The Consultation on Church Union (COCU), pronounced dead more than once over the past 40 years, is indeed about to die. On January 20, 2002, COCU’s member communions will stop being a “consultation” and enter into a new, far more substantive relationship called Churches Uniting in Christ (CUIC).
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has already voted to become part of this new relationship, and decision-making bodies of six other communions will act on the CUIC proposal by the end of July. Churches making decisions this year are the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, the Episcopal Church, the International Council of Community Churches and the United Methodist Church. The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ will act on the proposal during their joint meeting in the summer of 2001.
Michael Kinnamon has served as the general secretary of the Consultation on Church Union and the National Council of Churches. He is the author of The Vision of the Ecumenical Movement and How It Has Been Impoverished by Its Friends.