Theological Guidelines

Common Witness

1. We are on a journey together towards an international ecumenical fellowship of churches and mission societies sharing our hope in the Kingdom of God.

2. Mission in the first instance is God’s economy (oikonomia) for the world, in the act of creation, in the history with humankind, in Jesus Christ, and in the power of the Spirit. Our witness means our response and our participation in God’s compassionate and transforming love.

3. The centrality of our faith is the Good News of salvation, of the fullness of life and the overcoming of death in Jesus Christ. The name of Jesus Christ means redemption, liberation, healing, reconciliation, justice, peace and hope.

4. The gospel concerns all dimensions of life. Therefore our witness is holistic. Proclamation of the Gospel, worship, prayer life, pastoral care, Christian education, diaconal service and the commitment for justice, peace and the integrity of creation cannot be separated from each other.

5. Our witness is based on faithfulness to the Gospel and on compassion for God’s creation, particularly for all vulnerable and endangered creatures.

6. We witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ at all our respective places in an inviting and faithful way. The experience of being strangers to each other in encounters and in exchange across borders helps us to rediscover the Gospel in new ways.

7. We belong together in our partnership in mission. The polyphony and diversity of our witness in different contexts is something precious and at the same time a continuing mutual challenge.

8. Our witness finds expression in signs of living solidarity. As reconciling and healing communities we share life, also suffering. We strive for human rights. We also strive for a just community of women and men and in all generations.

9. In our witness – “in bold humility” - we meet people of other faiths and ideologies with esteem, respect, empathy and the willingness to listen and to live together as good neighbours.

10. As a forum for ecumenical living in our common witness across borders, our fellowship enables us to learn from each other, to encourage each other, and to challenge each other.

Adopted by the EMS Mission Council on 2 July 2003 in Chennai, India