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Introduction

Name        : Communion of Protestant Churches in Europe

Founded   : 1973

Purpose    : Communion of churches in Europe (various Protestant denominations).

Members:

  • 111 churches have signed the basic document, the "Leuenberg Agreement", or have joined the church community.

  • Through mergers and territorial changes, there are currently 96 member churches in 31 countries in Europe and South America (emigrant churches). The CPCE thus represents around 40 million Protestants.

Structure:

  • The General Assembly decides on the work content of the respective council period approximately every six years.

  • The 13-member Council, headed by the three-member Presidium, is responsible for the work of the rest period.

  • It is supported by the office in Vienna and various working and study groups.

  • Four regional groups coordinate the work in north-western Europe, south-eastern Europe, the churches on the Rhine and the Romance-speaking churches.

Format:

Plenary assemblies, council meetings, doctrinal discussions (basic theological documents), study processes, ecumenical dialogues, consultations, project work (e.g. European Reformation Cities), international cooperation (e.g. with the Community of Protestant Churches in the Middle East), thematic work (ethics, liturgy), inter-church aid (Euro-orphans, refugee work), working groups, advisory boards.

Publications: Leuenberg Agreement (basic document in 20 languages), Leuenberg texts (basic theological texts), ethical treatises, ecumenical documents, assembly documents, orientation guides, statements.

Current Council Period:

  • Teaching discussion "Christian speech about God": How can the gospel be communicated in such a way that it is relevant for young and old people?

  • Study process "Practice and theology of the Lord's Supper": Who is invited? Baptized, instructed, confirmed, church members or everyone?

  • Study process "Sexuality and Gender": Questions on marriage, family, gender, including intersexuality, transsexuality and the queer movement. What differences endanger the church community and how do we deal with them?

  • Study process "Democracy as a challenge for churches and societies"

  • Conference "Mixed Economy of Church": Coexistence of different forms of church

  • Anniversary "50 years of the Leuenberg Agreement"

  • 4th synodal meeting

  • Dialogue with the Pontifical Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity, European Baptist Federation

 

Mission Statement

The CPCE lives as a church community in Europe

and strives to deepen it.

It realizes unity in reconciled diversity

and thus makes a contribution to ecumenism

and to living together in Europe.

The churches find

the common voice of Protestantism

both internally and externally through CPCE.

Who We Are

The CPCE unites Protestant churches. Around 100 Lutheran, Methodist, Reformed and United churches from over thirty countries in Europe and South America belong to it. The CPCE thus represents a total of around 40 million Protestants. The CPCE exists thanks to the Leuenberg Agreement of 1973, which established church fellowship between the various Protestant churches. Since then, a Lutheran pastor can preach in a Reformed pulpit or a French pastor can lead a congregation in Germany. The CPCE General Assembly determines the basic lines of work every six years. The 13-member Council, led by a three-member Presidium, manages the work between the General Assemblies, which is coordinated by the office in Vienna.

What We Do

The CPCE takes the churches forward. Doctrinal discussion groups deal with central problems of the church's present. The CPCE helps to shape Europe. With the Advisory Councils for Ethics, for Ecumenism and for Education, it has three expert bodies that carry the position of the churches into society. The Advisory Council on Migration conducts discussions with migrant churches in Europe. The CPCE is an encounter. In consultations and conferences, the CPCE offers a framework in which the church communion can develop further. The CPCE is on the ground. Our regional groups work together across borders and contribute the specific experiences of the regions to the work of the CPCE.

What We Say

The CPCE advances ecumenism. It has provided important impetus for the unity of the churches. With the study "The Church of Jesus Christ", an overall Protestant doctrine of the Church was formulated for the first time. In recent years, important statements on ethical issues and the missionary mandate of the churches have been added. The CPCE sets an example. The Presidium and the Council bring a pointed Protestant position to important discussions in society as a whole. These include the European unification process, human rights, intercultural dialog, solidarity in Europe and freedom of religion and opinion.

What We Desire

The CPCE is a communion of churches. As "unity in reconciled diversity", it promotes the growing together of the churches. The CPCE is a communion of worship. The churches celebrate worship and communion together, and they recognize baptism and ordination across denomination. They share their liturgical traditions and sing from the CPCE's common European hymnal "Colors of Grace". The CPCE is the common voice of the Protestant churches. Many member churches are minority churches. In a changing Europe, CPCE strengthens and unites the voice of Protestantism in Europe.

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