From 28 to 30 August 2023, the delegations of the European Baptist Federation (EBF) and the Communion of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE) met to evaluate the results of the theological dialogue and cooperation of the past years and to consider joint next steps towards each other. Both the long-standing relationship of the EBF and the CPCE and the hospitable reception at the Elstal Theological College, which is run by the Union of Evangelical Free Churches in Germany, contributed to the open and excellent atmosphere.
Preparations for an official doctrinal dialogue between the EBF and CPCE began 25 years ago. A first round took place between 2002 and 2004. On this basis, CPCE and EBF agreed in 2010 to "become mutually cooperating bodies" and to formalise their cooperation. At the evaluation meeting the outcome of the dialogue between the EBF and the CPCE from 2004 was discussed intensively and openly.
In Elstal both sides emphasised the success of their relationship history so far and celebrated its reliability and effectiveness. Over time, the fields of practical cooperation have grown, especially in socio-ethical and socio-political questions. In theological issues new approaches and perspectives have been developed in various bilateral dialogues at global, regional and local level in recent years, which are promising for a further rapprochement between the EBF and CPCE. The fifteen delegates agreed to recommend to their respective bodies that the doctrinal dialogue between CPCE and EBF be resumed after twenty years. The previous cooperation is to be continued in any case.