World Alliance of Reformed Churches News Release 26 February 2008
Kenya crisis a warning, WARC president tells Guyana gathering
The crisis in Kenya should serve as a warning for churches to be prophetic leaders in their communities, says Clifton Kirkpatrick, the president of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC).
He was speaking in Georgetown, Guyana, on 25 February at the opening worship of a joint assembly of the Caribbean and North American Area Council (CANAAC) of WARC and the Caribbean and North American Council for Mission (CANACOM).
â??Failure to be about the work of breaking chains of injustice has put things at the boiling point in Kenya. Kenya is an important warning to us of the consequences of waiting too long for our churches to be about ministries of integrity, justice and reconciliation.â??
Kirkpatrick warned that the issues at the heart of the recent problems in Kenya - where a political crisis led to many deaths and thousands being uprooted from their homes - are similar to those at work in numerous places around the world.
These problems include lack of integrity in public life, the need for land reform, a deep gap between rich and poor, and churches that are divided along ethnic lines, the latter a situation that made the churches in Kenya part of the recent problems.
â??These problems are not much different from our own,â?? he told delegates and partners from throughout the Caribbean and North America who had gathered at St. Andrewâ??s Kirk, Brickdam in Georgetown.
â??This is a wake up call for Kenyan churches - and for us. It is clear for the Kenyan churches that if there is going to be a future for their people, churches must take prophetic leadership for integrity, justice and reconciliation. The same is true for us in our settings.â??
Kirkpatrick, who is stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church (USA), led a World Council of Churchesâ?? (WCC) solidarity visit to Kenya earlier this month.
The joint assembly is hosted by WARC, the Guyana Congregational Union, the Guyana Presbyterian Church and the Presbytery of Guyana. The theme of the meeting is â??Breaking the Chains.â??
On 26 February the focus will be on covenanting for justice in the economy and the earth. Delegates will be engaged in critical analysis, reflection and discussion on economic and ecological justice, particularly in the Caribbean context.
The World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) brings together 75 million Reformed Christians in 214 churches in 107 countries - united in their commitment to making a difference in a troubled world. The WARC general secretary is Rev. Dr. Setri Nyomi of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana. WARC's secretariat is based in Geneva, Switzerland.
Contact: John P. Asling Executive Secretary, Communications World Alliance of Reformed Churches 150 Route de Ferney P.O. Box 2100 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland tel. +41.22 791 6243 fax: +41.22 791 6505 web: www.warc.ch