Background of the Worshiping The Triune God statement

An overview and introduction of 'Worshiping the Triune God,' a statement of faith and wisdom on worship and spirituality produced by the World Alliance of Reformed Churches.

In June, 2010, Calvin College was the host institution for a historic gathering of churches in the Reformed tradition around the world. At this gathering, the World Communion of Reformed Churches was born through a merger of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) and the Reformed Ecumenical Council (REC). Meeting from June 18-28, WCRC delegates launched a landmark effort to unite Christians for common witness and service to the world. The World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) links Christians in 108 countries around the world, bringing together some 80 million Reformed Christians worldwide. Its 230 member churches are Congregational, Presbyterian, Reformed and United churches originating in the 16th-century Reformation led by John Calvin, John Knox and others.

“Worship and Spiritual Renewal” was one of the nine Sections that that met in June to consider ways the WCRC could be of service to the larger church of Jesus Christ (Others Sections being Reformed identity, theology, and communion; Christian unity and ecumenical engagement ; Justice in the economy, the earth, and all God’s creation; Leadership development and nurture; Gender justice; Youth empowerment ; Mission; and Working for peace and reconciliation).

Delegates to the Worship and Spirituality Section met to consider a draft of the document Worshiping the Triune God: Receiving and Sharing Christian Wisdom Across Continents and Centuries.” An international worship planning team that was responsible for daily worship at the Assembly was also given the mandate to draft a statement on worship and spirituality for the Assembly to consider in response to mandates from both the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (2004) and the Reformed Ecumenical Council (2005). The committee—with representatives from Argentina, the Caribbean, Egypt, Germany, Indonesia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Scotland, and the United States, met by email as well as in two face-to-face meetings right after the 2009 and 2010 Calvin Symposiums on Worship.

In preparation for their work, the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship assisted the committee by sending a questionnaire to all member churches of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and the Reformed Ecumenical Council, asking them to describe their concerns and joys with respect to worship and spirituality, and compiling the results. Responses were received from every corner of the globe. They described many common worship concerns, convictions, and practices, and formed the basis for work of the committee in shaping a draft of the document below. During the June, 2010 meeting of the WCRC, the document was further developed by the delegates, and the current 2010 edition was adopted unanimously by WCRC and commended to member churches for study and reflection. The document is adaptable, and promises to serve as a catalyst for ongoing learning and sharing among member churches, a means by which we can encourage each other to “grow in grace and knowledge in the Lord Jesus.” It has already been translated into Bangla, French, German, and Spanish, and translations are planned for other languages as well; they will all be posted on the WCRC website as they become available.

Consider ways you may study and contribute to the discussion, by inviting your worship committees, elders, and groups of pastors to study this document together.

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