Stated Clerk Jeff Jeremiah and Dean Weaver represented the EPC at the Fourth General Assembly of the World Reformed Fellowship (WRF) in Sao Paulo, Brazil, March 23-27. The EPC has been a member of the WRF since 2000. Weaver is a member of the Committee on Administration and teaching elder from of the Presbytery of the Alleghenies.
The WRF General Assembly convenes every four years to take up the business of the Assembly and to consider matters of interest to the global Reformed and evangelical community. Concerns addressed at this year’s meeting included the challenges of Islam, the homosexual agenda, human trafficking, and poverty. Presenters included leaders of Reformed churches from Indonesia, China, Germany, Brazil, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.
Jeremiah noted that it was instructive to hear speakers from outside the United States address these topics. “Learning how our global brothers and sisters in Christ are addressing these challenging issues was really helpful,” he said.
Several other EPC leaders were involved in the Assembly.
In the opening session, Luder Whitlock, member of First Presbyterian Church in Orlando and former president of Reformed Theological Seminary, described the events in the 1980s and 90s that led to the formation of WRF in 2000. Whitlock is a founding member of the WRF. Rob Norris, Pastor of Fourth Presbyterian Church in Bethesda, Md., was re-elected to the Board of Directors. Chris Wright, 2012 EPC General Assembly Workshop speaker, delivered the devotional message each morning.
On March 25, Jeremiah and Weaver attended a special meeting of denominational leaders from the Americas, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe who attended the Assembly. The group discussed how an effective denominational fellowship might function, and formed a committee to explore how that would benefit each member denomination. Jeremiah agreed to serve on the committee.
Jeremiah also met with the Presiding Bishop of a Pentecostal denomination of 270 churches in Brazil. “He and the next generation of leaders in his church have ‘discovered’ Reformed theology, and He wanted to talk to me about becoming a Reformed Pentecostal denomination,” Jeremiah said, noting a high level of affinity among the other leaders at the Assembly.
“I can get excited about the EPC becoming a more energetic partner in the WRF,” he said, “because the values and commitments of this global group are consistent with ours.”
The WRF’s mission is to promote understanding, cooperation, and resource sharing among evangelical and Reformed Christians in the advancement of the gospel. The organization’s vision—citing Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 4:11-13—is that “the strengths of some might become the strengths of all in the service of Jesus Christ.”
Since its founding in 2000, the WRF has grown to include 69 denominations; 101 churches; 157 seminaries, schools, and other organizations; and 734 individual members from 74 countries. Individual WRF members include EPC leaders Bruce Anderson, Sharon Beekmann, Matt Brown, Gerrit Dawson, Corey Gray, Jason Harris, Dan Tidwell, Alan Trafford, and Dean Weaver.
For more information about the WRF, see www.wrfnet.org.