Documentation, 4th General Assembly, Vienna, 1994
Growing Fellowship in Witness and Service - Reformation Churches in Europe
Leuenberg Documents 1
The Church of Jesu Christ
Leuenberg Documents 2
Sacraments, Ministry, Ordination
Leuenberg Documents 4
Leuenberg, Meissen and Porvoo
Leuenberg Documents 5
The Christian Witness of Freedom
4th General Assembly, 3 -10 May 1994, Vienna
Introduction and Content The churches of the Leuenberg Church Fellowship involved in the Leuenberg Agreement (1973) held their 4th General Assembly in Vienna from 3 to 10 May 1994 under the theme “Growing Fellowship in Witness and Service – Reformation Churches in Europe”. 161 participants, among them 98 delegates from 65 Protestant churches in Europe and South America, and 64 observers, guests, advisors, interpreters and staff members met together at the Konzilsgedächtniskirche in Lainz. The General Assembly had three thematic focal points. First, the results of the doctrinal conversations carried out between 1987 and 1994 – on the church, sacraments of baptism and eucharist, the Christian witness of freedom – were discussed, accepted and forwarded to the churches for their reception. Secondly, broadening the church fellowship by European Methodist churches’ joining the Fellowship was discussed. Furthermore it was agreed to seek bilateral and multilateral talks with representatives of the Baptist church and other churches linked through the Leuenberg Agreement (1973), Meissen Agreement (1988) or Porvoo Agreement (1992). Thirdly, ways and means were discussed to reach more consolidation of the Leuenberg churches in witness and service.
Results The General Assembly brought about decisive results in three directions. First of all it adopted a common principal text for the Preotestant Churches in Europe. Furthermore it was agreed to bring important papers to a broader public in form of the bilingual series "Leuenberg Documents". The series was initiated by the papers adopted in Vienna: papers on the understanding of the church and the sacraments. The draft on the protestant understanding of freedom was submitted to the churches for their comments and published afterwards. Secondly, it laid the foundation for the European Methodist churhces to join the Leuenberg Church Fellowship. As regards the contact with the Anglican churches, a consultation was held at Liebfrauenberg near Strasbourg in 1995 between the Churches of the Leuenberg Church Fellowship and the Churches involved in the Meissen Agreement and the Porvoo Agreement. The findings of this consultation were also published as Volume 4 of the Leuenberg Document series. Forms of cooperation were sought with the Baptist unions. Thirdly, the notion of regional and continental coordination in witness and service was reinforced among different Reformation churches in Europe. Decisions were also made regarding the structure and further work of the Leuenberg Church Fellowship. The findings and preparation works of the General Assembly were published in a documentation book containing the studies of the project groups on ecclesiology and the Christian witness on freedom respectively and of the South Europe Group as well as the works ofthe Executive Committee and the Secretariat, reports and greetings. This book can be ordered with the Lembeck Publishing House.