As the name implies, the Universal Christian Conference of Life and Work, held in Stockholm in 1925, aimed to unify different Christian churches in a common work mission. On August 19th, more than 600 delegates from thirty-seven countries came together for the conference. The delegates were received by the King and Queen of Sweden. In his memorable address, the King stated, “It is in the hearts of men that we must lay the foundation for peace and for mutual trust within the community as well as between the peoples.”[1]

The conference addressed themes such as “The Obligation of the Church in the Light of God’s Plan for the World,” “The Church and Economic and Industrial Problems,” “The Church and Moral and Social Problems,” “The Church and Education,” and “Ways and Means for Promoting Cooperation between the Churches.” A central figure in this conference was Archbishop Söderblom of Sweden. Overall, Life and Work had far less diversity in representation than subsequent ecumenical meetings. Life and Work encompassed only thirteen white American denominations, one African American denomination, and a handful of Asian and African churches.[2]



[1] Rouse, Ruth. The History of the Ecumenical Movement: 1517-1948. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1968, 360-361.

[2] Cavert, Samuel McCrea. The American Churches in the Ecumenical Movement: 1900-1968, New York: Association Press, 1968, 127-128.