The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is an integral part of the Christian church, although distinctive in government and practice. The Army’s doctrine follows the mainstream of Christian belief and its articles of faith emphasize God’s saving purposes. Its objects are “the advancement of the Christian religion… and, pursuant thereto, the advancement of education, the relief of poverty, and other charitable objects beneficial to society or the community of mankind as a whole.”
The movement, founded in London, England, in 1865 by William and Catherine Booth, has spread to many parts of the world. The rapid deployment of the first Salvationists was aided by the adoption of a quasi-military command structure in l878 when the title “The Salvation Army” was brought into use. A similarly practical organization today enables resources to be equally flexible. Responding to a recurrent theme in Christianity which sees the church engaged in spiritual warfare, the Army has used to advantage certain soldierly features such as uniforms, flags and ranks to identify, inspire and regulate its endeavours. Evangelistic and social enterprises are maintained, under the authority of the general, by full-time officers and employees, as well as soldiers who give service in their free time. The Army also benefits from the support of many adherents and friends, including those who serve on advisory boards. Leadership in the Army is provided by commissioned officers who are recognized ministers of religion.
All Salvationists accept a disciplined and compassionate life of high moral standards which includes abstinence from alcohol and tobacco. From its earliest days the Army has accorded women equal opportunities, every rank and service being open to them, and from childhood the young are encouraged to love and serve God. Raised to evangelize, the Army spontaneously embarked on schemes for the social betterment of the poor. Such concerns developed, wherever the Army operates, in practical, skilled and cost-effective ways. Evolving social services meet endemic needs and specific crises worldwide. Up-to-date facilities and highly-trained staff are employed.
The need for modernization and longer-term development are under continual review. Increasingly the Army’s policy and its indigenous membership allow it to cooperate with international relief agencies and governments alike. The move-ment’s partnership with both private and public philanthropy will continue to bring comfort to the needy, while the proclamation of God’s redemptive love offers individuals and communities the opportunity to enjoy a better life on earth and a place in Christ’s everlasting kingdom.
The international headquarters of the Army are located in London. There are 15,241 local Salvation Army churches (including corps, outposts, societies, new plants and recovery churches) with close to 1.6 million Christians (senior soldiers, junior soldiers and adherents). No Army churches are member churches of the WCC, although most of the territories are members of National Councils of Churches associated with the WCC.
Periodical: All the World
Territories and commands of the Salvation Army
Congo (Brazzaville) Territory Congo (Kinshasa) & Angola Territory East Africa Territory Ghana Territory Liberia Command Malawi Command Nigeria Territory Rwanda Region Southern Africa Territory Tanzania Command Zambia Territory Zimbabwe Territory
Australia Eastern Territory Australia Southern Territory Bangladesh Command Hong Kong & Macau Command India Territories: National, Central, Eastern, Northern, South Eastern, South Western, Western Indonesia Territory Japan Territory Korea Territory Pakistan Territory Philippines Territory Singapore, Malaysia & Myanmar Command Sri Lanka Territory Taiwan Region
Belgium Command Denmark Territory Eastern Europe Command Finland & Estonia Territory France Territory Germany Territory Italy Command Netherlands & Czech Republic Territory Norway, Iceland & the Faroes Territory Portugal Command Spain Command Sweden & Latvia Territory Switzerland, Austria & Hungary Territory United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland
Brazil Territory Latin America North Territory Mexico Territory South America East Territory South America West Territory
Canada & Bermuda Territory
USA Territories: National, Central,
Eastern, Southern, Western
New Zealand, Fiji & Tonga Territory Papua New Guinea Territory
Seventh-day Adventist Church
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a denomination of conservative evangelical Christians. The church arose out of the eschatological expectations of the middle nineteenth century (epitomized by the Millerite Movement), but was only formally organized in 1863. The Millerites had set October 22, 1844, for the return of Christ. With the failure of this date, the movement fell into disarray. One of the small Adventist groups adopted the Seventh-day Sabbath, reinterpreted the events of 1844, and became, in due course, the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The roots of Adventism, however, go back much further – to the Reformation and the church of the New Testament.
Seventh-day Adventists accept the Bible as the inspired word of God. In essence, the Bible is their only creed, though they do have a statement of 28 Fundamental Beliefs, which is subject to revision at any General Conference World Session, as new light is received or better language is found, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. These beliefs include the Trinity, believers’ baptism, spiritual gifts, death as an unconscious state until the resurrection, and the New Earth as the home of the redeemed after the millennium. SDAs are creationists and believe that man and woman were made in the image of God as the crowning work of the Biblical creation week. With the entry of sin, God’s plan of salvation was put into effect. In Christ’s life of perfect obedience to God’s will, his suffering, death and resurrection, God provided the only means of atonement for human sin, so that those who by faith accept the gift of salvation may have eternal life. Since the very beginning, Seventh-day Adventists have been consistent advocates of religious freedom for all, and have taken a lead in its international promotion, including at the UN.
Global mission and evangelism are essential elements of the SDA ethos. The church is intent on sharing the good news of justification, righteousness by faith, salvation through Jesus Christ, and his imminent return. As a result, the SDA Church is probably the most widespread Protestant denomination, with work in over 200 countries. Though cradled in North America, less than 8 percent of her membership today resides there, and there is considerable growth in various parts of the world. Adventists wish to live lives of service to God and humankind. To help achieve this goal the church owns and operates many institutions: over 6,000 schools (from kindergarten to university), 720 hospitals and health-care facilities, publishing houses, and health food factories. Media centres (worldwide satellite TV and radio) have been established in recent decades. Adventists believe in a healthy lifestyle, which includes a good diet (many Adventists are vegetarians) and abstention from harmful drugs, including alcohol and tobacco products. Adventists also promote public health. The church operates the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), which is well-known internationally for its work on behalf of disaster victims and third world development projects.
The SDA church sees herself not as a federation of local or national churches, but as one world church. There is an effective form of representative government. The church’s polity provides for four key organizational levels: 1) the local church, a united body of individual believers, 2) the Conference, a united body of local churches, 3) the Union Conference, the united body of several conferences (a larger territory, often a nation), 4) the General Conference, the worldwide body whose constituent units are the approximately 100 Unions. The General Conference operates through its 13 Divisions (branch offices).
Seventh-day Adventists “recognize those agencies that lift up Christ before men as a part of the divine plan for the evangelization of the world” (General Conference Working Policy, O105). They enter into fellowship with other Christians and practice open communion. They believe that in a certain sense they are a prophetic movement with a time of the end message centering on the “eternal gospel” to give to the world. While they welcome opportunities to dialogue and reach better understanding, they have not formally joined the organized ecumenical movement by becoming members of councils of churches. They do, however, in many cases have observer, consultant, or advisor status. Adventists wish to preserve and protect their unique identity and give life to their God-given evangelistic and service mission.
The office of the general conference is located in Silver Spring, USA. The Sev-enth-day Adventist Church is comprised of 14 million baptized believers, representing with children a fellowship of some 25 million Adventists.
Periodical: Adventist Review
United and Uniting churches
United churches are those which have been formed through the fusion of two or more separate churches, of different or the same confession. They have arisen over the past two centuries as churches have sought to make the unity given them in Christ fully visible. In union, churches move beyond cooperation and partnership to a degree of mutual accountability which can adequately be expressed only by life within a single ecclesial structure. There are some 50 united churches today, found in all regions of the world. Many of these incorporate churches that were themselves formed from earlier unions, so that the total number of “uniting actions” may be as many as 150.
Uniting churches are those presently engaged in a formal process towards union. At present a total of some 40 churches are involved in at least 15 such processes worldwide. In some cases churches on the way to union already express the unity given them in Christ in partial and provisional ways, for example through partnership agreements or joint mission programmes. It should be noted that some already United Churches describe themselves as “Uniting” to stress their commitment to further union (e.g. the Uniting Church in Australia, 1977).
United churches have taken Christ’s prayer that Christians may be one (John 17:21) as an imperative for concrete action towards unity. They have adopted a “kenotic ecclesiology” whereby divided churches from different confessions are prepared to “die” to their former identities in order to “rise” together into a new, united church. They are the most complete (though not the only possible) form of “organic union” (the second Faith and Order world conference, Edinburgh 1937), and the clearest expression of the “local churches truly united” foreseen in the statement on conciliar fellowship from the WCC Nairobi assembly (1975).
The United churches form probably the most diverse family of churches worldwide. Five distinct types are often identified: the first is the earliest unions bringing together Reformed and Lutheran churches in Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia in the 19th and early 20th centuries (the Old Prussian Union of 1817, later the Evangelical Church of the Union, in Germany). The second type is the series of unions through the 19th century, bringing together various combinations of Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Methodists, Disciples of Christ, and other “free” churches in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and the United States (beginning with the United Church of Canada, 1925).
The third type is unions among the confessions named above in the southern hemisphere and the Caribbean (the Church of Christ in Thailand, 1934; the United Church of Zambia, 1965; the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, 1992); the fourth type are the unions including Anglican churches and thus episcopal structures of governance (beginning with the Church of South India, 1947, and including the most comprehensive union, the Church of North India, 1970, composed from Anglican, Baptist, Congregational, Disciples, Methodist, Brethren and Presbyterian churches). Up to now these unions are limited to the Indian subcontinent.
The fifth type is the unions among churches within the same confessional family (the Presbyterian Church (USA), 1983). While such unions do not require overcoming major theological differences, historical, cultural and social sources of division often make the union process at least as difficult as among churches from different confessions.
These churches, then, are linked not so much by a uniform structure or ecclesiology as by their commitment to visible – that is, structural as well as spiritual – unity and by the actual experience of union. Their ecclesiological life is shaped by their experience of integrating the diverse (indeed, sometimes apparently opposed) understandings and practices brought into the union (for example, the United Reformed Church in the United Kingdom (1072/1983) has incorporated both “infant” and “adult” baptism into its theological and liturgical life).
Church unions often make an important theological and social witness. For example, the unions in the southern hemisphere have been an important vehicle for the indigenization of the church as several mission-founded churches, funded largely from abroad, have yielded to a single, autonomous locally led and funded church. A different witness was made by the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa (1999) as it brought together a predominantly white church and a black church in the context of immediate post-apartheid South Africa.
To this point the United and Uniting churches have not formed their own Christian World Communion, not wanting to become “another denomination” and perhaps fearing that such a move would lessen their zeal for further union. The WCC’s Faith and Order Commission has, at their request, served as the united and uniting churches’ common reference point, organizing a series of international consultations of united and uniting churches and publishing a Survey of Church Union Negotiations at regular intervals.
Many United churches have maintained contacts to the world confessional bodies of their constituent churches. Of the world communions, the Disciples Ecumenical Consultative Council and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches have encouraged their member churches to enter into new unions. They (and the Anglican Consultative Council) have maintained continuing contacts with united churches incorporating respectively Disciples, Reformed and Congregational, or Anglican elements.
Issues facing the United and Uniting churches today, as explored at their most recent international consultation, include (1) the nature of union (how much agreement in theology and practice is essential for union? what form of organization will best serve the new united church?), the imperative for mission (how to ensure that the union serves the church’s mission to the world, rather than simply ensuring the church’s survival?), and the question of identity (what is the distinctive identity of these churches? how can they relate most effectively to one another, to their “parent” churches and their world communions, to other churches and to the ecumenical movement?). In addition, several current union processes (in South Africa, Wales, the United States) include Anglican or Episcopalian churches and thus face the question of episcopal governance. In the United States, issues of racism are crucial in the nine-member Churches Uniting in Christ (from 2002, the successor to the Council on Christian Unity).
With their commitment to making unity fully visible, and their practical experience of union, the United and Uniting churches continue to make a distinctive and important contribution to the ecumenical movement.
Website: www.wcc-coe.org (under Faith and Order)
List of United and Uniting churches
Church of Christ in Congo (DRC)
Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar United Church of Christ in Zimbabwe United Church of Zambia United Congregational Church of Southern Africa Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa
China Christian Council Church of Bangladesh Church of Christ in Thailand
Church of Jesus Christ in Lairam (Baptists & Church of Jesus Christ, North-East India)
Church of North India Church of Pakistan Church of South India Communion of Churches in India
(from the Joint Council CSI/CNI/Mar Thoma) Hong Kong Council of the Church of Christ in China Korean Christian Church in Japan United Church of Christ in Japan United Church of Christ in the Philippines Uniting Church in Australia
United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands United Protestant Church Netherlands Antilles
Evangelical Church in Rhineland (Germany)
Evangelical Church of Anhalt (Germany)
Evangelical Church of the Church Province of Saxony (Germany)
Evangelical Church of Westphalia (Germany)
Evangelical Church of Silesian Upper Lusatia (Germany)
Evangelical Church of Pommern (Germany)
Evangelical Church of the Union (Germany)
Evangelical Church of the Palatinate (Germany)
Bremen Evangelical Church (Germany)
Evangelical Church of Kurhessen-Waldeck (Germany)
Evangelical Church in Baden (Germany)
Evangelical Church in Berlin-Brandenburg (Germany)
Evangelical Church in Hessen und Nassau (Germany)
Evangelical Church of the Augsburg and Helvetic Confessions (Austria)
Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren (Czech Republic)
Protestant Church in the Netherlands
Reformed Church of France
United Reformed Church (UK)
United Protestant Church of Belgium
Waldensian Church/Evangelical Methodist Church of Italy
Churches Uniting in Christ (USA)
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Presbyterian Church (USA)
United Church of Canada
United Church of Christ [USA]
United Methodist Church [USA]
United Church in Papua New Guinea United Church in the Solomon Islands United Church of Christ – Congregational
in the Marshall Islands
Comparative Table I
Christian World Communions and the World Council of Churches Overlap in Number of Member Churches (in decreasing order)
Note: For several Christian World Communions, the number of churches that are members of the WCC (column 2) is higher than the number of the corresponding church family in the table on page 14 (column 2). The membership of these Christian World Communions includes other churches which are part of the WCC, either indirectly, or churches which have a dual confessional belonging, or United and Uniting churches.
** Yearly Meetings ***Territories and Commands **** WCC member churches of which it is known that they are a member of a national evangelical fellowship or
alliance affiliated with the WEA. No survey has been done to establish the exact number. *****The SDA Church sees herself as one world church
Comparative Table II
Christian World Communions and the World Council of Churches Overlap in Number of Christians (in decreasing order)*
Note: For several Christian World Communions, the number of Christians that are in WCC membership (column 2) is higher than the number of the corresponding church family in the table on page 14 (column 4). The membership of these Christian World Communions includes other churches which are part of the WCC, either indirectly, or churches which have a dual confessional belonging, or United and Uniting churches.
*The figures used in this table are those communicated by the Christian World Communions and the WCC member churches, with the exception of those for the Anglicans and the Pentecostals (Classical), taken from the World Christian Database
**Number of Anglicans according to the World Christian Database plus the four united churches which are members of the Anglican Communion.
***Baptist churches only count baptized believers as members. ****This percentage is based on the total membership of the six WCC member churches known to be members of a national evangelical fellowship or alliance affiliated with the WEA (see preceding table). The real percentage is likely to be higher, for two reasons: 1) The exact number of WCC member churches related to the WEA through national affiliation is probably higher than six, and 2) many Christians and congregations belonging to WCC member churches are individually a member of the national evangelical fellowship or alliance in their country.
Global Mission Communions
“Global Mission Communions” are church bodies set up for the purpose of world mission, which are based on the principle of local churches coming together for celebration, deliberation and common action. They have come into being in the context of the ecumenical reflection on international relationships in mission that has been going on since the World Conference on Mission and Evangelism of 1963, in Mexico City. Many of the old missionary societies, which were created in the 18th and 19th century to do mission overseas, have been restructured with a view to integrating the concern for mission in the church or churches concerned, and to changing the nature of the relationship between the “sending” churches and the churches that have grown out of the missionary work. As a result, many churches in the “global North” have set up departments for world mission or global ministries within their ecclesial structure, and accountable to their synod or general assembly, in the place of the former missionary society. In consultation with churches in the “global South” to which they are historically related, they have sought to reshape these relationships on a basis of partnership and mutuality.
Some groups of churches in the north and the south, bound together by a historic missionary relationship, have gone a step further. They have decided to join in a community or council, in which each church is represented as a member equal to the others, and which is entrusted with the task of doing world mission together. A common feature of these “global mission communions”, which distinguishes them from other world mission bodies, is their conciliar nature, as bodies made up of local, autonomous churches. The oldest of these is the Evangelical Community of Apostolic Action (Cevaa), formed in 1971 by the churches historically related to the former Paris Evangelical Missionary Society, which now calls itself Community of Churches in Mission – Cevaa. It was followed by the Council for World Mission in 1977, and the United Evangelical Mission in 1996.
Community of Churches in Mission – Cevaa
The Evangelical Community of Apostolic Action (Cevaa in French) is a Community of Protestant Churches in Mission, which was created in 1971, in Paris, France. The Cevaa came into being by decision of the member churches from north and south of the former Paris Evangelical Missionary Society (founded in 1822), to enter together into new relationships of equality and solidarity. Today, Cevaa groups 35 Protestant churches in 21 countries, in Africa, Latin America, Europe, and in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific. These churches have decided to pool part of their human and financial resources and activities, in order to respond together to their calling in mission. The story of the creation of the Cevaa is part of the changes in the 1960s, when the so-called “younger churches”, which often had achieved their autonomy before the independence of their countries, acquired a new strength and freedom, and rejected the missionary tutelage of the past. It was the time of the merger of the International Missionary Council with the World Council of Churches (1961), of the understanding of mission as part of the church, and as “mission in six continents” (Mexico, 1963). The Cevaa was preceded by joint “apostolic actions” in Dahomey (now Bénin) and France, carried out by two international and inter-disciplinary teams. These new experiences in doing mission, which lasted several years, paved the way for the new body to be set up.
Three convictions are at the basis of the Cevaa and constitute its specificity. The Christian community can no longer be divided into missionary churches and churches that are the object of mission: all have been entrusted with the mission of Christ. Secondly, the best way to witness to Christ in today’s societies is to form together a community of faith, prayer and action. And thirdly, the whole gospel must be announced to the whole human being, not only the part that speaks of the kingdom to come, not only the spiritual part, but the totality of the message of life in God, that is addressed to the whole person, as an individual and a member of the society. These convictions are embodied in all the missionary programmes of the Cevaa, which are all undergirded by a foundational activity of the community called “theological animation”: the confrontation of the reading of the gospel with the socio-cultural realities of each church; the constant re-actualiza-tion of the gospel message; the critical reflection on the world and the church, based on the scriptures; the strengthening of the capacities of the people of God through various ways of formation.
The charter of the Cevaa, adopted in 2002, spells out the objectives of the community: 1) To support common actions and missionary programmes for the witness and the evangelization of the member churches. 2) To share human and material resources according to jointly agreed priorities. 3) To awaken the creative abilities of believers through training and community education. 4) To develop networks of vigilance for the respect of human rights, against all forms of oppression and discrimination, and for the preservation of the creation. 5) To stimulate a responsible participation of all, men and women, in the many facets of life in church and society. 6) To encourage the circulation of information, the sharing of experience and the mutual challenge between churches of different sensitivities, languages and cultures. 7) Whenever possible and respecting the beliefs of all, to promote dialogue and cooperation with those active, socially and religiously, in a given area.
The Cevaa has its offices in Montpellier, France.
Periodical: Témoignages (bimonthly, in French and English)
Member churches of Cevaa
Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar
Evangelical Church in Morocco
Evangelical Church of Cameroon Evangelical Church of Gabon
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cameroon
Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Togo Lesotho Evangelical Church
Lutheran Church of Senegal
Methodist Church of Togo
Presbyterian Church of Mauritius
Presbyterian Church of Mozambique Protestant Methodist Church of Bénin
Protestant Church of Christ the King (Central African Republic) Protestant Church of Réunion Island Protestant Church of Senegal
Union of Baptist Churches of Cameroon United Church of Zambia United Methodist Church of Côte d’Ivoire
Church of the Augsburg Confession of Alsace and Lorraine (France)
Evangelical Free Church of Geneva (Switzerland)
Evangelical Lutheran Church of France
Evangelical Methodist Church in Italy
Evangelical Reformed Church of the Canton of Fribourg (Switzerland)
Evangelical Reformed Church of the Canton of Neuchâtel (Switzerland)
Evangelical Reformed Church of the Canton of Valais (Switzerland)
Evangelical Reformed Church of the Canton of Vaud (Switzerland)
National Union of Independent Evangelical Reformed Churches (France)
Protestant Church of Geneva (Switzerland)
Reformed Church of Alsace and Lorraine (France)
Reformed Church of France
Reformed Synodical Union Bern-Jura (Switzerland)
Union of Waldensian and Methodist Churches (Italy)
Evangelical Church in New Caledonia and the Loyalty Isles Maohi Protestant Church (French Polynesia)
Council for World Mission
The Council for World Mission (CWM) is a worldwide community of Christian churches committed to sharing their resources of money, people, skills and insights globally, to carry out God’s mission locally. The CWM was established in 1977 in its present form. It grew out of the London Missionary Society (LMS, founded in 1795), the Commonwealth (Colonial) Missionary Society (1936), and the (English) Presbyterian Board of Missions (1847). The CWM has 31 member churches: nine in the Pacific, five in Europe, ten in Asia, five in Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean, and two in the Caribbean. Most member churches of the CWM have backgrounds in the Reformed tradition. Several are United churches.
The Council for World Mission was created as an experiment in a new kind of missionary organization. No longer were the resources for ministry and mission to come just from Europe. The Council’s churches voted for a democratic structure in which everyone could contribute and receive from each other as equals. The CWM believes that the local church has the primary responsibility for carrying forward God’s mission locally. As a global body, the Council exists to help resource-sharing for mission by the CWM community of churches. The Council has four permanent programmes: sharing people in mission, mission programme development, mission education, and leadership development and capacity-building in mission and ministry. These programmes give encouragement, provide training opportunities, share information, and give practical help to the churches’ mission programmes.
Sharing people in mission and ministry is still an important part of CWM’s work. Over the years, a new pattern of mission personnel has emerged. Missionary movement is no longer a one-way traffic from North to South or West to East. It is multidirectional. Missionaries are sent from South to South, South to North, North to North, and North to South. Each church is encouraged to create a possibility to receive someone from a partner church, and send someone to a partner church. Current activities of sharing people in mission include long-term and short-term missionary service, and so-called “experience-enlargement programmes”. The latter are designed for individuals or groups to go through an in-depth experience in a partner church, in a particular field or in the total life of that church, for up to three months. This can include the concept of twinning of two congregations, to learn, grow, and share together in mission. The programmes for scholarships, training, and leadership development are another dimension of sharing people in mission. CWM seeks to promote scholarship and training opportunities not only in the North and West, but also in the South and the East.
In 1992, CWM launched the Community of Women and Men in Mission (CWMM), one of several new programmes of the Council. A survey was conducted in ten of the member churches, which helped to identify issues that hinder partnership of women and men in mission. Regional consultations were held to look at these issues in the particular regional context. At the global level, the meetings resulted in the launching of the campaign “Women Taking Control of Their Lives” in 1998, which helped the participating churches to raise awareness about gender inequality in the church and society. A global meeting held in 2001 reviewed progress in the area of partnership of women and men in mission within CWM, and brought suggestions for the future; currently the CWMM programme is in full swing. There are also other more recent programmes which are being piloted and which are making good progress within CWM, its constituencies and its mission partners.
The CWM has its offices in London, UK.
Periodical: Inside Out (bimonthly)
Member churches of the Council for World Mission
Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar
Churches of Christ in Malawi
United Church of Zambia United Congregational Church of Southern Africa Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa
Church of Bangladesh Church of North India Church of South India Hong Kong Council of the Church of Christ in China
Presbyterian Church in Singapore
Presbyterian Church in Taiwan
Presbyterian Church of India
Presbyterian Church of Korea
Presbyterian Church of Malaysia Presbyterian Church of Myanmar
Guyana Congregational Union
United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands
Congregational Federation (UK)
Presbyterian Church of Wales (UK) Protestant Church in the Netherlands Union of Welsh Independent (UK) United Reformed Church (UK)
Congregational Christian Church of Tuvalu Congregational Christian Church in American Samoa Congregational Christian Church in Samoa Congregational Union of New Zealand Kiribati Protestant Church
Nauru Congregational Church
Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand United Church in Papua New Guinea United Church in the Solomon Islands
United Evangelical Mission
The United Evangelical Mission (UEM) is a missionary communion of churches in three continents, which currently consists of 34 member churches in Africa, Asia, and Europe (Germany). Its objective is the communion in mission, and mutual assistance in missionary tasks. The UEM constitution states that the United Evangelical Mission – Communion of Churches in Three Continents – shall operate within a network of churches in Africa, Asia, and Europe, and wherever it is called to be. Together they shall proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour of all people, and shall meet the present-day missionary challenges. In a world torn apart, they commit themselves to remain members of the one body of Christ, and therefore:
• grow together into a worshipping, learning and serving community;
• share gifts, insights, and responsibilities;
• call all people to repentance and new life;
• bear witness of the kingdom of God in striving for justice, peace and the integrity of creation.
The United Evangelical Mission is the successor to the Vereinigte Evangelische Mission which, as a German missionary organization, was itself established in 1971 through a fusion of the Rhenish Mission (founded in 1828) and the Bethel Mission (1886), and in 1979 the Zaire Mission. The transformation of the German missionary body into an international missionary communion of churches was launched in 1996, as a result of the first general assembly of the UEM, in Bethel, Germany. In the international missionary communion, all member churches support each other through the exchange of experience, staff and financial assistance. Particular focal points are the fields of church social service and education. German staff work as ministers, theological lecturers, deacons, physicians, nurses, agricultural and building engineers and administrators in Africa and Asia. In return, African and Asian parish workers and theologians work in German parishes, UEM, and regional services. Constantly gaining in importance is the South-South exchange. Southern churches currently exchange staff, for example, from Tanzania to Botswana or from Rwanda to Congo. In Indonesia, the exchange of staff between churches has a long tradition. The objective of the extension of this South-South exchange is to overcome gradually the dominating influence of money and technology. Self-confidence may grow to find African or Asian solutions.
Another focal point of UEM’s work is the commitment to human rights. The joint work of the member churches, for example, through education programmes, human rights projects, lobby and advocacy work, is committed to justice, peace and the integrity of creation (e.g. campaign for the cancellation of debt). UEM is a member of the Forum for Human Rights, an amalgamation of over 40 German non-governmental organizations which is committed to enforcing human rights globally, and in Germany. Since 2000, special emphasis is put on the coordination and support of anti-AIDS programmes in the churches. Other programme priorities include the empowerment of women, youth work, and evangelism.
The UEM is organized in a general assembly, three regional assemblies, a council, an executive committee, and a secretariat. The demands, objectives and decisions for regional activities are formulated in the three regional assemblies for Africa, Asia and Germany, which meet at least once between the general assemblies and appoint delegates. The general assembly meets every four years to discuss general policies and decide on guidelines and priorities for joint work. It elects to the council nine representatives from each region. The council meets once a year and elects an executive committee with five members which meets three times a year and entrusts the executive staff (conference of secretaries) with the coordination of daily work.
Periodical: Mission Online (quarterly, in English); In die Welt, für die Welt (bi-monthly, in German); VEM-Infoservice (monthly, in German) Website: www.vemission.org
Member churches of the United Evangelical Mission
Church of Christ in Congo – Baptist Community in Central Africa (DRC)
Church of Christ in Congo – Community of the Disciples of Christ (DRC)
Church of Christ in Congo – Community of United Evangelical Churches on the Lulonga (DRC)
Evangelical Church of Cameroon
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Botswana
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania
(Northwest, Northeast, East and Coastal, Karagwe Dioceses) Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia Presbyterian Church in Rwanda Province of the Episcopal Church in Rwanda
Batak Christian Community Church (Indonesia) Batak Protestant Christian Church (Indonesia)
Chinese Rhenish Hong Kong Lutheran Synod
Christian Church in Indonesia (HKI)
Christian Church in North Central Java (Indonesia)
Christian Protestant Angkola Church (Indonesia) Christian Protestant Church in Indonesia
Christian Protestant Mentawai Church (Indonesia)
East Java Christian Church (Indonesia)
Evangelical Chrsitian Church in Tanah Papua (Indonesia)
Karo Batak Protestant Christian Church (Indonesia)
Methodist Church in Sri Lanka
Nias Christian Protestant Church (Indonesia)
Simalungun Protestant Christian Church (Indonesia)
United Church of Christ in the Philippines
Church of Lippe (Germany)
Evangelical Church of Rhineland (Germany)
Evangelical Church of Westphalia (Germany)
Evangelical Church in Hessen and Nassau (Germany)
Evangelical Church of Kurhessen-Waldeck (Germany)
Evangelical Reformed Church (Germany)