WCC and Pentecostals reflect together on baptism, discipleship
21 November 2019
The Joint Consultative Group (JCG) between Pentecostals and the World Council of Churches met from 8-12 November at the Bossey Ecumenical Institute outside Geneva. Established by the Harare Assembly in 1998, the group is currently in its third round of consultation. Since 2015, the group has been studying discipleship and formation.
Discipleship is a common calling that unites Pentecostal and WCC churches in Christ. The JCG study on discipleship and formation is meant to strengthen the churches’ witness in the world by responding to lead question “How does the Holy Spirit work in the church to form disciples that transform the world?”
Reflections at the meeting in Bossey centered on baptism and discipleship, recognizing the importance of baptism as a common sacrament and invitation to follow Christ in discipleship. The topic was explored through prayer, Bible study and a paper on baptism and discipleship.
Fr. Prof. Ioan Sauca, the Bossey Institute Director and WCC Deputy General Secretary responsible for the Programme on Unity, Mission and Ecumenical Relations expressed the importance of the discussed topics: “Working together on the understanding of discipleship is an essential step in exploring ways of our common witness. The difficulties in our histories, which created mistrust among our communities, can be overcome only through a culture of dialogue, by walking, working and witnessing together to the signs and values of God’s Kingdom as visible signs of our discipleship.”
The group is committed to meeting in locations that facilitate intergenerational dialogue. At Bossey Institute the members of the group met with Bossey students representing 27 churches.
As a platform to strengthen relations between Pentecostal and WCC churches, the JCG also took stock of related ecumenical developments in bilateral dialogues with Pentecostal churches, the Faith and Order Commission, the Global Christian Forum and the Pentecostal World Fellowship.
The group will report to the 11th Assembly, meeting in Karlsruhe, Germany in 2021, under the theme “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity”.
Joint Consultative Group between the WCC and Pentecostals (https://www.oikoumene.org/en/what-we-do/jcg-with-pentecostals)