World Communion of Reformed Churches

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World Communion of Reformed Churches
World Communion of Reformed Churches logo.jpg
Logo of the WCRC
Type Communion
Classification Protestant
Orientation Reformed
General Secretary Chris Ferguson
Headquarters Hanover, Germany
Origin 2010
Members 80 million+
Official website www.wcrc.ch

The World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) is the largest association of Reformed churches in the world and the fifth largest Christian communion in the world, after the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Anglican Communion and the World Methodist Council.[1][2][3][4][5] It has 229 member denominations in 108 countries, together claiming 80 million people.[6] This ecumenical Christian body was formed in June 2010 by the union of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) and the Reformed Ecumenical Council (REC).[7]

Among the biggest denominations in the WCRC are the Presbyterian Church of Africa, Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, Presbyterian Church of East Africa, United Church of Canada, Presbyterian Church USA, Reformed Church in Hungary, Reformed Church in Romania, Protestant Church in Indonesia, and Church of Scotland. Its member denominations on the whole could be considered more liberal than the member denominations of the International Conference of Reformed Churches or the World Reformed Fellowship, which are also large ecumenical Reformed organizations.

History[edit]

After a two-day meeting ending on 1 February 2006, Douwe Visser, president of the Reformed Ecumenical Council and Clifton Kirkpatrick, president of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, said in a joint letter to their constituencies, "We rejoice in the work of the Holy Spirit which we believe has led us to recommend that the time has come to bring together the work of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and the Reformed Ecumenical Council into one body that will strengthen the unity and witness of Reformed Christians."

After first calling the potential body "World Reformed Communion", this was modified into "World Communion of Reformed Churches".

A Uniting General Council of the WCRC, bringing the organization into existence, took place from 18–26 June 2010 at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI, USA. The council focused on the "Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace" mentioned in Ephesians as its main theme, setting a tone of true mutual understanding and acceptance amongst member churches and associates, laying aside differences and other issues as they embark on this shared journey with one another as each seeks to discern the will of God and continue their struggle for justice and peace in the world.

Work[edit]

The 2010 Uniting General Council stated that the WCRC should be "called to communion and committed to justice." Its two main program offices are thus focused on these aspects, with theological work included with communion. The Theology and Communion office serves as coordinator for official dialogues with other religious organisations, organises a bi-annual Global Institute of Theology, and brings Reformed theological scholars together for various discussions. The Justice office promotes economic, ecological and human justice, basing much of its work on the Accra Confession, a statement adopted at the 2004 General Council of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and re-endorsed at the 2010 Uniting General Council.

The WCRC also has a General Secretariat which includes the general secretary's office, the communications office and other organisational responsibilities. The current general secretary is the Rev. Chris Ferguson, a minister from the United Church of Canada. Through the General Secretariat, the WCRC is able to promote dialogue between churches, advocate for causes on a global scale and support the activities of its member churches through various means.

The global headquarters of the WCRC are located in Hanover, Germany, with a North American non-profit subsidiary based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. Originally based in Genava, Switzerland, which played host to John Calvin and earned a reputation as the "Protestant Rome," the group's Executive Committee announced on November 8, 2012 that they would relocate the headquarters to Hanover, Germany by December 2013, due to overbearing financial strains caused by the high value of the Swiss franc.[8]

General Secretary[edit]

Chris Ferguson is a pastor, theologian and social justice advocate from the United Church of Canada. He was elected to the post of general secretary of the World Communion of Reformed Churches in May 2014, entering office on 1 August 2014, for a seven-year term. Previously Ferguson served as the international ecumenical advisor for the Programme for Ecumenical Accompaniment in Colombia (2011-2014), the World Council of Churches representative to the United Nations (2006-2010), the World Council of Churches' representative to Jerusalem (2004-2006) and the executive minister of the United Church of Canada's Justice, Global and Ecumenical Relations Unit and ecumenical officer (2002-2004).[9]

Members of the Communion[edit]

Red countries are home to at least one member of the World Communion of Reformed Churches

This is a list of members of the World Communion of Reformed Churches as of February 2016:[10]

t in Nigeria]]/Habaddiyar Ekklisiyar Kristi a Nigeria

References[edit]

  1. ^ Reformed Ecumenical Council
  2. ^ World Alliance of Reformed Churches
  3. ^ "Analysis: Damage done to Episcopal church". USA Today. 25 September 2007. Retrieved 25 April 2010. 
  4. ^ Major Branches of Religions
  5. ^ The Anglican Communion Official Website—Welcome
  6. ^ http://wcrc.ch/our-story/
  7. ^ "WCRC History". World Communion of Reformed Churches. Retrieved 23 March 2012. The World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) and the Reformed Ecumenical Council (REC) have merged to form a new body representing more than 80 million Reformed Christians worldwide. 
  8. ^ http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2012/november/protestant-rome-no-more-reformed-group-abandons-geneva.html
  9. ^ "An Interview with Chris Ferguson"
  10. ^ WCRC member churches
  11. ^ "ECO received as a member-church of WCRC" (June 3, 2013), The Layman Online. Accessed June 5, 2013.

External links[edit]