The printable version, which you can download or open in your web browser, includes English, Spanish, and Korean languages.


1st – As the starting point, our unity is in Jesus Christ, not in structures or instruments or theological agreement, but in the grace and love of God offered to us and to the world in Jesus Christ.

2nd – Thus, unity is God’s gift.  It is not something we vote into being. Rather, we receive unity and oneness as a gift from God as we enter into new relations in mission and ministry, service and witness.

3rd – As Disciples of Christ, unity begins at the Lord’s Table where we are made one in Christ; and from the Table, we are called to witness to the message of reconciliation, welcome and hospitality that we have experienced in our being welcomed.

4th Unity is being lived out at home—that is, unity exists in congregational life and in seeing our congregations today as ecumenical communities of faith.

5th Unity is more relational than institutional. Christian unity finds its life and reality in relationships as we worship together, serve together, and engage in mission together. Today, we are not working on “plans of union” or statements of theological consensus; but rather, we make commitments to engage in deepening relationships with other Christians and churches in worship, confessing our faith, and addressing issues of social justice and peace together.

6th – The task of Christian unity is really about the task of sharing gifts: of learning to give and to receive, in offering the best of our Disciples heritage and tradition, and being open to receive the best from other denominations and traditions in their histories, theologies, understandings of faith, worship styles and spiritualties.

7th Unity does not mean uniformity in belief or practice: it is not based upon our agreement as Christians, but upon a profound humility arising from our shared life in the Risen Christ. We are seeking oneness in Christ, not sameness is our theologies or worship or practices.

8th – Thus, unity will be lived out with a great deal of diversity. The challenge is to embrace an understanding of church that is bigger and wider, richer and older than we are today as Disciples of Christ.  Unity is not about a loss of our identity as Disciples, but the claiming of a larger identity in Christ.

9thThe challenge of Christian unity in our world today is also a call to interfaith engagement and dialogue: learning ways to encounter people of other faiths in order to live in community with them; to learn from them, develop mutual respect, and discover areas of commonality; and, to witness to God’s love for all peoples in breaking down barriers between persons and nations in the pursuit of peace.

10thThe unity we seek in being reconciled to another as individuals and as churches is finally personal, not simply institutional – and it is grounded in a shared passion for God’s justice.  That is, all exclusion, prejudice and division based upon race, gender, nationality, theology or belief are not simply issues to be addressed or programs to be undertaken, but are experienced personally by individuals—both within the church and in society.

13 Comments, RSS

  • Jack Austin

    As Barton Stone observed, Christian Unity is our polar star, setting our orientation to God’s plan for humanity. Thank you for the statement of faith and commitment.

  • Julia Lyda

    Thank you Debra. Thank you for posting what we as disciples and countless others believe. Seeing tis on print strengthen our faith and our desire to continuously reach out as you printed here.

  • Mark Irons

    Robert, thank you so much for this thoughtful gift.

    I have always taken the third point a little wider. It is my conviction from Disciples historical documents that there is a strong belief that when we celebrate at the Lord’s Table, we are communing with the entire body of Christ, celebrating our oneness with Christians everyone. That may we implied in your statement Robert. This is very important to my own faith and ministry as a Disciple.

  • Marjorie Ellsbury

    This is a very good statement of our Faith. ( reminded me of a sermon by Kenneth Teegarden 1985
    at general assembly) I think we need this available for all members..
    Thanks, Blessings and enjoy retirment when it arrives..

  • Johnny Wray

    Robert — One of the most concise and complete statements I’ve ever read on who and why we Disciples are. Thank you and Council for providing this.

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