Canadian elected as new General Secretary for world’s Reformed churches

 — May 18, 201418 mai 2014
From the WCRC and WCC News

The Reverend Christopher Ferguson has been elected as the next General Secretary of the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC).

Ferguson was elected by the WCRC Executive Committee after an extensive search process. The WCRC, an ecumenical organization based in Hannover, Germany, represents Reformed, Congregational, Presbyterian, Waldensian, United and Uniting churches, most of them in the Global South, while working with a particular focus on issues of environmental, social and economic justice. The Executive Committee, the governing board of the WCRC, is holding its annual meeting in Hannover, Germany, 11-18 May. It is composed of 30 members from around the world.

“The WCRC is at the edge of a new moment of renewal and transformation. It is exciting and uplifting to be called to be part of this renewed commitment to communion and justice,” said Ferguson.

“I’m convinced Chris Ferguson will be an outstanding general secretary,” said Clifton Kirkpatrick, convener of the search committee. “I look forward to great things for the WCRC under his leadership.”

“It is critical that in this new location we have somebody who has solid ecumenical networking to sustain the visibility and work of the WCRC. Chris has this, as well as ecumenical experience on all levels, from the local to the global,” said Jerry Pillay, president of the WCRC. Ferguson, the World Council of Churches’ former representative to the United Nations in New York, a theologian and pastor in the United Church of Canada, was installed on Sunday 18 May as WCRC general secretary by Jerry Pillay, WCRC president, in a ceremony at the Reformed Church in Hannover.

Ferguson, 61 this week, was born in Canada, ordained to the ministry in the United Church of Canada, and has served in ministry in Canada, the Middle East, various parts of Latin America, and at the United Nations.

“I’m very delighted that Chris has been elected,” said the outgoing WCRC general secretary, Rev. Dr Setri Nyomi of Ghana. “I think he will bring gifts to move this organization forward as a communion committed to justice. I’ve known Chris for many years and believe he is the right person for this position in this time and place.”

“As a communion of churches deeply committed to justice, the long tradition of this ministry is well assured with the election of Rev. Chris Ferguson. His gospel commitment to social justice, economic justice and peace-building will surely be a hallmark of his leadership,” said the WCC’s general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit in a message that was read at the installation.

The member churches of the WCRC may be “encouraged at this time to be served by another general secretary with the gift of pastoral solidarity. One who will listen to, accompany and honour the experience of each member church,” Tveit said. “Rev. Chris Ferguson has spent a lifetime of solidarity with people seeking justice and struggling for peace around the world,” Tveit added, acknowledging Ferguson’s long experience and engagement with the ecumenical movement. Tveit went on to say that the WCC and the WCRC share a “common vision for unity and justice” and will continue collaborating together as part of the one ecumenical movement.

Ferguson will take up his responsibilities later this year. Nyomi has served the maximum of two terms (14 years) as the general secretary of both the WCRC and its predecessor organization, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches. He will remain in office through the end of August. Ferguson and his wife Susan will relocate from Bogota, Colombia, to Hannover this summer. He will begin his duties on 1 August, providing for a month’s transition time with Nyomi.

Posted: May 18, 2014 • Permanent link:
Categories: NewsIn this article: World Communion of Reformed Churches
Transmis : 18 mai 2014 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : World Communion of Reformed Churches

  Previous post: Ancien article : New initiatives explore relationships between ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue
  Newer post: Article récent : Anglican-Catholic talks make progress in South Africa