Religion: Shadowed Union

For ten years ecumenical Protestants have held high hopes for a series of meetings called the Consultation on Church Union, aimed at forging a merger among nine U.S. denominations with a combined membership of 24 million. None of the participating denominations has seemed more enthusiastic than the United Church of Christ (2,000,000 members). But now the enterprise appears to be under a shadow—and the United Church of Christ is the cause. The U.C.C. Executive Council has announced that the sort of church the Consultation has been designing all along is too "hierarchical" and weakens the local congregation, the only institution where...

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