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).
Standing on a dusty Nairobi roundabout amid exhaust fumes and blaring horns, several hundred young men raise their hands north to the unseen shrine of Kerinyaga, or Mount Kenya—the second-highest mountain in Africa and mythological birthplace of the Kikuyu, Kenya’s largest tribe.
On January 1 the (Lutheran) Church of Sweden began a new era of independence from the Swedish government. Though the new arrangement is far from realizing an American-style separation of church and state, the enactment of this reform represents an important new step in a long process of changing relations between state and church in Sweden.
When United Methodist delegates take their seats at the church’s May 2-12 General Conference in Cleveland, they’ll be facing decisions on 2,500 or more pieces of legislation, including a far-reaching proposal to restructure the denomination.