Communion points to 2025 General Council

Both programmes leading to the 2025 General Council and plans for the Council itself were endorsed by the Executive Committee during its 2023 meeting.

The World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) General Council will convene in October 2025 in Chiang Mai, Thailand, under the theme “Persevere in Your Witness.”

Much of the upcoming programmatic work of the WCRC will prepare the Communion for the Council, including incorporating the learnings and methods of the COVID & Beyond process; re-examining the meaning of the word “empire” as used in the Accra Confession; studying theologically what it means to be a “communion;” and developing resources based on the Council’s theme.

While special caucus groups for women, youth, Indigenous people, and people with disabilities will be more closely incorporated into the Council—rather than simply being pre-Council meetings—the Executive asked the General Council Planning Committee (GCPC) to review ways in which to re-imagine what the Council looks like in length and form, including utilizing virtual sessions prior to gathering physically.

Two special groups will be established to prepare for a pair of critical pieces of business at the Council:

  1. The Leadership Advisory Group will “discern the profiles of people needed to be considered for nomination to the Executive Committee” to “ensure that suitable candidates will be present” at the Council.
  2. The Public Issues Planning Group will “reach out to member churches to collect issues of concern, develop a methodology for the hearings, and develop a strategic approach to the public issues report.”

The Executive approved the creation of a Just Participation Fund to ensure that those who need financial assistance to attend can be supported; however, the Executive set a minimum participation fee of 1000 euros for those seeking such support. A registration fee of 500 euros for self-supporting delegates was also agreed.

In addition, a fundraising plan will be developed which “allows member churches and individuals to see possibilities to support the General Council” in a variety of ways. It was noted that the 2025 General Council will not be able to rely on government support as in 2017 and thus support from the whole of the Communion will be invited.

The Constitution and Membership Committee was tasked to review categories of membership in the Communion, which it will take up while reviewing the WCRC constitution and bylaws for any other possible amendments—which must be brought to the Council for consideration.

The Executive Committee was acting on reports from the GCPC and the Strategic Plan Programme Group during its meeting 20-24 May in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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