On 9 December the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) will launch an extensive discernment process, “What does God require of us? Discerning, Confessing, and Witnessing in the Time of COVID-19 and Beyond.”
This year-long Communion-wide undertaking will build toward a face-to-face meeting in late 2021 and culminate in the WCRC collectively confessing a God of Life at its 2024 General Council.
“We have seen the world shaken by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the revealed crises of social, political, and economic injustices,” said Chris Ferguson, WCRC general secretary. “And throughout our WCRC family we see our churches both responding to the realities of COVID and all the social and economic fallout that it brought. But we also see them reinvigorating their life and witness in response to the imperatives of the Accra Confession and the call for an economy of life.”
The concept note states, “The WCRC in its call to communion and commitment to justice seeks to live faithfully to this calling in the time of COVID-19 and beyond and seeks to engage in a process of theological thinking and reflection. The process will involve and engage the whole Communion through creative online processes and discernment circles that will ensure the full and just participation of the Communion.”
Over the next year as the WCRC considers what God requires of the Communion, participants will walk through the liturgical calendar: discerning in Advent, confessing in Lent, witnessing in Pentecost, and opening up to being reformed in ordinary time. Seventeen online events are planned, four of which will mark each season and be open to the public.
A core group of 100 participants will be active throughout the year, directing the discernment process, and finally coming together at a conference in the latter half of 2021. Smaller events will focus on engaging constituencies within the Communion to ensure that all voices are heard.
The inaugural/commissioning session will take place on 9 December, 14:00-16:00 (CET). Included in this initial session will be how Communion members are dealing with challenges exacerbated by the pandemic, what steps the WCRC has already taken in reading the signs of the time and engaging with prophetic theology, and an overview of the planned discernment process itself.
All members of the Communion are invited to join this session through livestreams on the WCRC YouTube Channel or Facebook page (in English, French, and Spanish), participating through the commentary functions of either.
More information “What does God require of us? Discerning, Confessing, and Witnessing in the Time of COVID-19 and Beyond” can be found at: wcrc.ch/require.