(By Dana Allin, Synod Executive for ECO). A few weeks ago, along with Jen Haddox and John Terech, I had the privilege of representing ECO at the General Council meeting of the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) in Leipzig, Germany. The General Council meets every 7 years and consists of delegates from 220 member churches from around the world. ECO became a member of the WCRC in 2013 with the endorsement from the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRC) and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC), who were already members.
There are many great advantages to being a member of WCRC. For example, it validates us as a Reformed denomination across the world. Several instances have occurred where churches or institutions on other continents have received ECO pastors because of our WCRC membership.
The WCRC does some fantastic work around the globe. It has helped be a voice for numerous churches that are in the midst of political persecution. It has also helped fight justice issues such as human trafficking.
A seat at the table
Being in a larger communion, however, is not free from challenges. It was certainly obvious the leadership of the WCRC has a very progressive agenda. Several times it was stated that there couldn’t be a separation between justice and evangelism. However, there was never talk about the evangelism part of that inseparable connection – and helping people come to know the Good News of Jesus Christ. The WCRC has also not taken a stance on human sexuality. However, the leadership from the front continued to push for inclusiveness of ordained leaders. In their eyes, it is a justice issue above an interpretation of Scripture issue. Biblical Integrity is one of ECO’s core values. Thus, when and if the WCRC’s agenda comes into conflict with our values, please note that we will assess our membership in that fellowship.