Even in the midst of the pandemic and continuing injustices around the globe, “the Communion is called to remain the voice of the struggling and to believe as churches that through our communion we can make a difference,” said Najla Kassab, president of the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC).
Kassab was reflecting on the challenges that the WCRC’s next general secretary will face. Current General Secretary Chris Ferguson completes his term of service next year, and a General Secretary Search Committee is accepting applications for his successor until 30 November. It is anticipated that the next general secretary will be elected at the 2021 Executive Committee meeting.
“The Communion’s role is to hear our members’ pain and provide support on different levels, spiritually and financially,” Kassab said. “Also, the Communion is needed to continue the journey towards justice on several issues that the WCRC is involved with and to prevent the coronavirus to be dominant over all other injustices.”
“Today more than any other time the need to be connected is vital,” she said. “I believe the general secretary has a key role in building trust and motivation among churches, through making sure that the voice of the struggling is heard, and the unjust issues are tackled seriously.”
When considering specific challenges, Kassab said, “the next general secretary must use new methods for strengthening the Communion, including creatively challenging the Communion to develop new ways for impacting churches.”
“As in many ecumenical organizations the general secretary will be challenged to keep the motivation of the churches to be involved beyond their traditional boundaries and trust that this is central to their faith,” she said. “Since many churches are facing their own challenges, they tend to withdraw to isolation. How to keep the spirit of reaching out alive for communal, ecumenical work remains a challenge.”
Kassab believes that centering the work of the WCRC through the regions will be crucial, “balancing WCRC involvement with all regions—and taking their concerns and issues seriously.”
She also noted that, “finances are another challenge, but with commitment, clarity, and vision this can be faced.”
Thankfully the new general secretary won’t be working alone. “The general secretary is supported with a well-equipped staff, encouraging officers, supportive Executive Committee members, and a challenging strategic plan,” she said.
“Working together in the spirit of discernment allows the coming general secretary to have a team around the Communion that can be a source of empowerment strength and enrichment by the many talents present,” Kassab said.
Full information on the general secretary search, including qualifications, job description, and application directions can be found here: wcrc.ch/search