The Consultation on Church Union has a product to sell. It has salesmen. Now it needs to convince the buyer.
The buyer is the grassroots churchman in the nine participating COCU denominations. The product is the plan of union, a 150-page document approved by the consultation in St. Louis last month (see March 27 issue, page 30). COCU salesmen (information officers of participating churches) will be promoting the union plan as 24 million churchmen begin to “study and respond” to it.
After ten years of talk, the concrete plan was unanimously adopted at the final day of the St. Louis plenary session; some 250 delegates then rose and sang the doxology. Responses and evaluations are to be submitted to the consultation headquarters by January 15, 1972. The consultation doesn’t want official votes on the plan until after that, since revisions are expected to be incorporated into a final plan (see voting procedures for each church in story following).
Heading the consultation between now and 1973, when some responses to the final plan are expected, is Dr. George G. Beazley, Jr., ecumenical officer of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).A “dump Beazley movement” by some leaders in the three black denominations apparently was dropped after publicity about it was reported in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Reliable sources said AME bishop Frederick D. Jordan was the black leaders’ choice for the next chairman. Had Beazley lost, it would have broken COCU precedent and would also have meant Beazley’s second loss in three months of an influential ecumenical post. Last December he resigned as chairman of the NCC nominating committee because of black pressure. Assisting him will be Dr. Charles ...1
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