The goal of ecumenical work is to bring Christians into mutual fellowship towards the visible unity of the Church. According to the Bible Christian unity is both a gift and a calling.
The churches functions are witness and service. The work towards Christian unity is based on the prayer of Jesus Christ: “I pray that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” (John 17:21)
The word ecumenical is derived from the Greek term oikoumene, which may be translated as "the whole inhabited world". Being ecumenical means working towards a visible Christian unity as well as an attitude which emphasises and wishes for Christian unity.
Ecumenical movement is a joint movement of diverse Christians and Christian associations. It is a relatively young phenomenon in the history of Christianity. It emerged at the turn of the 20th century and established itself as a significant inter-church communication channel after the World War II. The movement has also formed into various organizations. Ecumenism is activity in which churches and Christian organizations attend according to their own confessions.
FEC was established in 1917, when the Finnish Committee of the World Alliance Movement was founded. The World Alliance for Promoting International Fellowship through the Churches (WA) aimed at fostering peace work through inter-church friendship.
In 1933 the national committee was named the Oecumenical Council of Finland and in 1963 the name was changed into the Finnish Ecumenical Council.
Purpose and aim
FEC promotes Christian unity on the national as well as on the local level. The Council realizes these aims through its publications, programmes, meetings and assemblies.
The Council serves as a meeting point where a rich diversity of Christians can gather together for example for consultation and for common prayer.
The activities of the Council focus on ecumenical theology and dialogue, social-ethical issues, spirituality and common witness.
The aim of these activities is for the Churches and the Christians to grow stronger and deepen the unity which Jesus Christ himself prayed for.
Churches and Christian communities, which, according to the Bible, confess the Lord Jesus Christ as the God and the Saviour are welcomed as members of the Council. Due to this common testimony, these Churches and Christian communities are striving together to fulfil their common calling for the glory of one God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The Council has eleven member Churches
The Council may approve as Observer Churches Finnish Churches, Christian communities and ecumenical organizations. The observers have the right to attend and speak, but not to vote, in the General assembly.
The Council has five Observer Churches
The Council may approve as Partner Organisation Christian registered associations and foundations which work for Christian unity.
The Council has 27 Associate Partner Organisations
monitor national as well as international discussions within their particular sphere of interest. They also arrange meetings and seminars, linked to current issues.
The Sections are:
Section for Education
Section for Equality
Section for Children’s and Youth Work
Section for Theological Issues
Section for Local Ecumenism
Section for Social Issues
The Committee of Finlandssvensk Ecumenism (Swedish-speaking)
On the top of the Council’s decision-making body is the General Assembly, which assembles twice a year. The decisions are made by the member Churches and Communities. The Executive Committee is elected by the General Assembly. The Chair of the Executive committee is also the Chair of FEC. The General Secretary of the Council is also elected by the General Assembly for five years’ period.
In its series of the FEC publishes a wide range of ecumenically oriented material.
Office: Eteläranta 8,
Post Box 210
Dr. Mari-Anna Auvinen
+358 40 134 1977
M.Th. Suvi-Tuulia Vaara
+358 40 637 1244
Mr Perry Johansson
+358 40 734 4015
M.Soc.Sc Anna Hyvärinen
+358 40 734 3754