Many local groupings of Churches working together ecumenically have a regular pattern of joint mission and worship which is important for deepening the relationship between them. Nevertheless, the real challenge of unity is to share a common life; that is, to do together whatever we do not need to do apart.
This goes right back to the Lund Principle, when the third World Council of Churches Faith and Order conference, meeting in Lund, Sweden, in 1952, ‘earnestly request[ed] our Churches to consider whether they are doing all they ought to do to manifest the oneness of the people of God’. It continued: ‘Should not our Churches ask themselves whether they are showing sufficient eagerness to enter into conversation with other Churches, and whether they should not act together in all matters except those in which deep differences of conviction compel them to act separately?’ (Italics ours).
A number of resources were designed to help Churches Together groups and other ecumenical groupings to reflect on different aspects of sharing a common life.
- pdf 01 Introducing_Together_in_a_Common_Life
- pdf 02 The theology of 'Together in a Common Life'
- pdf 03 Praying Together
- pdf 04 Sharing Scripture Together
- pdf 05 Common Life in Ministry
- doc 06 Making Decisions Together in a Common Life
- pdf 07 A Common Life among Young People
- pdf 08 Common Life Among the Churches of Europe
- pdf 09 Reflecting on 2000 – adaptable for other events