Churches Uniting In Christ

Reconciling the baptized, seeking unity with justice

COCU History

Consultation on Church Union

The Consultation on Church Union (COCU) was a 40-year-old dialogue that included nine U.S. Christian churches*. It formally ended its existence on January 19, 2002, the eve of the inauguration of its successor, Churches Uniting in Christ (CUIC).

COCU had its origins in a proposal made by the late Rev. Eugene Carson Blake, a high-ranking Presbyterian leader, in a historic sermon preached December  6, 1960, at Grace Episcopal Cathedral in San Francisco. Dr. Blake was invited to the cathedral pulpit by the late Bishop James K. Pike, then head of the Diocese of California.

Dr. Blake's sermon became front-page news. It envisioned a new church that would simultaneously be "truly catholic and truly reformed." Two years later, at COCU's first plenary, participants agreed to add a third description, "truly evangelical," to Dr. Blake's formula.

At COCU's organizational genesis in 1962, four churches were represented. Other bodies have since joined; two separate mergers involving member churches have taken place. 

CUIC now includes nine member churches: African Methodist Episcopal Church, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Episcopal Church, International Council of Community Churches, Presbyterian Church (USA), United Church of Christ and United Methodist Church. For more information about these churches, click on their icons on the Members page.

*The term denomination, while frequently used, is not accurate, as not all member-churches, or "communions," refer to themselves as denominations.