From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Disciples of Christ Say Yes to COCU Proposal
04 May 1996 20:36:42
95400 Disciples of Christ Say Yes to COCU Proposal
by Religion News Service
WASHINGTON--Delegates to the General Assembly of the Christian Church
(Disciples of Christ) have voted to take the next step in participating
with eight other Protestant denominations in forming the Church of Christ
The Rev. Paul Crow Jr., president of the 900,000-member church's
Council on Christian Unity, called the action the Disciples' "most
significant ecumenical decision" since the 1832 merger that created the
Under the COCU plan, the nine churches would move closer to one
another by recognizing each other's clergy and permitting regular sharing
of Holy Communion across denominational lines. But the plan stops short of
calling for organic merger, and each body would retain its own governing
structures and worship practices.
Delegates to the Oct. 20-24 Assembly in Pittsburgh decisively rejected
moves by opponents to postpone action on the proposal and to seek written
assurances that congregations that reject the new body will not be
After the vote, Disciple Renewal, a conservative group critical of the
plan, said the action will cost the church members and move the
denomination "further in the direction of division by making the
cooperation of many of its own congregations more difficult."
The Rev. Daniell Hamby, COCU general secretary, hailed the vote,
saying it "puts us [COCU] past the halfway point in the ... voting
Four other bodies -- the International Council of Community Churches,
the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
and the United Church of Christ -- have given approval to the proposal,
although the Presbyterians have delayed a vote on the enabling
constitutional amendments for their participation in the plan until next
Three other churches have scheduled votes for next year: the United
Methodist Church, the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the African
Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.
The other denomination, the Episcopal Church, has not yet set a time
For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
phone 502-569-5504 fax 502-569-8073
E-mail PCUSA.NEWS@pcusa.org Web page: http://www.pcusa.org
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