The World Communion of Reformed Churches, representing Christians of the Reformed tradition from across the globe, held its most recent General Conference last July, meeting in Leipzig, Germany, in celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. While they were there, the WCRC signed onto the Joint Declaration of the Doctrine of Justification with Lutherans and Roman Catholics from around the world. What does this mean for the RCA? What does involvement in such worldwide ecumenical gatherings mean for local congregations and even denominational bodies in the United States?
On Thursday, February 15, the Reformed Church Center at New Brunswick Theological Seminary hosted “Called to Communion, Committed to Justice.” Lisa VanderWal, pastor of the Lisha’s Kill Reformed Church in Schenectady, New York, and a vice president of the World Communion of Reformed Churches, and Monica Schaap Pierce, RCA Associate for Ecumenical Relations, spoke about the major issues and reasons why they matter. Monsignor John A. Radano, Adjunct Professor of Systematic Theology in the School of Theology at Seton Hall University and a world-renowned Roman Catholic ecumenist, responded to their presentations.
Rev. Dr. Lisa Vander Wal, Pastor of Lisha’s Kill Reformed Church and Moderator of the RCA’s Commission on Christian Unity, has served on the Executive Committee of the World Communion of Reformed Churches since 2014 and was elected one of its Vice Presidents at the WCRC General Council in July, 2017.
Monica Schaap Pierce is Associate for Ecumenical Relations for the Reformed Church in America and a doctoral candidate at Fordham University. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with her husband, Steve, and her children.
Monsignor John A. Radano, Adjunct Professor of Systematic Theology in the School of Theology at Seton Hall University