The World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) and the Reformed Ecumenical Council (REC) announced recently that both groups will dissolve and create a new body called the World Reformed Communion. The Christian Reformed Church in North America is a member of both groups.
By the time member denominations of the two groups review the proposal and respond, it is expected that the unification process could take 5-10 years.
The two presidents of the organizations, Douwe Visser of REC and Clifton Kirkpatrick of WARC, wrote in a joint letter, “The time has come to bring together the work of the World Alliance and the Reformed Ecumenical Council into one body that will strengthen the unity and witness of Reformed Christians.”
Geneva-based WARC currently has 218 member churches with about 75 million believers in 107 countries. The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based REC has 40 member churches with about 12 million believers in 25 countries. Twenty-seven of REC’s member denominations also hold membership in WARC.
Setri Nyomi, general secretary of WARC, hailed the recommendation. “We praise God for this historic development. In a world filled with divisions, the Reformed family is signaling with this proposal that we are ready to move beyond our divisions,” he said.
His comments were echoed by Richard van Houten, REC’s general secretary: “In the new World Reformed Communion, it is my prayer that our love and care for each other and our witness in the world will get an even better vehicle for expression than our two organizations separately have been.”
(Files from RNS and ENI)