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Reformed-Presbyterian Family: Intrafaith Organizations

Reformed-Presbyterian Family: Intrafaith Organizations

404

International Association of Reformed and Presbyterian Churches

756 Haddon Ave.
Collingswood, NJ 08108

The International Association of Reformed and Presbyterian Churches was founded in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 1962 by delegates and visiting clergymen attending the meeting of the International Council of Christian Churches (ICCC). The ICCC represents the most conservative wing of twentieth-century Protestantism, usually termed fundamentalism, characterized by its affirmation of the inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible and its demand for separation from all apostasy and heresy, especially as it is represented in modernist theology and embodied in liberal Protestant denominations. The ICCC received much of its early inspiration from a Presbyterian minister, Dr. Carl McIntire of the Bible Presbyterian Church.

Leading in the formation of the International Association were McIntire; Dr. A. B. Dodd of Taiwan, the first moderator; and Dr. J. C. Maris of the Netherlands, the first secretary. The occasion for the formation of the International Association was the visit of the moderator of the Church of Scotland to the Vatican for a meeting with the Pope. At its first gathering, the association also attacked the World Presbyterian Alliance, whom it accused of departing from the Reformed creeds and faith, and denounced its friendly relationship with the World Council of Churches. Members of the alliance are barred from membership in the association.

Meetings of the association are planned to coincide with meetings of the ICCC.

Membership: Not reported. It includes the members of the ICCC of the Reformed and Presbyterian traditions.

Sources:

Harden, Margaret C., comp. A Brief History of the Bible Presbyterian Church and Its Agencies. Privately published, 1968.

405

International Conference of Reformed Churches

13904 26th St.
Edmonton, AB, Canada T5E 3C1

The International Conference of Reformed Churches (ICRC), founded in 1982, is a fellowship of conservative reformed denominations. At an initial gathering held at Groningen, Netherlands, and hosted by the Reformed Churches (Liberated), nine reformed and Presbyterian churches were represented. The host church had been formed during World War II by former members of the state-supported Netherlands Reformed Church as a result of debates on several theological issues. As the debates culminated, the church issued several doctrinal documents. A new protest arose over the demand to adhere to the new statements. Professor K. Schilder (1890-1952) was among church intellectuals who argued that forcing new theological positions on the church would not end the controversy. His exclusion from the church's ministry resulted in his supporters and several congregations joining to create the Reformed Churches (Liberated), which soon developed relationships with other conservative bodies in Holland and then internationally.

The liberated church and others that formed the ICRC shared a feeling that they faced a concerted attack from the larger reformed churches on the authority of the Bible and the reformed creeds originally issued in the sixteenth century. The ICRC adopted the Bible, "Three Forms of Unity" (Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism, Canons of Dort) used by most continental European Reformed churches, and the Westminster documents (Westminster Confession, Larger and Shorter catechisms) used by most English-speaking groups, as the basis of their fellowship. Member churches are expected to be loyal to the confessional standards of the Reformed tradition.

The ICRC's first assembly gathered in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1985. Subsequent gatherings have been held in Langley, British Columbia (1989); Zwolle, Netherlands; and Seoul, Korea. The Conference promotes cooperation in missions and the presentation of a united front on the reformed faith and related issues by its member churches.

Membership: More than 20 Reformed churches worldwide are now members of the Conference including in North America the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, Free Reformed Churches of North America, Reformed Church in the United States, United Reformed Churches in North America, and Canadian Reformed Churches.

Periodicals: Newsletter of the Missions Committee of the International Conference of Reformed Churches.

Sources:

Bauswein, Jean-Jacques, and Lukas Vischer, eds. The Reformed Family Worldwide: A Survey of Reformed Churches, Theological Schools, and International Organizations. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1999.

International Conference of Reformed Churches. http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/rcjanssen/icrc.htm. 7 May 2002.

406

International Congregational Fellowship

℅ Richard Kurrasch
1314 Northwood Blvd.
Royal Oak, MI 48073

The International Congregational Fellowship was founded in 1975 in Chrislehurst, England, to provide an international meeting ground for Congregationalists. It considers itself a successor body to the International Congregational Council, formed in 1891, which merged with the World Alliance of Reformed Churches in 1966 to form the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (Presbyterian and Congregational). Some had felt that the World Alliance did not deal sufficiently with the desires of Congregationalists for fellowship around their distinctive community lifestyle.

The fellowship has established a network of communication with Congregationalists around the world and disseminates news of interest to the community. It also provides a forum for theological discussions, has established a relief service for the needy, champions the cause of religious freedom, and promotes cooperative activities among Congregationalists.

The fellowship gathers periodically in international conferences. Regional secretaries exist for the United Kingdom, North America, the Pacific and Australia, Central and South America, and Africa and Central Europe.

Membership: The fellowship is in contact with Congregationalists in more than 50 countries. The most prominent American affiliate is the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches.

407

North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council (NAPARC)

Current address not obtained for this edition.

North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council (NAPARC) is an association of conservative Presbyterian churches. These churches accept a conservative and strict reading of the main Reformation statements of the Reformed theological position as set forth in the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, the Canons of Dordt, the Westminster Confession of Faith, and the Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechisms, and affirms the authority of the Bible as the inerrant World of God. It is the intention of the Council to facilitate cooperation between its member churches and suggest means of possible future unions between like-minded bodies.

Many of the member churches are also members of the International Conference of Reformed Churches.

Membership: Members include Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, the Korean-American Presbyterian Church, the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, the Presbyterian Church in America, the Reformed Church in the U.S., and the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America.

Sources:

North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council. http://www.opc.org/relations/NAPARC.html. 21 March 2002.

408

Reformed Ecumenical Council

2050 Breton Rd. SE, Ste. 102
Grand Rapids, MI 49546-5547

The Reformed Ecumenical Council was founded in 1946 as the Reformed Ecumenical Synod. It unites thirty-eight Reformed and Presbyterian denominational bodies in twenty-three countries. They share the same Reformed heritage and have joined together based on a common confession of faith. These churches represent a more conservative and evangelical element in the Reformed/ Presbyterian community.

The council meets in general assembly every four years. The day-to-day affairs are placed in the hands of an executive committee and permanent secretariat. Through the council, member churches speak on current world issues, coordinate mission programs, and share ideas.

Membership: The council includes one church based in North America, the Christian Reformed Church in North America. The other 37 member churches are found in 22 countries. The churches have a total of about 9,000,000 members.

Periodicals: REC Focus. • News Exchange.

409

World Alliance of Reformed Churches (Presbyterian and Congregational)

℅ Memphis Theological Seminary
168 E. Parkway S.
Memphis, TN 38104-4395

Alternate Address: International Headquarters: 150 route de Ferney, CH-1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland.

The World Alliance of Reformed Churches (Presbyterian and Congregational) was formed in Nairobi, Kenya, by the merger of the former World Alliance of Reformed Churches and the International Congregational Council. The merger grew out of a recognition of the common heritage of the Reformed, Presbyterian, and Congregational churches in the Reformation Theology of John Calvin and Ulrich Zwingli.

The alliance represents the more liberal wing of the Reformed tradition theologically such as represented in the United States by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the United Church of Christ.

The alliance meets as a general assembly or council about every seven years, at which time policies and plans are adopted. These are carried out by the Executive Committee, consisting of the alliance's president, three vice-presidents, department heads, and 25 additional members. There are several regional area organizations, including one for the Caribbean and North America.

The alliance shares headquarters with the World Council of Churches, with whom the alliance works on projects of common interest.

Membership: The alliance reports more than 215 member churches from some 106 different countries.

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