After a year-long effort from members, the Caribbean and North American Area Council (CANAAC) has finalized their strategic plan document, “Moving Forward towards 2022: Living Faithfully, Building Relationships as a Communion” which will guide the region’s work together.
“We felt it was necessary for us to produce this document as the standard bearer which reflects the main challenges impacting the church across our North-South spaces,” said Angela Martins, convener of the CANAAC Steering Committee. “It is our hope that this document establishes a legacy platform upon which the much-needed ecumenical work of CANAAC can be carried out in a sustainable manner into the future.”
The plan was based on the work done at the 2018 CANAAC General Assembly in Guyana and written by a committee of Assembly delegates. It is closely aligned to the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) “Strategic Plan: 2018-2024.”
The WCRC strategic plan focuses the Communion’s work through five interlocking dimensions: communion, justice, theology, mission, and ecumenical engagement and interreligious cooperation. The CANAAC plan takes each of these areas and focuses them on specific issues pertinent to the region.
“Our core intention is to strengthen the koinonia amongst our members, addressing critical issues in our region such as food safety and security, Indigenous and racial justice, and theological education,” said Martins.
CANAAC’s work will be focused through three working groups—communications, justice, and theology—along with the Steering Committee. The plan provides recommendations to accomplish the stated goals before the region’s next General Assembly, anticipated for 2022.
“We will also seek to acknowledge emerging issues, offering perspectives as support for our wider community of faith to enter into reflection as there is need to,” said Martins. “We believe, too, that there is need for us to identify existing materials or produce resources and helpful tools as we seek to support our member churches at the grass roots level.”
An initial emerging issue is the coronavirus pandemic, for which CANAAC has established a region-wide resource page on its website, is sharing weekly theological reflections online and through email messages and social media and is inviting CANAAC members to contribute to the support of all in the region.