The Religion News Service reports that a group of Christian leaders called Christian Churches Together in the USA — representing 43 groups and denominations, collectively representing 100 million Christians — met with President-elect Obama “to make poverty a priority of his administration.”
I’m interested in the group. Founded in 2003, it is a loose amalgam of denominations and — in a break from other ecumenical groupings — it includes parachurch ministries, though they cannot be more than 20% of the whole. It will not form a super-church, the goal that inspired but ultimately stymied the Consultation on Church Union. Christian Churches Together is happy to cooperate on a deliberately less formal basis, which perhaps is why it can work from a broader doctrinal formula. And despite the news story, its cooperative action is not fundamentally one of social or political action.
The doctrinal statement would be hard for a Unitarian Universalist Christian group to join — perhaps a Universalist group would have an easier time — so perhaps that’s why I missed its existence. Interestingly, Friends United Meeting is a member, but Friends General Conference isn’t. The Roman Catholics, who don’t join such things, are missing. The usual magisterial Protestant non-cooperators — the Lutherans MCLS and WELS for example — aren’t there, but Orthodox churches — the kinds that have heartburn with the NCCCUSA over any inclusion of The Gays — are. So perhaps I shouldn’t be shocked the Metropolitan Community Church isn’t there. But where is the Alliance of Baptists? In the whole and apart from the Roman Catholics, the broad middle of American Christianity.
A group to keep an eye on.