Communion strengthened in Indonesia

Running hospitals and schools, reforestation and climate justice, promoting gender justice, reaching remote people, interfaith dialogue, fighting human trafficking—the work and witness of the World Communion of Reformed Churches’ (WCRC) members in Indonesia are as diverse as the country itself.

Following a pair of consultations in Depok, Indonesia, WCRC executive staff met with more than a dozen Indonesian church leaders over two days before concluding their visit with the annual WCRC Reformation Day worship service in the Javanese Christian Church Jakarta (Gereja Kristen Jawa Jakarta), live-streaming it around the world.

“We thank God for the opportunities to enrich with the discussions that have taken place this week—on the climate crisis and on reading the signs of the times—which we hope will prepare the framework for the political and economic discussions of the 2025 General Council,” said Najla Kassab, WCRC president. “This is a time of regaining strength in our partnership. It is essential that we come together to see what the Lord requires of us. May this be a new beginning of cooperation, strength, and hope. Together we can make a difference.”

Sylvana Maria Apituley, WCRC vice-president and a member of the Protestant Church in West Indonesia (Gereja Protestan di Indonesia Bagian Barat (GPIB)), noted “how good it is to finally come together again post-pandemic.”

Indonesian member churches organized themselves into a regional body in 2012 as WCRC-Indonesia, and held their last meeting in 2018 on “Re-reading the Accra Confession in the Context of the Latest Global Geo-Political Context and its Effects to the Church, Society, and Nature.”

The COVID pandemic disrupted further plans and opportunities for gathering. “The purpose of this meeting is to reflect again on what our combined goals are,” said Apituley.

Church leaders provided updates on their current situations, including both their successes and challenges.

WCRC staff—Hanns Lessing, Min-Woo Oh, and Philip Vinod Peacock—in turn shared the current work and plans of the WCRC, including the upcoming General Council, to be held in 2025 in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

“Meeting in Indonesia is very important to all of us. This is an important time to voice the concerns and strengths of the church in Indonesia and Asia. This is why holding our General Council in the Asian context is very important,” said Kassab.

“This was a very good meeting to intensify the connections between the Indonesian churches and the rest of the Communion. It is a good first step,” said Lessing.

Participants agreed to continue to strengthen WCRC-Indonesia and to re-start the process to have the group be recognized as an official regional council by the WCRC.

The meeting with Indonesian church leaders was held 26-27 October.

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