Many Cells - One Body: Stories from Small Christian Communities

Many Cells - One Body: Stories from Small Christian Communities

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By (author) Ian M. Fraser


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  • Publisher: World Council of Churches (WCC Publications)
  • Format: Paperback | 108 pages
  • Dimensions: 120mm x 206mm x 10mm | 159g
  • Publication date: 1 May 2003
  • Publication City/Country: Geneva
  • ISBN 10: 2825413704
  • ISBN 13: 9782825413708
  • Sales rank: 1,543,499

Product description

Small Christian Communities, or 'SCCs', are known by different terms in different regions. In earlier years, they were described as 'grassroots communities' or 'basic Christian communities'. Today, they are called 'house churches' in China, 'home churches' in Australia, 'basic ecclesial communities' in Latin America. Whatever their name, these close-knit groups of Christians function as bearers of good news and agents of hope in a troubled world. The Medellin bishops conference of 1968 praised the SCC as "the cell of the church and the radiating centre for its evangelizing efforts". Many Cells -- One Body reflects a life-time of interaction and correspondence with SCCs. In these extended families of fellowship and service, the author discerns the work of one Spirit in a multiplicity of circumstances. He demonstrates that each cell embodies the classic marks of a church that is one, holy, catholic and apostolic, yet he also shows that their form is remarkably flexible and radically non-hierarchical. He argues that this movement's departure from convention should be regarded not as a threat to traditional leadership but as a gift to the whole people of God.

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Author information

Ian M Fraser holds the degrees of MA, BD and PhD from Edinburgh University. He has served as an industrial labourer-pastor and parish minister of the Church of Scotland, as staff to Scottish Churches House and the World Council of Churches, and as the dean of Selly Oak Colleges, Birmingham, England. He has contributed transcripts of more than 300 interviews with members of SCCs in 95 countries to the library of Scottish Churches House and Council, Dunblane. Ian Fraser has been an active participant in the Iona community, one of the earliest modern SCCs, since 1941.