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NCC Faith & Order Commission
launches an on-line journal

New York, January 23, 2006 – In what may be the first of its kind, the Faith and Order Commission of the National Council of Churches USA has launched an electronic journal for ecumenical professionals and other interested observers.

Called, "Speaking of Unity," the journal 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 html pages for easy access and reading, and as pdf files to make it easier to print hard copies.

The inaugural issue offers articles on "Meanings of Full Communion, the Essence of Life in the Body," by long-time Faith and Order scholar, 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," designed by Dr. Keelan Downton of the NCC's Faith and Order staff, was developed as persons of faith around the world were anticipating the World Council of Churches' ninth assembly February 14-23, 2006, in Puerto Alegre, Brazil. The assembly will issue 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," Livingston wrote.

"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."

Contact NCC News: Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2252, or Leslie Tune, 202-544-2350.

Photo: Christian Unity window in the National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.


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