An “understated revolutionist” has joined the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) as an intern for the next year.
Sharon Thiong’o, a member of Presbyterian Church of East Africa, sees the ecumenical movement as an important way to make a positive impact on the world. “Even though my efforts may not change much, my participation in the ecumenical movement gives me the opportunity to join my few drops of water with other Christians’ few drops, and at the end of the day have impact the size of an ocean,” she says.
Keen on social and economic justice, Thiong’o is looking forward to better understanding “how the church can make its witness more boldly in defending those oppressed in our communities along the lines of color, status, and background. Moreso, I would like to know how can the church proactively advocate for the rights of the people in regards to economic justice, especially for a just and equitable distribution of resources and fair tax system.”
A church youth leader even as a teenager, Thiong’o has been active in “campaigns for radical change in regards to the welfare of people back in campus and in the previous ecumenical movements I worked with,” she says.
As a trained accountant and financial manager, she understands the need for proper organizational structures in support of programmatic and activist work, but is looking forward to learning more while with the WCRC. “I would like to know better organizational systems and tools that are effective in achieving goals and sustaining objectivity despite the many challenges faced, but also, know what it takes to center all efforts and activities of an organization so that the ultimate vision of impact is perpetually achieved,” she says.
She doesn’t want the ecumenical work to remain at the global level. “I would like to know how local churches can strengthen their witness in a broken world and how their commitment to the people’s welfare and peace would ultimately lead them to believing in the good news of the gospel of Christ,” she says. “How does the church merge its good works with the greatest work ever done in history, the death and resurrection of Christ?”
“I understand that as a communion, the WCRC endeavors to deepen unity among its members as well as coordinate common initiatives to impact, reform, and transform the world,” she says. “I hope to see the fruit of this effort and witness the blessing of a united body of Christ in a world that desperately needs it.”
The WCRC internship program gives highly qualified young people an opportunity to gain valuable experience working with an international ecumenical organization. As part of the program’s leadership development goals, interns are given a variety of experiences and responsibilities within the WCRC. They provide project assistance for program offices, participate fully in staff teams, and are assigned executive-level projects for completion.
The program is sponsored by the Evangelische Mission Weltweit (EMW), as well as donations from member churches.