REUNION IN THE MISSION FIELD The need for union in the mission field is illustrated by the negotiations between the Episcopal Synod of India and Ceylon and the South India United Church. The latter is a union of Christian congregations connected with the London Missionary Society and the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (both Congregational), the Church of Scotland, the United Free Church of Scotland, the Dutch Reformed Church in America and the Basel Mission. A joint committee was consti tuted in 1920 and several reports have been issued. As in Eng land, the difficulty of agreement turned chiefly to the insistence upon episcopal ordination for all ministers of the United Church. It is suggested that the fact of episcopacy should be recognised without insistence upon any doctrine of its meaning, and that a joint service should be held to commission all ministers who desired full status in the United Church on reciprocally equal terms. The South India United Church also insists that it cannot allow itself to be cut off from these non-episcopal churches with which it is now in full communion.
It treasures its present catholicity too highly to take any step that would diminish or destroy the fellowship which it now enjoys with Evangelical Christendom.—(Resolution, Aug. 1923.) A brief reference must be made to some of the movements of co-operation among different bodies of Christians, which have grown in strength and number since the end of the World War.
Though these movements do not deal directly with the problem of reunion, the same motives lie behind them, viz.: a sense of the weakness of the Christian witness in the world due to division and a desire to co-operate in large fields of Christian enterprise which are recognised as common ground. (a) The World Alli ance for promoting International Friendship through the Churches, founded at Constance on Aug. 2, 1914.
Its object is set forth in the following resolutions:— I. That, inasmuch as the work of conciliation and the pro motion of amity is esentially a Christian task, it is expedient that the Churches in all lands should use their influence with the peoples, parliaments and governments of the world to bring about good and friendly relations between the nations, so that, along the path of peaceful civilisation, they may reach that uni versal goodwill which Christianity has taught mankind to aspire after. 2. That inasmuch as all sections of the Church of Christ are equally concerned in the maintenance of peace and the pro motion of good feeling among all the races of the world, it is advisable for them to act in concert in their efforts to carry the foregoing resolution into effect.
The Alliance consists of 28 national councils and is representa tive of the organised Christianity of the world with the exception of the Roman Catholic Church. The international committee meets once every three years. Its meeting's in Copenhagen (1922) and Stockholm (1925) did much to focus Christian thought upon the question of peace. The expense of the international work of the Alliance is borne by the American Peace Union.
3. Through common consultation to help to unite Christian public opinion in support of freedom of conscience and religion and of missionary liberty.
4. To help to unite the Christian forces of the world in seeking justice in international and inter-racial relations.
The Council is responsible for the publication of the Inter national Review of Missions.