Document date:  7.07.2010
Congratulations to the president-elect of the World Communion of Reformed Churches

To the Rev. Dr Jerry Pillay
General secretary of the Uniting Presbyterian Church in South Africa

Geneva, 07 July 2010

Dear Jerry,

I greatly appreciated the opportunity to meet and talk with you at the Uniting General Council meeting in Grand Rapids, and to share in that experience of unity and joy. Today I write to congratulate you formally on your election as president of the World Communion of Reformed Churches. I know that this is no small engagement on your part, given your responsibilities to your own church, to the CWM, to so many undertakings on behalf of both church and society.

Your ecumenical commitment was apparent in Grand Rapids, a commitment that is true to the history of Reformed, Congregational and Presbyterian alliances over the years. One of the earliest calls for such an international alliance, issued in 1873, encouraged the formation of an “ecumenical council” made up of “sister churches” holding the same doctrinal standards. It was by means of such exploration of the meaning of ecumenism that the way was prepared for the Edinburgh missionary conference of 1910 and the modern ecumenical movement embracing so many churches and confessional traditions. This history, like the WCRC, is a gift from God for the sake of unity.

We in the World Council of Churches look forward to ever deeper conversations and cooperation with you and with the WCRC, its member churches and its sister Christian communions. I trust that the open and direct communication that characterized our interaction in Grand Rapids will flourish and bear fruit in the context of the wider movement toward Christian unity.

May the World Communion of Reformed Churches become a vibrant force for the proclamation of the gospel, the realization of what it means to be one in Jesus Christ, the development of more effective means of service to God and neighbour in the spirit of Christian love.

With all best wishes and strong hopes for your ministry,

Sincerely yours,

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
WCC general secretary