In 1963, a group of Roman Catholics, in the context of Vatican II, saw a need to equip local leadership for the task of ecumenical ministry. In 1969, they invited leaders of other Christian communions to join them, and today the national ecumenical officers of the churches continue their oversight of the workshop, which is planned by national and local committees. There are both denominational and ecumenical sessions during the workshop.
This is the 40th year of the National Workshop on Christian Unity, which celebrates the spirit of ecumenism by:
* providing meeting seminars for all who are concerned with the ministry of Christian unity: laity, clergy, ecumenical officers, theologians, staff of ecumenical organizations;
* stimulating an exchange of ideas and experiences among people concerned with Christian unity and the bodies they represent;
* being a resource and balance between national planning and local responsibility; general ecumenical discussions and particular interchurch conversations; and regional leadership efforts and local realities;
* encouraging denominational networks to develop and serve as a framework within which they can interact;
* celebrating the unity that already exists among Christians and searching for ways to overcome the divisions that remain.
The logo for the National Workshop on Christian Unity was designed by the late John R. Fulton. The logo affirms the cross as central to Christian unity. On either side of the cross is the outline of a chalice, which represents the existing unity (although not complete) and the anticipated full communion, which is the goal of the ecumenical movement. The space between the chalice and cross suggests the hands of prayer embracing the reconciling cross.