SDAs Dialogue With World Alliance of Churches

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Conversation With Reformed Christian Churches Will Facilitate Exchange of Ideas
Silver Spring, Maryland, USA .... [Bettina Krause--Source: Adventist News Network]


A series of conversations between the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches will provide a forum for exchanging ideas, said Dr. Setri Nyomi, general secretary of the Alliance, on a February 22 visit to the world headquarters of the Adventist Church in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Nyomi, a 46-year-old theologian from Ghana, met with Adventist leaders at an informal gathering, telling them that he has experienced the positive witness of the Adventist Church close to home through his father-in-law, who is an Adventist Church member. Nyomi also expressed special appreciation for the work of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency and their decades of humanitarian work on the continent of Africa.

Nyomi's visit comes on the eve of a planned dialogue between representatives from the Adventist Church and those from the Alliance. Dr. Bert Beach, director of inter-church relations for the Adventist Church worldwide, says that papers presented at the meetings will probe issues of identity, including how the Adventist Church views itself in relation to the Reformation. Other papers will explore how Christians respond to issues of injustice in the world. The meetings, running from April 1 to 7, will take place in Switzerland.

Calling the upcoming conversation "a very important new chapter" in fostering mutual understanding, Nyomi said one of the central topics under discussion will be "what Christians do for society, and why we do it."

The Alliance has become increasingly known for its willingness to speak out strongly on issues of social justice, offering a Christian perspective on problems ranging from economic inequity to racial discrimination to environmental concerns. This social awareness caught international media attention in 1982 when the Alliance voted to expel a number of South African churches for their pro-apartheid stance.

When asked how Christians can be a strong force for social justice without being drawn into partisan political processes, Nyomi says that the right motivation is paramount. "When people suffer, Christians must respond," he says. "On some issues, the government may welcome your message; on others, the opposition may say 'Amen.'" But, Nyomi adds, the message should never be affected by political considerations or allegiance to a particular party.

The World Alliance of Reformed Churches, founded in 1875, represents some 75 million Christians in 108 countries. Its 215 member organizations are primarily Presbyterian, Reformed, United, and Congregational churches.

For more information about the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, go to