The aim of Faith and Order, the global movement now nearly a century old, is to proclaim the oneness of the church of Jesus Christ and to call the churches to the goal of visible unity in one faith and one Eucharistic fellowship, expressed in worship and in common life in Christ, in order that the world may believe. The movement encompasses classical church traditions -- Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant -- and, increasingly, traditions which have not always been present in discussions concerning unity -- Pentecostal, Evangelical, and Third World Independent Churches.
A Conference on Faith and Order in North America is projected within the near future. This conference -- to which all church bodies in Canada and the United States are being invited -- will center on the theme, The Church: Its Faith and Its Unity. Traditions with differing visions of unity and with different views of Scripture, sacraments, ministry, authority, and experience will encounter each other in deep theological reflection, in prayer and worship, in serious quest for that unity which will lead the church to faithful witness in the present time.
Published in anticipation of this groundbreaking event, "Toward a North American Conference -- Study Guide includes statements regarding the rationale and importance of the projected conference, descriptions of the aims and accomplishments of Faith and Order, and initial reflections concerning the conference theme. Meant to foster awareness of the issues surrounding the Faith and Order movement, this book is designed for use by laity, clergy, and study groups in congregations, seminaries, and a variety of ecumenical contexts.
Norman A. Hjelm
William G. Rusch