Fifty-five representatives from 30 Christian groups have unveiled a blueprint for the broadest-ever church alliance, Christian Churches Together in the USA. Leaders announced the new organization during a late January meeting at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. It would officially launch once 25 denominations formally agree to participate.

Leaders say CCT USA will have five families of churches: Roman Catholic, evangelical/Pentecostal, historic (mainline) Protestant, Orthodox, and historic racial/ethnic. The group will also include representatives of other Christian organizations, such as Evangelicals for Social Action (ESA), the Salvation Army, and World Vision. The National Association of Evangelicals did not send a representative.

Organizers said the alliance reflects a common desire for greater Christian unity. Robert Edgar, general secretary of the National Council of Churches, signed the proposal.

Barrett Duke, an observer for the Southern Baptist Convention, applauded the group's "desire to be inclusive and obvious respect for differences." He did not speculate on whether the SBC would participate.

Participating leaders lowered expectations about the group's ability to issue sweeping social statements. Ron Sider, ESA director, said the group would be bound by "historic, Christian beliefs about God and the person of Christ."

From wire service reports

Related Elsewhere

Other news coverage includes:

Unprecedented alliance of U.S. Christian groups proposed—American Baptist News Service (Feb. 6, 2003)
Broadest-ever 'Christian Alliance' floated—Charisma News Service (Jan. 31, 2003)
Plans for 'Christian Churches Together in the U.S.A.' move from vision toward reality—National Council of Churches (Jan. 29, 2003)

Previous related articles in Christianity Today include:

The Not-So-New Ecumenism | A recent initiative is structured to exclude evangelicals in the mainline. (August 9, 2002)
'CCT's Proposed Theological Basis Is Solidly Orthodox' | The steering committee of Christian Churches Together in the U.S.A. responds to Christianity Today (August 9, 2002)

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