We are grateful to the World Council of Churches for providing the opportunity to bring many of us together with a number of their own members. We believe that our search for the unity of the Church and the churches is a work of the Holy Spirit of God. We have been struck by the different ways that the Holy Spirit has been breaking down artificial barriers which have frequently stood between us, such as the racial barriers which have stood so long between Black, Hispanic, and White Pentecostals in North America. We believe that we too, have heard the voice of the Spirit calling us together in these days. From North and South, from different races and cultures, with different histories, and with different gifts, the Holy Spirit is calling us to bear witness to what God has been doing in the Pentecostal movement.

We stand in awe before our God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, coming to the realization that it is not simply our human frailty, or our intellectual openness that brought us together in this meeting. The Spirit of God led us here to converse together with Christians from the World Council of Churches. Some of us have been joyfully surprised to discover the fact that the Holy Spirit has done the same work in bringing our sisters and brothers of the World Council of Churches to San Jose, Costa Rica. Through worship, Bible reading, prayer, singing, sharing our testimonies, and even confrontation, we have experienced a new Koinonia of the Holy Spirit together. This experience has made us thirsty for more such encounters.

Our concern is that the momentum of discovery, encounter, and exchange between Pentecostals and members of the World Council of Churches begun in the 1994 meeting in Lima, Peru, and continued in the present meeting will not be lost. We believe that this meeting has challenged us to seek greater exchanges between Pentecostals throughout the world, especially between Pentecostals throughout the Americas, North, Central, and South, but also between Pentecostals and other people who name the name of Jesus Christ.

We recognize in a new and profound way the breadth and richness of our diversity, which raises new challenges for how we speak about Pentecostalism. We have been made self conscious about any attempt to describe Pentecostalism as though it were a uniform movement of people and ideas, and have been challenged to think of ourselves with more variety. Nevertheless, we recognize that being together, in unity made real by the Holy Spirit, informs our diversity. In light of this diversity, we are aware of the need to better employ our theologians in assisting us in reflecting upon, interpreting, and articulating our Pentecostal identity and our diversity to the World.

In this meeting with the WCC, we have discussed and debated a number of mutual concerns. We were challenged, for instance, to consider how Pentecostals have sometimes proselytized other Christians. This has brought offense to the Gospel as well as to them. We shared with our conversation partners the ways in which their theological institutions, which claim to support the ecumenical vision of the church, have frequently proselytized through the educational process Pentecostal students who have been drawn to their institutions for theological education. We also discussed the ways in which the World Council of Churches has been represented in media and in print, sometimes portraying an image that is contrary to what the World Council of Churches represents. However, this meeting has been important to begin to dispel our misconceptions of one another. It is our hope that in future interactions that progress will be made in our understanding and appreciation of our Christian faith.