He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
What Does God Require of Us?
We live in apocalyptic times. The triad of the COVID-19 pandemic, racism and authoritarianism, and the climate crisis has not only placed our planet in a perilous predicament, but it also presents itself as kairotic moment for the Church. This is both in terms of the Church’s own self-understanding but also its mission.
In times of crises the Church is called to find orientation and hope in the Word of God. The prophet Micah emphasizes that in times that might appear to us as turbulent, desperate, and confusing the direction of Scripture is clear and straightforward. We know very well what is required of us: “to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).
Discerning, Confessing, Witnessing, and Being Reformed Together
The 2017 General Council marked a Communion-wide journey together to discern, confess, and witness to a God of Life in a world fallen among thieves so that we can continually be reformed. Over the last three years, the WCRC has carefully sought to bring these four verbs into its programmatic work. Through the RAN (Resisting Cultures of Discrimination, Authoritarianism, and Nationalism), Mission in the Context of Crisis and Marginalization, and Global Apartheid processes the Communion has been able to collectively discern that we are at the brink of a significant moment that necessitated deep theological thinking and reflection—a moment that has become even more apparent as the apocalypse of the pandemic unveils for us the deep inequalities that we are living in.
Living Faithfully in the Time of COVID-19 and Beyond
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 thus engaged in a process of theological thinking and reflection. The process involved and engaged the whole Communion through creative online processes and discernment circles that ensured the full and just participation of the Communion. These focused primarily on the regions, focus groups, as well as the programmatic foci of the WCRC.
Walking Together through the Liturgical Calendar
The liturgical calendar was used as a frame for the process, which began in December 2020 and continued for almost a year: discerning in Advent, confessing in Lent, witnessing in Pentecost, and opening up to being reformed in ordinary time. Videos of the theme plenary sessions, as well as highlight booklets of each circle are available through the links below:
A Communion-Wide Process
The programme gave space to WCRC regions, focus groups, and programme networks to engage with the crisis. Throughout all events, a discernment process was applied that addressed the urgency, gathered the learnings, and sharpened the message. A future conference shall not be a moment of closure, but an event to channel the energy for the life of the Communion. At the conference the Communion will account for itself and will prepare an agenda leading to the 2024 General Council.