Relationship Between Salvation, Justice, Topic Of Council Of Churches Faith And Order Commission

April 8, 2010 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON— The relationship between salvation and justice was one of the key topics at the spring meeting of the Faith and Order Commission of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC).
Membership on the commission includes both NCC members and representatives of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Christopher Ruddy, Ph.D., of The Catholic University of America, heads the delegation of Catholic scholars who represent the Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the USCCB.
The meeting was held at the Interchurch Center and at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Crestwood, New York, March 18-20.
Commissioners heard reports from Anton Vrame, Ph.D., Chair of Faith and Order’s Executive Committee, and Antonios (Tony) Kireopoulos, Ph.D., NCC Senior Program Director for the Faith and Order Commission.
Committee work on “Justice and Salvation” is chaired by Terry Cross, Ph.D. (Society for Pentecostal Studies) of Lee University and Immaculate Heart of Mary Sister Theresa Koernke, Ph.D., of the Washington Theological Union. The committee currently is preparing study guides and other literature to help parishes and other church communities reflect on the relationship of justice and salvation.
The March meeting also considered the topic “Ecumenism from the Margins: Christian Unity in the Quest for Justice,” in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the Edinburgh Missionary Conference, considered to be the founding of the modern ecumenical movement. Presenters included the Rev. Wesley Ariarajah, Ph.D., Professor of Ecumenical Theology at Drew University School of Theology; Elaine Padilla, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor of Theology at New York Theological Seminary; and Ruth Cameron, Archivist for the Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, where the papers of the Edinburgh conference are collected. S. Mark Heim, Ph.D., a Faith and Order commissioner and the Samuel Abbot Professor of Christian Theology at Andover-Newton Theological Seminary in Newton, Massachusetts, offered a response to these presentations. Faith and Order is committed to integrating the consultation’s themes and concerns into its work over the present quadrennium.
Commenting on the spring meeting, Kireopoulos said “It's gratifying to know that Faith and Order remains so important a forum to the churches, where they can send their theologians to discuss critical issues in a way that can lead to a healing of our divisions. Certainly, one of the fruits of these meetings is the close relationships across denominational lines that develop. But more than that, to be able to come to a better understanding of one another, and of the position of each other's churches, around important doctrinal matters leads to real reconciliation among the various Christian traditions.”
The Faith and Order Commission, in which the USCCCB has participated since 1968, meets twice a year, in March and October. Its next meeting will be on October 14-16, at Santa Clara University in California. The members of the USCCB delegation present at the Crestwood meeting included Ruddy, Holy Cross Father John Ford, The Catholic University of America; and Barbara Sain, Ph.D., University of St. Thomas.