Community of Protestant Churches in Europe

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The Community of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE, also GEKE for Gemeinschaft Evangelischer Kirchen in Europa) is a fellowship of over 100 Protestant churches which have signed the Leuenberg Agreement. Together they strive for realizing church fellowship, especially by cooperation in witness and service to the world. Prior to 2003 the CPCE was known as the "Leuenberg Church Fellowship".

Members are most Lutheran and Reformed churches in Europe, the United churches that originated from mergers of these churches, and pre-Reformation churches such as the Waldensians. The European Methodist churches joined the CPCE by a common declaration of church fellowship in 1997.

The General Secretary is the Reverend Dr Michael Bünker (who is also Bishop of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Austria). The offices of the CPCE are located in Vienna, Austria, shared with the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Austria.

History[edit]

In 1973, major European Lutheran and Reformed churches met at the Swiss conference centre Leuenberg (near Basle) and signed the Leuenberg Agreement or Leuenberg Concord. The number of churches involved has grown over the years, and now includes several Methodist churches.

The churches involved were originally joined in an organization called the "Leuenberg Church Fellowship". In 2003 this was renamed the "Community of Protestant Churches in Europe" as a sign of growing beyond the Lutheran and Reformed traditions.[1] Since then, the CPEC has started ecumenical dialogue with Anglican,[2] Baptist,[3] and Orthodox[4] churches.

The Agreement[edit]

The original Leuenberg Agreement declared unity through Jesus Christ.[5] Under this agreement the churches agree on a common understanding of the Gospel, including elementary agreement on important doctrines including christology,[6] predestination,[7] Eucharist[8] and justification.[9] They declare church fellowship, understood as pulpit and table fellowship as well as full communion in witness and service.

In 2006, the CPCE published a statute of church constituton,[10] and in 2011 published new guidelines for churches wishing to join.[11] This declaration made clear that "churches wishing to join recognize the ordination and ministry of women ministers in other CPCE churches".[12]

Member churches[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Henkel, Reinhard (2006), "State-church relationships in Germany: past and present", GeoJournal, 67 (4): 307–316, JSTOR 441148127 , p. 314
  2. ^ "Memorandum of Affirmation and Commitment Between the British and Irish Anglican Churches and the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe – Leuenberg Church Fellowship" (PDF), Community of Protestant Churches in Europe, 2012 
  3. ^ "Agreement for EBF and CPCE to become mutually Co-operating bodies" (PDF), Community of Protestant Churches in Europe, 2010 
  4. ^ "Dialogue with the Orthodox churches", Community of Protestant Churches in Europe, 2006 
  5. ^ "Agreement between Reformation churches in Europe" (PDF), Community of Protestant Churches in Europe, 16 March 1973 
  6. ^ "Agreement" (1973), §2, 4, 9, 21-23
  7. ^ "Agreement" (1973), §24-25
  8. ^ "Agreement" (1973), §13, 15, 18-20
  9. ^ "Agreement" (1973), §6, 8, 10, 12, 13
  10. ^ "Statute of the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPEC) – Leuenberg Church Fellowship" (PDF), Community of Protestant Churches in Europe, Budapest, 18 September 2006 
  11. ^ "Guidelines on the Establishment of Membership in the CPCE" (PDF), Community of Protestant Churches in Europe, Frankfurt, 12 February 2011 
  12. ^ "Guidelines" (2011), §6

External links[edit]