The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) belongs to ecumenical councils or agencies as a way of living into our call to make visible the unity we have in Christ. PCUSA is a member of World Council of Churches, World Alliance of Reformed Churches, National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA, and Christian Churches Together.
Membership in these councils and relationships of full communion with other churches, mission, partnerships, and ecumenical dialogue are ways in which the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) seeks to express Christian unity. In accordance with this commitment, the 212th General Assembly (2000) voted to: “Affirm the intent of the General Assembly Committee on Ecumenical Relations to design a process for review of councils and other ecumenical alliances to which the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) belongs.
Therefore, each General Assembly, the General Assembly Committee on Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations presents a review of PCUSA involvement with a specific council. These reports are available on PC-biz.org.
In addition to the PCUSA membership with the ecumenical councils listed above, the General Assembly has, from time to time, approved a time of dialogue and discernment with a specific denomination. Below are reports from recent dialogues.
- Reformed-Catholic Dialogue
- The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and its antecedents, has been a participant in the Catholic-Reformed dialogue for over 40 years. Over this period of time many documents have been published to memorialize understandings and provide a path for future conversations. The most recent dialogue was the eighth round in 2013. Below are links to some resources and guides from the Catholic-Reformed dialogue.
- These Living Waters: Common Agreement on Mutual Recognition of Baptism: A Report of the Catholic Reformed Dialogue in the United States. 2003-2007
- This Bread of Life: Report of the United States Roman Catholic-Reformed Dialogue on the Eucharist/Lord’s Supper. November 2010
- Presbyterian/Episcopal Bi-Lateral
As a result of past dialogues and prayerful discernment, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has entered into full communion or covenants with particular denominations. The PCUSA is in full communion covenant relationship with:
- Covenant Relationship Korean Presbyterian Church Abroad
- Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
- Moravian-Reformed Covenant Partnership
- Reformed Church in America
- United Church of Christ
In 1997, the relationship of the Reformed Church in America, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the United Church of Christ, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America has been memorialized in the Formula of Agreement. This document outlines the meaning of “full communion” and how it affects relationships. The understanding and development of a process for the Orderly Exchange of Ministers is an important part of the Agreement.
Resources for Ecumenical Education and Formation
- Ecumenical Institute of Bossey is the international center for encounter, dialogue and formation of the World Council of Churches. Founded in 1946, the Institute brings together people from diverse churches, cultures and backgrounds for ecumenical learning, academic study and personal exchange.
- National Workshop on Christian Unity. An annual workshop designed to equip Christian leaders in the quest for unity. It is sponsored by the National Ecumenical Officers Association, for details visit their website.