Churches pledge to go global on economic and ecological justice

By staff writers
October 30, 2007

The World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC), which brings together 75 million Reformed Christians in 214 churches in 107 countries, has moved decisively to increase its global reach on economic and ecological justice issues.

At its recent executive meeting in meeting in Trinidad and Tobago, WARC agreed to hold a global strategic planning meeting with its key representatives from around the world by the end of 2008 to bolster current efforts of the Covenanting for Justice in the Economy and the Earth Project.

"Reflecting on experiences from each region represented in the Covenanting for Justice Network, that is Africa, Latin America and North America, covenanting for justice in the economy and the earth is integral to the mission of Reformed churches," the Network's report said.

It went on: "It is imperative that a global dialogue is convened with representatives (including youth) from the regions. This is necessary to ensure that the global linkages and strategic planning between regions related to living out the Accra Confession are not lost."

The Accra Confession is the major statement of the WARC's 24th General Council at Accra, Ghana, in 2004, which stated that resisting neoliberal economic globalization is essential to Christian faith.

WARC leaders also agreed to work with the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Council for World Mission (CWM) on poverty, wealth and ecology hearings being held around the world. "It is vital that this partnership continues in a systematic and coordinated way," the report stated.

There will also be efforts to mobilize new partners in the covenanting for justice movement to join with WARC, WCC and CWM. "We want to get others on board and engage people in our churches," declared Patricia Sheerattan-Bisnauth, executive secretary of the Office for Church Renewal, Justice and Partnership.

The Executive Committee also agreed to have the Gender Justice Network carry out a study on the role of ordained women and other women in leadership positions in WARC's churches. A study was last undertaken in the 1990s.

In addition a small group, including feminist theologians, pastors, economists and environmentalists will be established to review gender justice resources for WARC, with the goal of possibly developing regional workshops.

The WARC leaders also agreed to ask member churches to work ecumenically on gender justice in their countries and regions.

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