World: Reformation Sunday marks need for ongoing church renewal

Nyomi Setri World: Reformation Sunday marks need for ongoing church renewal

WCRC General Secretary Setri Nyomi

The church today needs to be a “living church” that continues to be renewed so that it can be a source of transformation in a dramatically changing world says the General Secretary of the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC).

“It is a tragedy, therefore, when we cling on to how we have always done things without opening ourselves to how the Lord of the church might want to renew the church,” Setri Nyomi writes in a message to WCRC member churches to mark Reformation Sunday, 30 October.

The last Sunday in October is the occasion for churches in the Lutheran and Reformed traditions to commemorate a key date in the Reformation movement in 16th century Europe. On 31 October 1517, Martin Luther, a Catholic cleric, posted a note of protest to a church door in Wittenberg, Germany ‒ an act that provoked reaction in church and state circles throughout Europe and fed into the movement that led to the creation of the Lutheran and Reformed churches.

Nyomi emphasizes in his message that today’s world is facing tough times, citing the economic crisis and natural disasters that have devastated communities worldwide.

“Racial, gender, economic, climate and other forms of vicious injustice continue to plague the world,” Nyomi writes. “In a world of this kind, the church needs to be a living church which is in touch with the gift of Reformation and continues to be renewed.”

Referring to WCRC’s commitment to programmes addressing economic, gender and climate concerns as an expression of Christian faith, Nyomi says: “As a communion (church family) committed to justice we cannot stay silent while people suffer injustice.

WCRC was created in June 2010 through a merger of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) and the Reformed Ecumenical Council (REC). Its 230 member churches representing 80 million Christians are active worldwide in initiatives supporting economic, climate and gender justice, mission, and cooperation among Christians of different traditions.