What Is Ecumenical Movement?
Ecumenism in its original Christian use refers to the manifestation, the desire, the thought of and the search for Christian unity. The word ecumenical comes from our Lord Jesus Christ who in His Incarnate Person, in His spoken words and deeds united people of different colors, languages, sexes, ethnicities, social life-settings and class distinctions. The word ecumenical today has acquired a wider sense that covers the whole range on inter-associations, relationships, common prayers, theological discussions and practical cooperation among the Christian Churches. One of the landmarks of the development of ecumenical movement on international scale was the first assembly of the World Council of Churches (Amsterdam, 1948). The World Council is now a worldwide fellowship of 349 global, regional and sub-regional, national and local churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service in more than 110 countries and territories throughout the world. Another organization fostering relations among Churches is the Conference of European Churches (founded in Nyborg, 1959). The Conference has some 120 member churches in 38 countries. Both organizations have worked closely with the Armenian Church lending their voice and support on important Armenian causes. By having membership in these organizations, the Armenian Church contributes to the development of the ecumenical movement and brings to life the vision of cooperation between churches and representatives of Christian denominations on the way to Christian unity.The Armenian Church has been loyal to the message of Christ, “And there shall be one fold, and one shepherd” (John 10:16), both during the course of centuries and now. She has always promoted and prioritized the process of dialogue among churches. In Her endeavors of fostering knowledge of each other and establishing the fellowship that comes with it, She continuously expanded extend of cooperation in the world. One of the expressions of this cooperation was commencing of Armenia Inter-Church Charitable Round Table Foundation in 1996 upon the initiative of the Armenian Church and the World Council of Churches. Armenia Round Table is an ecumenical Foundation gathering representatives from the Armenian Church, the Armenian Catholic and Armenian Evangelical Churches, local non-governmental organizations and church related partners who have a shared commitment of working together and addressing fundamental social and economic development needs in Armenia.