Mission and Evangelism in churches. Decolonising teology in the global North, but with the presence of the South


Dr. Peter Cruchley visits Argentina-
Since June 2022, Rev. Dr. Peter Cruchley is the new director of the World Mission and Evangelization Comission. During his visit to Buenos Aires in March, he worked and planned with the churches of the reformed communion in Latin America and agreed to be interviewed by us. In the interview, the bishop, pastor Américo Jara Reyes, participated
representing the Argentine Evangelic Methodist Church.

Rev. Dr. Peter Cruchley, director of the World Church Council (WCC) Comission on World Mission and Evangelisation is a missionary theologist from the UK (Wales); British, born to missionary parents in what used to be the predecesor of the Council for the World Mission: the London Missionary Society. He is a minister of the United Reformed Church in the UK and is currently the secretary of the mission for the Mission Development with the Council for the World Mission.

This Comission of World Mission and Evangelisation pertaining to the WCC, formed by 35 members appointed by the Central Comission of the World Mission and Evangelisation from the WCC, promotes the holding of conferences, counseling and visits, mailing and other forms of contact, in the best interest of the mission and the unity of all Christians.

After a brief description of the work that has been done with different bonded churches of the reformed and presbiterian communion in the continent, we could go deep into topics that are crucial for the comprehension of the mission that churches today need to carry out.

A key issue was the discussion wether financial inequalities between the Southern and Northern countries represent a significant inconvenience when it comes to developing work strategies in mission and evangelisation, or if it is a topic that enriches opinions and actions.

Likewise, Dr. Cruchley says: “I cannot imagine a mission of the WCC without a link with Latin America, in this context I am referring to the theology of liberation and its contributions all these years, together with other very valuable elements.” Furthermore, Dr. Cruchley reinforces his deep interest for everything that Latin America can share.

Partially, his interest and concerns towards the region is its lack of significant presence today in the World Church Council, as it used to be decades ago, when the region was really involved in the key issues of the Council.

Dr. Cruchley reasons that the path of active exchange must be started and resumed, if necessary, and, in this sense, he appreciates that the initative to propose this brief meeting has been taken to know his opinion on the continente. An active exchange through wich to share thoughts both academic and pastoral, from the context of theology that involves more people. Likewise, it is important to organise online conversations to analyse how we conduct ourselves and find necessary debates surrounding issues like fundamentalisms and others of equal magnitude.

His specific area that he performs with his five-member team from different experiences and parts of the world focuses on the issues regarding native peoples, for example in Canada, and also, in connection, the issue of “decolonisation” of theology, where, as he sees it, tthe challenge of addressing this issue in particular is that “the North needs to
address this with the presence of the South, since this collaboration is key for the debate and contribution of ideas and experiences in this sense.”

“We needed mission partners that help us reach a better understanding here in Latin America of these issues and give them the appropriate framework on how to work on them,” and then he concludes: “I appreciate that you have taken the initiative so we could talk during this time. I want you to feel that you have a partner in me and that we can think
together about how we can keep in touch in the future.”

To this collaborative work vision, the acknowledgement to the pastor of the United Lutheran Evangelic Church Mariela Pereyra is added, since, together with Laura Piedimonti, lawyer of the Methodist Evangelic Church in Argentina, forms part of the Central Committee of the WCC in the years to come.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *