CCT in a Nutshell
Christian Churches Together provides a context – marked by prayer, worship and fellowship—in which churches can develop relationships with other churches with whom they presently have little contact. This is one response to our Lord’s Prayer that all who believe in Him might be one with God and with one another so that the world would believe in Him as God and Savior.
CCT offers the possibility of face-to-face relationships with participants across denominational/Christian community lines or racial/ethnic divisions. As participants grow closer together in Christ, differences are better understood and commonalities affirmed. In praying and studying the scripture together, spiritual resources are deepened and prophetic voices strengthened. There are new possibilities for shared witness, new coalitions formed among churches on various issues. CCT, out of its commitment to grow closer together in Christ, offers a significant and credible voice in speaking to contemporary culture on issues of life, social justice and peace.
The purpose of Christian Churches Together is to enable churches and national Christian organizations to grow closer together in Christ in order to strengthen our Christian witness in the world. The by-laws list seven specific tasks:
- to celebrate a common confession of faith in the Triune God,
- to discern the guidance of the Holy Spirit through prayer and theological dialogue,
- to provide fellowship and mutual support,
- to seek better understanding of each other by affirming our commonalities and understanding our differences,
- to foster evangelism faithful to the proclamation of the gospel,
- to speak to society with a common voice whenever possible, and
- to promote the common good of society and engage in other activities consistent with its purposes.
To fulfill its purpose of growing closer to Christ and to each other, Christian Churches Together focuses, in its annual meeting, on praying together, discerning the guidance of the Holy Spirit through prayer and theological dialogues, and providing fellowship and mutual support. Out of this process, participants discern how and when to take action together in common witness to our society. In 2006, CCT began to address the scandal of domestic poverty; specific proposals for CCT actions will be brought to the next annual meeting for consideration and decision.
CCT encounters Luke 4:18: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor”
A Brief History
Christian Churches Together in the USA began in September, 2001, with a meeting of church leaders in the US who explored the need for expanding fellowship, unity, and witness among the diverse expressions of Christian faith today. They lamented the absence of any one place where representatives of historic Protestant, African American, Roman Catholic, Pentecostal, Evangelical, and Orthodox churches come together officially to strengthen their unity in Christ and empower their mission. They decided to convene another meeting in April, 2002 to continue this exploration and invite broader participation from other church leaders. At this meeting, held in Chicago, the vision of CCT was crafted and publicly announced (see Chicago Statement.)
The next step was to agree on an organizational plan, including theological affirmations, purposes, categories of participation, a governing structure, and a proposed timeline. An expanded group of 55 denominational and other church leaders met at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California in January, 2003 for this purpose. The Organizational Plan resulting from that meeting was approved by consensus by all who were there as “Participants.” This proposal and plan for Christian Churches Together in the USA was presented to the various denominations and organizations involved in the process. In 2006 in Atlanta, thirty-four churches and organizations adopted the By-Laws and officially organized as CCT.
Past Annual Meetings
2012 – Memphis, Tennessee
2011 – Birmingham, Alabama
2010 – Seattle, Washington
2009 – Baltimore, Maryland
2008 – Baltimore, Maryland
2007 – Pasadena, California
2006 – Atlanta, Georgia
2005 – Los Altos, California
2004 – Houston, Texas