World Communion of Reformed Churches
The World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) is the largest association of Calvinist churches in the world. It has 230 member denominations in 108 countries, together claiming an estimated 80 million people, thus being the fourth-largest Christian communion in the world after the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Communion (see list of denominations by membership). 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).
|World Communion of Reformed Churches|
|General Secretary||Chris Ferguson|
Among the biggest denominations in the WCRC are the Church of South India, Presbyterian Church of East Africa, Presbyterian Church of Korea, Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus, Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar, Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches, Protestant Church in Indonesia, Presbyterian Church (USA), Evangelical Church of Cameroon, Borneo Evangelical (SIB Malaysia) and the Protestant Church in the Netherlands. 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 Calvinist organizations.
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 Calvinist 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, located at Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States. 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.
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 organizations, organizes a bi-annual Global Institute of Theology, and brings Calvinist theological scholars together for various discussions. The Justice office promotes economic, ecological and human rights, 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 organizational responsibilities. The current general secretary is 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. 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 8 November 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.
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).
This is a list of members of the World Communion of Reformed Churches as of February 2016:
- Evangelical Church of the Helvetic Confession in Austria/Evangelische Kirche HB (Reformiert) in Österreich
- Church of Bangladesh
- Evangelical Reformed Presbyterian Church in Bangladesh
- Burkina Faso
- Association of Reformed Evangelical Churches of Burkina Faso/Eglise evangelique reformee du Burkina Faso
- Central African Republic
- China, Hong Kong
- China, People's Republic of
- China Christian Council (associate member)
- Congo, Democratic Republic of the
- Evangelical Community in the Congo/Communaute evangelique du Congo
- Presbyterian Community in the Congo/Communaute presbytérienne au Congo
- Presbyterian Community of Eastern Kasai/Communaute presbyterienne du Kasai oriental
- Presbyterian Community of Kinshasa/Communaute presbyterienne de Kinshasa
- Presbyterian Community of Western Kasai?/Reformed Presbyterian Community in Africa/Communauté presbytérienne au Kasai occidental/Communauté presbytérienne réformée en Afrique
- Reformed Community of Presbyterians/Communauté Réformée des Presbyteriens
- Congo, Republic of the
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Dominican Republic
- Evangelical Church of Egypt (Synod of the Nile)/El-Kanisah El-Injiliyah
- El Salvador
- Equatorial Guinea
- Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus/Ye Etiopia Wangelawit Betakristian Makane Yesus
- Malagasy Protestant Church in France/Eglise Protestante Malgache/Fiangonana Protestanta Malagasy
- National Union of Protestant Reformed Evangelical Churches of FranceEglises protestantes réformées évangeliques de France (UNEPREF, formerly EREI)
- Reformed Church of Alsace and Lorraine/Eglise Réformée d'Alsace et de Lorraine
- United Protestant Church of France/Église protestante unie de France
- Reformed Church in Hungary/Magyarországi Református Egyház
- Christian Church in Central Sulawesi
- Christian Church in Luwuk Banggai
- Christian Church in South Sulawesi
- Christian Church of Southern Sumatra (GKSBS)
- Christian Church of Sumba (GKS)
- Christian Churches of Java
- Christian Evangelical Church in Bolaang Mongondow?
- Christian Evangelical Church in Minahasa
- Christian Evangelical Church in Timor
- Church of Toraja Mamasa (GTM)
- The East Java Christian Church
- Evangelical Christian Church in Halmahera
- Evangelical Christian Church in West Papua
- Evangelical Church in Kalimantan
- Indonesia Christian Church
- Indonesian Protestant Church in Buol Toli-Toli
- Indonesian Protestant Church in Donggala
- Indonesian Protestant Church in Gorontalo
- Javanese Christian Churches (GKJ)
- Karo Batak Protestant Church (GBKP)
- Pasundan Christian Church
- Protestant Christian Church in Bali
- Protestant Church in Indonesia
- Protestant Church in the Moluccas
- Protestant Church in Southeast Sulawesi
- Protestant Church in West Indonesia
- Sangihe-Talaud Evangelical Church
- Toraja Church
- Synod of the Evangelical Church in Iran
- Korea, Republic of
- Reformed Church in Latvia/Evangeliska Reformatu-Braju Draudze
- Marshall Islands
- Evangelical Church in Morocco/Eglise évangélique au Maroc
- Evangelical Church of Christ in Mozambique/Igreja Evangelica de Cristo em Mocambique
- Presbyterian Church of Mozambique/Igreja Presbiteriana de Moçambique
- Reformed Church in Mozambique/Igreja Reformada em Mocambique
- United Church of Christ in Mozambique/Igreja de Christo Unida em Mocambique (Ex-Missao American Board)
- The Netherlands
- New Caledonia
- New Zealand
- Christian Reformed Church of Nigeria
- Evangelical Reformed Church of Christ
- Presbyterian Church of Nigeria
- Reformed Church of Christ in Nigeria
- United Church of Christ in Nigeria/Habaddiyar Ekklisiyar Kristi a Nigeria
- Universal Reformed Church of Christ (formerly Church of Christ in the Sudan Among the Tiv/Nongo u Kristu u ken Sudan hen Tiv)
- The Philippines
- Reformed Evangelical Church in Poland/Kosciol Ewangelicko-Reformowany w Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej
- Serbia, Republic of, and Montenegro, Republic of
- Solomon Islands
- South Africa
- Dutch Reformed Church (DRC)/Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk (NGK)
- Dutch Reformed Church in Africa (DRCA)/(NGKA)
- Dutch Reformed Church of Africa/Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk van Afrika (NHKA)
- Evangelical Presbyterian Church in South Africa
- Peoples Church of Africa/Volkskerk van Afrika
- Presbyterian Church of Africa
- Reformed Church in Africa, South Africa
- United Congregational Church of Southern Africa
- Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa
- Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa/ Verenigende Gereformeerde Kerk in Suider Afrika
- Maranatha Reformed Church of Christ
- South Sudan
- Sri Lanka
- Dutch Reformed Church in Sri Lanka
- Presbytery of Lanka
- Protestant Church of Switzerland or (Evangelisch-reformierte Kirche Schweiz, Église évangélique réformée de Suisse, Chiesa evangelica riformata in Svizzera, Baselgia evangelica refurmada da la Svizra)
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
- Christian Reformed Church in North America
- Cumberland Presbyterian Church
- Cumberland Presbyterian Church in America
- ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians (provisional member)
- Evangelical Presbyterian Church
- Hungarian Reformed Church in America
- Korean Presbyterian Church in America
- Lithuanian Evangelical Reformed Church/Lietuviu Evangeliku Reformatu Baznycia-JAV
- Presbyterian Church (USA)
- Reformed Church in America
- United Church of Christ
- Presbyterian Church of Vietnam
- "Called to communion. Committed to justice" (PDF). World Communion of Reformed Churches. Retrieved 7 August 2021.
- "World Communion of Reformed Churches | World Council of Churches". www.oikoumene.org. Retrieved 3 August 2021.
- "WCRC History". World Communion of Reformed Churches. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
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 Calvinist Christians worldwide.
- "'Protestant Rome' No More: Reformed Group Abandons Geneva"
- "An Interview with Chris Ferguson"
- WCRC member churches
- "ECO received as a member-church of WCRC" (June 3, 2013), The Layman Online. Accessed June 5, 2013.