“As a communion, we have committed ourselves to covenant with all who face injustice,” said President Najla Kassab, addressing the first face-to-face Executive Committee meeting since 2019. Noting the meeting’s theme—“Covenanting in God’s Mission”—she said that it “speaks about a covenant that God has made with his people, and it is encouraging to see that the covenant with God is spelled out clearly in the lives of the people here on earth.”
Turning to Hosea 2:18, the Scripture on which the theme was based, Kassab said, “The text speaks about commitment, not for a short time but rather a commitment that God, who covenanted with his people, promises us a better tomorrow and will bring safety, justice, and shalom for all. This encourages us to be in covenant with all who are suffering, face poverty, and struggle to live with dignity.”
“The theme shows spirituality that works toward fulfilling change, where our commitments move us to action. Unless our spirituality meets the struggle of the people in their daily lives, in their pain, we become a poetic communion where we talk and express ourselves in nice words, but we do not help people move towards lived justice,” she continued.
“Despite all the challenges faced, we see that the Communion is alive in its programs, where there is great cooperation with other partners and valued financial commitment for the program work. This reflects the trust that we have built regarding handling the program’s work,” Kassab said.
But “we are challenged to rekindle the spirit of ‘financial responsibility and commitment’ of our churches towards the Communion. Paying membership fees is a strong statement of belonging to and empowerment for the Communion. It is a covenant relationship in the good and difficult times that we claimed when we joined the Communion,” she said.
Kassab also noted the importance of working with and through the regions to reach member churches, saying, “To encourage the work in the regions is at the heart of a strong Communion. The strength of the Communion is not centered in the global office, despite the capable staff who are fully committed to the work of the Communion; still, empowering the work in the regions goes side-by-side with the work on the global level of the Communion.”
“The COVID crisis is one that has impacted us all. We are called to be courageous leaders who provide hope to one another and try together to openly inspire hope,” she said.
“Brokenness will not have the last word; our challenges will direct us to a better reality that is even more beautiful. We will not hide the pain but rather work together to create a new reality. This new reality is made real by the work of the Communion on the local and global levels. How can we work together in a trusting relationship that will allow us to be enriched and live in a communal spirit that inspires hope?” Kassab concluded.
The WCRC Executive Committee is meeting 20-24 May 2023 at the Mannah Conference Center in Johannesburg, South Africa, with South African member churches graciously hosting.