The first consultation between the Conference of European Churches (CEC) and the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE) took place in the Orthodox Academy, Chania, Crete from 28 November to 1 December 2002. Representatives of Orthodox and Old Oriental churches and of Lutheran, Reformed and United churches discussed questions of Reformation ecclesiology which arose from the ecumenical conversation between Orthodox and Reformation churches on the basis of the study The Church of Jesus Christ,1 which was approved by the General Assembly of the Leuenberg Church Fellowship in 1994. The texts of this consultation were published in 2004. The consultation in Chania formed the starting point for further conversations. There followed the consultation in the Leucorea study centre in Lutherstadt Wittenberg (25 – 27 June 2004) and the consultation in the Phanar in Istanbul (27 – 30 April 2006), at which there was a meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch His All Holiness Bartholomew I, who strongly supported the process of consultation.
This volume documents and presents to the public the lectures given and declarations made at the second consultation in Wittenberg and at the third consultation in the Phanar. In it the editors want to communicate to their member churches and ecumenical partners the course of the consultation progress which began in Crete and stimulate them to similar conversations. Ecumenism lives by the will for shared concentrated theological work, by openness to the questions of the other and a spirit of being brothers and sisters in a faith which transcends boundaries. The participants in the consultations have been able to experience this time and again during their conversations. They cannot encourage it too strongly.