Outcomes of the Future ConferenceOutcomes of the Future Conference

The Future Conference in session


The “Future Search Conference” was a new and interesting method to use in a CEC context. The participants worked in plenary and in homogenous and heterogeneous working groups with various methods encouraging cognitive and creative approaches to envisioning the future of CEC and arriving at consensus on concrete goals to assure that future.

The conference enabled us to identify challenges for the present and to envisage the future ahead of us. It was a practical experience, an exercise of understanding each others visions about ecumenism in Europe while reviewing and better understanding the role of CEC within it.

Most of the participants appreciated the openness of the groups, the creativity, the encounter itself and the stimulating method or simply learning how to discuss issues openly and in a friendly atmosphere. The participatory method, the quality of discussion as well as the interesting, knowledgeable people involved were some of the positive points of the encounter. The frustrations for most came at the end due to the perceived gap between the creative visions and the final goals.

There were important questions that we asked ourselves when planning this Future Conference for CEC. All the questions are not answered yet, and it was not expected that 80 people would find all the answers for the Future of ecumenism in Europe in less than 3 days.

In Lyon we started a reflection that keeps its value in the people who came there ready to take up the challenge of envisioning the future. The visions that we had in Lyon were creative and prophetic. The goals had to be SMART; therefore they were connected to the reality of today. Whether those are the goals that will take us to what we’ve imagined for 2029, is up to the churches and those who are involved in the ecumenical movement to identify and reflect upon.

With this conference CEC opened up the reflection on the future that many are planning locally. Many of the visions in Lyon saw CEC in 2029 as a well known church organisation that brings together the people in Europe with common goals and no constraints to separate them. CEC would be stronger if we concentrated less on our differences and more on what brings us together. The day we will be able to define “ecumenism” in one common sentence, we will know what CEC's role is as well.

We are planning the 13th CEC Assembly hoping and wishing to engage more than 80 participants or 550 delegates in envisioning the future of ecumenism in Europe or reflecting on our “one hope in Christ”.


We pass it on to you to continue this reflection and help us with planning our common future.