Ecumenism on different levels

Ecumenism touches all our members and is thus part of our strategy. Because Christian unity is a key part of our faith, it is vital that Christians and churches work together whenever possible.

Everyday ecumenism can involve the following:

  • Praying for other Christians and churches
  • Strengthening Christian thinking
  • Organising shared activities
  • Offering mutual worship
  • Having everyday encounters

In the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, ecumenical work is carried out by the Theological Issues unit of the Department for International Relations. The unit’s duties include the following:

  • Following ecumenical and theological discussion
  • Preparing theological negotiations and taking part in them
  • Promoting ecumenical education
  • Running international scholarship exchange programmes
  • Coordinating the Church’s friendship agreements

The unit works in close collaboration with ecumenical organisations in Finland and abroad.

The Finnish Ecumenical Council (FEC) is a committee for Christian churches and communities, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland is one of its founding members. Established in 1917, it is one of the oldest national ecumenical councils in the world. The FEC’s members include churches and communities.

The Conference of European Churches (CEC) is a fellowship of some 125 Protestant, Lutheran, Orthodox, Anglican and Old Catholic churches from all European countries. The CEC aims to promote ecumenical unity, peace and human rights in Europe. The CEC’s Finnish member churches are the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and the Finnish Orthodox Church, with the Finnish Ecumenical Council acting as an observer member.

Ecumenism in the world

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is a worldwide fellowship of Christian churches with over 340 member churches from 120 countries. The WCC was established in Amsterdam in 1948 to pursue the objectives of the ecumenical movement. It is headquartered in Geneva, with staff representing different countries and churches. The WCC is in touch with the ecumenical councils of its member churches; in Finland, it works together with the Finnish Ecumenical Council.

The largest non-member church is the Roman Catholic Church, with which the WCC nevertheless collaborates.

The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is a global communion of churches in the Lutheran tradition. It was founded in Lund, Sweden, in 1947 to promote collaboration among churches. The LWF has 140 member churches on all continents, and it represents over 68 million Christians. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland is the sixth largest Evangelical Lutheran church in the world.

The LWF has three departments: Mission and Development, Theology and Public Witness, and World Service. The LWF also provides financial and educational support to the human rights work of its member churches and to the promotion of world peace.

The LWF’s ecumenical doctrinal discussions fall under the purview of Department for Theology and Public Witness. The LWF is currently also engaged in dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church and the Pentecostal Movement. It has previously had dialogues with the Anglican, Reformed, Methodist, Baptist and Adventist churches as well.

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