Report of the Presidium, 6th General Assembly, Budapest, 2006

Elisabeth Parmentier, Michael Beintker, Thomas Wipf

Europe is growing together. What will Protestantism look like and what challenges will it have to face? The future of the churches lies in their task of witnessing to re- conciliation with God and with one another. The Protestant churches reconciled by the Leuenberg Agreement have experience along this way, which is neither natural nor simple. A real fellowship in witness and service of more than 100 churches throughout Europe has grown out of the theological consensus and fellowship in preaching and the eucharist. However, the hermeneutical openness which the concept of ‘fellowship’ brings into being allows different views, from a minimalistic under- standing (the Agreement as a peace treaty), through an instrumental understanding (the Agreement as a framework for common action or as protection for minority churches) or a confessionalistic understanding (the Agreement as an alliance of Pro- testant churches), to a maximalist understanding of the fellowship as ‘one’ church. The theme of this General Assembly is meant to emphasize the quality of the fellowship that has grown up, which has potential for the future of the churches and for reconciliation in Europe. Our report builds on the hallmarks of this fellowship.

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