WARC and LWF Urged to Strengthen Ecumenical Ties

The 77-million member WARC and the 62-million member LWF urged to grow together in the near future through the joint Lutheran-Reformed Commission
( [email protected] ) Sep 06, 2004 04:48 PM EDT

The head of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) expressed hopes that the council of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) would further strengthen the ecumenical relationship with the reformed body of churches. The Rev. Dr Setri Nyomi, who was recently reelected to a 7 year post as the WARC general secretary, said further action must be taken on the recommendations of the Lutheran-Reformed Joint Working Group, during the LWF Council in Geneva, Switzerland, on September 5, 2004.

“I hope as soon as it is workable, different levels of our governing bodies will be able to meet together in the near future,” Nyomi said.

Ultimately, Nyomi said the Christian world communions and ecumenical organizations face similar challenges, and should walk toward the direction of being united. Nyomi stressed his point through the theme of the LWF Council gathering: “Growing Together, Growing Apart.”

I hope the LWF Council would be taking “many far reaching decisions in that direction of growing together within the Reformation family,” said Nyomi

The Joint Lutheran-Reformed Commission initiated in 2001 with a report entitled, “Called to Common Communion and Common Witness.” The Commission is responsible for a study project on structures of church communion, reflecting on the diversity and “complementarity” of ecclesiological approaches within the two families, and establishing connection within new forms of communion.

Currently, there are four churches that go under the banner of both the LWF and the WARC: namely the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus; Evangelical Church of the River Plate, in Argentina; the Church of Lippe, in Germany; and the Malagasy Protestant Church in France. In addition, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Kingdom of the Netherlands merged with the country’s two largest Reformed churches to form the Protestant Church in the Netherlands.

The WARC has churches in over 100 countries in the world, comprising over 75 million Congregational, Presbyterian, Reformed and United Christians. The LWF has 136 member churches in 76 countries around the world, representing some 62.3 million Lutherans.

The LWF Council, which meets annually, began on Sept 1, and is due to end Sept 7, 2004.