||Lutheran-Moravian Coordinating Committee|
||Lutheran-Reformed Coordinating Committee|
||Lutheran-Reformed Standing Committee on Theology|
||Lutheran Student Movement-USA|
||Lutheran World Federation|
||Lutheran World Relief|
||Lutheran Youth Organization|
||North American Academy of Ecumenists|
||National Association of Diocesan Ecumenical Officers (of RCC, USA)|
||National Association of Ecumenical Staff|
||National Association of Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Staff|
||North American Regional Committee|
||National Council of Churches|
||National Council of the Churches in Christ in the USA|
||National Ecumenical Officers Association|
||National Workshop on Christian Unity|
||Prontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity|
||Programme to Combat Racism (WCC)|
||Standing Committee on Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations (Episcopal)|
||USA National Committee (of the LWF)|
||United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (Roman Catholic)|
||U.S. Conference of Religions for Peace|
||World Alliance of Reformed Churches|