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?
—Micah 6:8 (NRSV)
The WCRC Strategic Plan is the result of intense participation by our Communion to articulate the specific strategic vision emerging from the 2017 General Council in Leipzig, Germany—a vision that seeks to translate our core mission into the present tense and the present context for our global koinonia as it is “called to communion, committed to justice.”
The plan is lived out under the banner “Confessing the God of Life in a world fallen among thieves” and lifts up the four guiding verbs of our vocation: discerning, confessing, witnessing, and being reformed.
For the last four months we have as a worldwide family created a process to try to fully embrace these four active dimensions of our collective vocation in response to the pandemic and to the deeper, pre-existing reality of a “world fallen among thieves” (John 10:10).
Called “What does God Require of Us? Discerning, Confessing, and Witnessing in the Time of COVID-19 and Beyond,” we find ourselves profoundly engaged in a grace-filled moment of discernment in community using a virtual platform to share, discern, listen, witness, reflect, and in real terms deepen and strengthen our global koinonia as we build a more fully just and participatory koinonia.
In forming discernment circles where our Communion through its diverse regions, areas of work and witness, and voices and constituencies share and listen about the reality of the pandemic and its impact, we have received the powerful movement of Spirit and release of transformative prophetic imagination. The witness of our churches and communities in their diversity and specific character and often woundedness has revealed the suffering and brokenness of this world ravaged by empire and even more certainly has made plain the uprising of Spirit of Life as those who have been marginalized, destroyed, excluded, and dispossessed witness through their suffering to the power of the Resurrection in our history.
The voices of persons living with disabilities, the reality of Indigenous people, Palestinians, the struggles for gender justice, the death-dealing of economic injustice, the systemic horrors of white supremacy, and racial injustice have come to us as a rising up led by the Spirit and nurtured by the Good News of Jesus Christ so that all may have life abundantly.
The world situation continues to unfold, and the pandemic takes new and awful turns every day. Forward movement is often met with a new wave, another variant. The urgent crises that beset us and the systemic injustices saddle upon this world have not been able to keep down the uprising of the Spirit from below, from the broken one. In this time between Easter and Pentecost we are as a Communion left with the gift that allows us to embrace each other as we hear the cries of the people and earth community and at the same time see and feel the rising up—we embrace each other and embrace the question: What does God require of us? Micah answers: To do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.
Beset by crises—gifted with communion.
Thanks be to God.
(This article originally appeared in the April 2021 Reformed Communiqué.)