Pillay challenges Communion to get “hands dirty” in work for justice

In his address to the executive committee of the World Communion of Reformed Churches, President Jerry Pillay noted two particular challenges facing the world today—injustice and fragmentation—and called the Communion to “work for justice, peace and unity in the church and most significantly in the world.”

“The world is in crisis,” he said. “Our world is plagued by injustices and is dominated by greed.”

Moreover, “we do not live in a time of unity, whether in the world, in societies or in the lives of people. It is therefore not a time for unity in the church or for the ecumenical movement either,” he said.

Pillay noted that the injustices and disunity found throughout the world are also seen in the Middle East, where the executive committee is holding its meeting. For instance, “quite clearly as we look at the situation between Israel and Palestine it has a lot to do with human rights,” he said. But on the same issue “Christians are often divided about where they stand on this issue, some with Israel and others with Palestine.”

Yet these challenges can also be seen as an opportunity: “Crisis gives the WCRC the opportunity to restate and reclaim its focus on justice, peace and reconciliation,” he said.

Pillay held up both the confessions of Accra and Belhar as documents through which the WCRC can engage in justice and unity. “A living unity, real reconciliation and caring justice belong integrally together,” Pillay said.

“Our focus on the Accra Confession should help us to remain focused and faithful to our calling in addressing the injustices in the world today,” said Pillay. “It will also help focus us in our desire for unity within the Communion and with others as we continue in the endeavor of Christian unity.”

“Indeed this understanding of justice, peace and reconciliation and unity has deep implications for the WCRC in a variety of ways in how we relate to one another as member churches, how we work towards a true communion as we seek justice, peace and reconciliation and unity among ourselves,” he said.

“We need to put justice at the heart of our communion as we seek to get our ‘hands dirty,'” Pillay said.

The World Communion of Reformed Churches’ executive committee meets annually to provide oversight to the work of the WCRC, both programmatically and financially. It is holding its 2015 meeting over the next week outside of Beirut, Lebanon.

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