Speaking of Unity is edited by Dr. Ann K. Riggs, Associate General Secretary of the NCC for Faith and Order.Articles on Faith and Order documents and issues are available both as htmlpages for easy access and reading, and as pdf files to make it easier toprint hard copies.The inaugural issue offers articles on “Meanings of Full Communion, the Essence of Life in the Body,” by Professor O.C. Edwards, Jr., an Episcopal priest; and “Reflections of a Newcomer,” by Dr. Dale E. Luffman, who represents the Community of Christ on the NCC’s Faith and Order Commission.
The first issue of Speaking of Unity was designed by Dr. Keelan Downton of the NCC’s Faith and Order staff, in anticipation of the World Council of Churches’ ninth assembly, February 14-23, 2006, in Puerto Alegre, Brazil. The assembly’s statements on faith and order and other topics that will be examined in future issues.”The issue is centered upon the publication of an essay giving an account of the work of the Full Communion study group of the NCC Faith and Order Commission carried out during the four year study period between 2000 and 2003,” Riggs said in an editorial.
The Journal is launched at a time when Faith and Order is preparing to celebrate its 50th anniversary July 19-23, 2007. Future articles will highlight plans for a return to the commission’s 1957 birthplace, Oberlin, Ohio, for a conference entitled, “On Being Christian Together: The Faith and Order Experience in the United States.”Other articles in the journal include reflections from an Orthodox point of view on the form and function of ecumenical statements by David Wagschal of the Orthodox Church in America; and “Making Sense of the Church” by Joseph D. Small of the Presbyterian Church (USA).
NCC President Michael E. Livingston offered a forward that welcomed the journal to the ecumenical dialogue: “The matters addressed, the questions raised, on the goals and means of the ecumenical endeavor in this first issue of Speaking of Unity are central not only to the work of Faith and Order but also to the entirety of our life together as partners in a pilgrimage of mutuality and unity.” “The deepening of our sense of community for which we long is dependent on our capacity to learn to understand one another and to speak in ways that are meaningful to us all.”The National Council of Churches USA is composed of 35 Protestant, Anglican,Orthodox, historic African American and peace communions representing 45 million Christians in 100,000 local congregations in the United States.
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