President urges continued perseverance

In her address to the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) Executive Committee, President Najla Kassab noted that the WCRC was born in 2010 at the Uniting General Council on the campus of Calvin University, where the 2024 Executive Committee is meeting.

“Today we celebrate how the Lord has been journeying with the Communion, and the challenge of becoming a ‘spiritual house’ remains what guides our journey, as Dr. Peter Bergdorff commended us to. He is remembered and missed today as we celebrate and honour the cloud of witnesses who have committed all efforts to grow together and strive to be a ‘spiritual house,’” she said.

“We are on the journey of living our spirituality on the streets, among those who are wounded and struggling, hoping to discern the role of the Communion enriched by mission from the margins,” she said. Zachary King and Najla Kassab “We are strengthened together in recognizing God’s blessings as we evaluate our work through the lens and hope that was kindled in this region and in this place and to discern together God’s guidance for our journey.”

Noting that the Executive Committee is meeting under the same theme as the 2025 General Council—Persevere in Your Witness—Kassab said, “Perseverance involves doing what is right and never giving in to temptation or trial. It is about conquering patience or endurance. It is the courageous acceptance of everything that life can do to us and the transmuting of even the worst event into another step on the upward path.”

“If we were to describe the journey of the Communion in the last years, one cannot help but see that it was a journey of perseverance,” she said. “This spirit of perseverance kindled in the Communion a new strength and inspired several people not to give up but to keep searching for a deeper understanding of our witnesses on the local and global level.”

“We are challenged to have a clear voice, that is beyond the influence of the media, which is guided by political agendas. People are caught by the spirit of ‘divisions and camps’ triggered by slogans such as pro-Islam, or antisemitic, or pro-Hamas and other slogans that crippled the Church and silenced her.

“We have become more occupied with words and terminology than focusing on content. People are dying, colonized, kidnapped, stepped on, and losing dignity, and the world is watching. This is what matters,” she said. “We hope that the theme of the coming General Council will lead our steps towards hearing the voice of the many whose witnessing is shaped by perseverance and to strive to mature in our witness as ‘spiritual house.’”

“Still, perseverance in our witnessing has given us courage to take brave steps as a Communion, to test new models in leadership and to do changes according to the prevailing situation. Perseverance has taught us ‘togetherness,’ and we are now able to move forward in confidence and with a hopeful spirit towards our next General Council, focusing on the talents available around the Communion and having our eyes focused on what serves the Communion,” she said.

The WCRC Executive Committee is meeting on the campus of Calvin University, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, 18-22 2024.

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