|World Communion of Reformed Churches|
|General Secretary||Chris Ferguson|
The World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) is the largest association of Reformed churches in the world. It has 233 member denominations in 110 countries, together claiming 100 million people, thus being the third largest Christian communion in the world after the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church.[failed verification] This ecumenical Christian body was formed in June 2010 by the union of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) and the Reformed Ecumenical Council (REC).
Among the biggest denominations in the WCRC are the Church of South India, Presbyterian Church of East Africa, Presbyterian Church of Korea, Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus, Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar, Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches, Protestant Church in Indonesia, Presbyterian Church (USA), Evangelical Church of Cameroon, Borneo Evangelical (SIB Malaysia) and the Protestant Church in the Netherlands. Its member denominations on the whole could be considered more liberal than the member denominations of the International Conference of Reformed Churches or the World Reformed Fellowship, which are also large ecumenical Reformed organizations.
After a two-day meeting ending on 1 February 2006, Douwe Visser, president of the Reformed Ecumenical Council, and Clifton Kirkpatrick, president of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, said in a joint letter to their constituencies, "We rejoice in the work of the Holy Spirit which we believe has led us to recommend that the time has come to bring together the work of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and the Reformed Ecumenical Council into one body that will strengthen the unity and witness of Reformed Christians."
After first calling the potential body "World Reformed Communion", this was modified into "World Communion of Reformed Churches".
A Uniting General Council of the WCRC, bringing the organization into existence, took place from 18-26 June 2010 at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States. The council focused on the "Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace" mentioned in Ephesians as its main theme, setting a tone of true mutual understanding and acceptance amongst member churches and associates, laying aside differences and other issues as they embark on this shared journey with one another as each seeks to discern the will of God and continue their struggle for justice and peace in the world.
The 2010 Uniting General Council stated that the WCRC should be "called to communion and committed to justice." Its two main program offices are thus focused on these aspects, with theological work included with communion. The Theology and Communion office serves as coordinator for official dialogues with other religious organizations, organizes a bi-annual Global Institute of Theology, and brings Reformed theological scholars together for various discussions. The Justice office promotes economic, ecological and human justice, basing much of its work on the Accra Confession, a statement adopted at the 2004 General Council of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and re-endorsed at the 2010 Uniting General Council.
The WCRC also has a General Secretariat which includes the general secretary's office, the communications office and other organizational responsibilities. The current general secretary is Chris Ferguson, a minister from the United Church of Canada. Through the General Secretariat, the WCRC is able to promote dialogue between churches, advocate for causes on a global scale and support the activities of its member churches through various means.
The global headquarters of the WCRC are located in Hanover, Germany, with a North American non-profit subsidiary based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Originally based in Genava, Switzerland, which played host to John Calvin and earned a reputation as the "Protestant Rome", the group's Executive Committee announced on 8 November 2012, that they would relocate the headquarters to Hanover, Germany, by December 2013, due to overbearing financial strains caused by the high value of the Swiss franc.
Chris Ferguson is a pastor, theologian and social justice advocate from the United Church of Canada. He was elected to the post of general secretary of the World Communion of Reformed Churches in May 2014, entering office on 1 August 2014, for a seven-year term. Previously Ferguson served as the international ecumenical advisor for the Programme for Ecumenical Accompaniment in Colombia (2011-2014), the World Council of Churches representative to the United Nations (2006-2010), the World Council of Churches' representative to Jerusalem (2004-2006) and the executive minister of the United Church of Canada's Justice, Global and Ecumenical Relations Unit and ecumenical officer (2002-2004).
This is a list of members of the World Communion of Reformed Churches as of February 2016:
The World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) and the Reformed Ecumenical Council (REC) have merged to form a new body representing more than 80 million Reformed Christians worldwide.