News

  1. WSCF Executive Commuttee appoints Global Staff team

    Palermo 6

    WSCF ExCo Members present in Palermo Meeting (L-R): Immanuel Kitnan, Vice-chairperson; Fanny Chung, Asia Representative; Oscar Reicher, LAC Representative; Danny ElObeid, Middle East Representative; Lydia Nabunya, Africa Representative; Annika Foltin, Europe Representative; Brandi Friesen Thorpe, North America Representative; and Bronwyn Claire, Treasurer

    “My mind was at peace as I felt that the Holy Spirit in the way we can not predict is taking WSCF in another level. WSCF future is bright and those called to minister at this time should be more careful and work with their full mind and heart to be in God’s plans,” said Georgine Kengne Djeutane, WSCF Interim Chairperson expressing her thoughts one month after leading the successful WSCF Executive Committee and Transition Team extra-ordinary meeting on December 15 to 16, in Palermo Sicily.

    The WSCF Executive Committee (Exco) approved the proposals of the WSCF Transition Team summarized in the Palermo Communique released on December 23, 2014.  The Communique outlined the significant decisions, among which was appointing one, instead of two General Secretaries and the subsequent plan to amend its constitutional provisions.  The Exco appointed out-going Transition Team Interim Staff Coordinator, Necta Montes, former Asia Pacific Secretary and senior friend from the Philippines as Secretary General to lead the next process.  Necta begins her new role this January 2016 and will hold a temporary office at the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) national office in Quezon City Philippines during the transition period.

    “The task ahead continues to be daunting, systemic and structural changes in a context of a historic institution like the Federation will take time, but I have no doubt that as generation of young and committed SCMs take part in God’s work for justice and peace in different parts and context of the world, WSCF’s legacy of building ecumenical leaders will continue” said Necta Montes. She pointed out the importance of the new Strategic Plan in concretizing WSCF’s commitment to work for Ecological Justice, Identity, Diversity and Dialogue (IDD), Peace Building and Dialogue and Higher Education.  She believes that the implementation of this Plan is key to the organization’s transition from an “organization that was heavily focused towards itself, its own survival to an organization that is oriented towards its mission to the world,” said Montes.  These thematic focus cut-across five of WSCF’s Programmatic Strategies on Biblical and Theological Analysis, Advocacy and Solidarity, Ecumenical Transformative Diakonia, Capacity Building and Movement Building.

    This mission orientation is also reflected in the Executive Committee’s decision to appoint former Regional Secretaries as Regional Executives and Global Program Directors, “reflecting the changing nature of their work and priorities…(and) plan for global coordination and the integration of strategic programming will be the main feature of work in the next four years,” according to the Palermo Communique.

    Following this decision, Luciano Kovacs from Italy was appointed Regional Executive for North America and Global Program Director for Advocacy and Solidarity, Sunita Suna from India as Regional Executive for Asia Pacific and Global Program Director for Identity, Diversity and Dialogue, Amos Mushwendwa from Tanzania as Regional Executive for Africa and Global Program Director for Bible and Theology, Elsy Wakil from Lebanon as Regional Executive for Middle East and Global Program Director for Peace Building and Overcoming Violence, Marcelo Leites from Uruguay as Regional Executive for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and Global Program Director for Eco Justice, and Natia Tsintsadze from Italy as Regional Executive for Europe and Global Program Executive for Interfaith.

    Reminding the newly appointed WSCF Global Staff Team of their priorities ahead, Kengne Djeutane exclaimed, “we should continue to seek the unity and the renewal of the church in a context where Christian faith is challenged and the growing of religious persecution, terrorism and destructive sects etc. WSCF should continue to nurture and develop prophetic leaders in their program addressing transformative Diakonia and other social, economic and cultural issues. Most importantly should address the growing issue of migration with all its ramification.”

    The Executive Committee thanked the members of the WSCF Transition Team composed of Georgine Kengne Djeutane, Necta Montes, Salters Sterling, Marco Fornerone, Chris Ferguzon, Pretty Mubaiwa and Bronwyn Claire for their invaluable work and contribution in the transition work.

    WSCF Global Staff Team 2016 (L-R): Necta Montes, Marcelo Leites, Elsy Wakil, Natia Tsintsadze, Luciano Kovacs, Sunita Suna, and Amos Mushendwa

    WSCF Global Staff Team 2016 (L-R): Necta Montes, Marcelo Leites, Elsy Wakil, Natia Tsintsadze, Luciano Kovacs, Sunita Suna, and Amos Mushendwa

    Transition Team members present in Palermo (L-R): Necta Montes, Marco Fornerone, Salters Sterling, Georgine Kengne Djeutane and Bronwyn Claire

     

     

     

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  2. SCM Indonesia celebrates its 66th birthday

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    Congratulations to SCM Indonesia on their 66th anniversary from Europe Region!

    May God bless your ecumenical work on social justice, access to education and womens rights. We pray for the future of your SCM and send our blessings to all your members and Christians in your country.

    We thank you for our friendship and wish it flourish in the future.

    KristaKrista Autio
    Global Networking Coordinator

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  3. Apply for 2016 Agape summer camp!

    agape

    Apply now for three interesting international summer camps in Italy’s Waldensian Valley.

    Scholarships available for those who apply by March 1, 2016.

    • International Theological Camp ( 30 July – 6 August 2016) Childhood in the Bible: a path between Ancient and New Testament
    • International Workcamp Camp (6 – 13 August 2016) Felicità, felicidad, happiness, bonheur, Fröehlichkeit, шчасце, 幸せ, ευτυχία, счастье, mutluluk, kabungahan.
      We seek it and we know what we want to find…
    • International Political Camp (13 – 20 August 2016) Migration: Breaking down boundaries on a journey towards a common home

    International Theological Camp ( 30 July – 6 August 2016)

    Childhood in the Bible: a path between Ancient and New Testament

    This year’s camp will lead us in a reflective journey about a not very well known but very important Biblical reality: childhood. Through a reflection on the nature of childhood in the Bible, we will examine its understanding in our societies and how such an understanding characterizes our reading of the Bible today. What does being known as a “son/daughter of” imply as opposed to being recognized by one’s own name? What does it mean to be a child? Is childhood an important phase or is it just an anticipatory phase? If there were no childhood and we entered directly into adulthood, would there be any differences in our being humans.

    We will have a week of discussions, speeches, games, artistic activities, and reflections where we will get to know each other and our cultures to challenge and support each other with this particular reading perspective. Jesus said that we should be like children. Come and join us so we can discover together what that could mean! Read more.

    International Workcamp Camp (6 – 13 August 2016)

    Felicità, felicidad, happiness, bonheur, Fröehlichkeit, шчасце, 幸せ, ευτυχία, счастье, mutluluk, kabungahan.
    We seek it and we know what we want to find…

    We are more and more influenced by economy-related issues where happiness is measured in terms of financial wealth or portrayed as a product to buy. Our long working hours are pawned for ​food​ and ​we ​gnaw on a piece of zircon think​ing it’s really a diamond. I​t seems to us that the more we try to achieve ​the ​happiness packaged by advertising and by some media, the more ​enslaved ​we become.​ Almost as it is only given to approach it but not to reach it. Is there a “more real” happiness than others? Happiness is measurable in brain activity in a given state of rest? What is our idea of ​​happiness? Are we able to look for “our” happiness without completely ​giving ​in to the influence of external forces​, without undermining our desire to live, without becoming compulsive consumers.
    ​H​ow many languages ​will ​​​we ​​write our​ ​manifesto for happiness​ in​? Read more.

    International Political Camp (13 – 20 August 2016)

    Migration: Breaking down boundaries on a journey towards a common home

    Agape 2016 political camp

    From the very beginning, humans have always been on the move, seeking safe refuge and livelihoods. However, in today’s ‘globalized’ world – where goods and capital can cross borders – people fleeing from wars, repressive regimes, poverty and climate-induced crises encounter myriad physical, legal and socio-cultural barriers. Migrants are often seen as threats to identity and security as well as competitors for scarceresources. Their desperation not only makes them vulnerable to traffickers, but also to exploitation by a global economic system founded on cheap labour.

    Against this backdrop, the 2016 Agape International Political Camp aims to provide a platform for discussing the following questions:

    • How are current migrations rooted in historic, economic and ecological processes?
    • What political structures and cultural transformations are necessary to protect and respect the dignity and rights of migrants and refugees?
    • How do we develop a collective understanding of the world as our common home where all people, regardless of ethnicity/race, religion, gender and class, have the right to move freely, to live in peace and to access an equitable share of resources?
    • Finally, what practical actions can we take together?

    Read more.

    What are Agape camps

    The WSCF has had a historical relationship with the international ecumenical center of Agape in Northern Italy, which helped build right after World War II as a symbol of reconciliation among the nations that had been at war in the conflict. Youth and students from different parts of the worlds, many of whom are members of national SCMs across the world – were convened by visionary Waldensian Pastor Tullio Vinay to contribute their energy and vision to build the Agape center, which has been ever since at the forefront of cutting edge theological, social, political and gender reflections. Every year in August three international conferences, one on theology, one on political issues, and one on voluntary work are held at the Center. Scholarships from the Agape Center enable young adult and student participation. Are Kaspersen (SCM Sweden) has attended Agape camp last year – read his reflection here.

    Scholarships are available:

    Agape provides scholarships for people over eighteen who want to take part in the international camps at Agape. In particular they would like to offer scholarships to people from the Southern Hemisphere and Eastern Europe to further their participation in their international camps. They can reimburse some travel expenses and fund the cost of staying at Agape. Regretfully, they are not able to meet every request for financial aid since the demand is greater than the funds that they have available. All applications will be considered carefully.

    In particular, Agape appreciates applications from people who would like to take part in all our three international camps and stay longer as a workcamp volunteer.

    Deadline for applications: 1 March 2016

    For all the information about applying to any of the International Work Camps please visit the Agape website. Please note that prior to applying as WSCF-E delegate, you need to consult the Regional Office for approval. Email to Regional Secretary Natia Tsintsadze on wscf@wscf-europe.org to find out how to become a regional representative. If you send your application to Agape by March 1, you may be eligible for a scholarship.

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  4. WSCF calls for greater compassion

    WSCF calls for greater compassion, openness and justice

    for forced migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in Europe

    “We should stop referring to migration in Europe as emergency, it is not, it is a consequence of the historical injustice of colonialism and global economic structure that forced people to migrate”, said Silvia Rapisarda, Waldensian pastor and SCM Italy senior friend, leading the theological reflection during the WSCF Inter-regional Leadership Development Training Program (IRLTP) on Transformative Diakonia on December 9 to 15, 2015.

    Focusing on the theme Migration and Refugees, the training program attended by 25 participants from the Student Christian Movements (SCMs) was organized in Palermo Sicily, an island hosting an increasing number of migrants from Africa, Middle East and South Asia. According to the Palermo Social Service office, 345 minor migrants arrived via boat a few days before the training participants visited the office. “Because government center cannot cope with the influx, the migrant minors are sent to 38 Communities all-over Palermo where they are provided shelter, clothing, food and counseling by a group of volunteers,” explained the staff.

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    One such Community is the La Noce Centro Diaconale Instituto Valdese in Palermo, where the WSCF training program was also being held. La Noce hosts 9 young male migrants from Africa aged from 14 to 18, most of whom travelled months before arriving Sicily. Anna Ponente, director of the La Noce Centro explained that the “Community provides education that would allow the migrants to communicate, develop their skills for personal development to fulfill long-term plans. ” A number of migrants coming to Palermo move on to other European countries to join families after completing the mandatory 7 years domicile in Italy.

    Torzten Moritz, Coordinator of the Churches Witnessing with Migrants (CWWM) and SCM Germany senior friend lamented the lack of cooperation and coordinated response of the 28 member European states on the recent wave of migrants coming to Europe, “the EU member states needs to update its migration policy and laws to adapt to the changing time” he added. He urged governments to adopt the “Legal Protection Perspective” arguing that migrants and refugees rights are human rights.  Asked about the response of churches in Europe, Moritz shared varied ways churches opened their doors to migrants and highlighted the work of churches in Italy and Greece in providing safe passage called “Humanitarian Corridors” and “Humanitarian Visas” for migrants needing immediate humanitarian protection.  As of recent, 1,000 visas have been approved by the EU processed through the Humanitarian Corridors.

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    Mediterranean Hope, a program of the Federation of the Evangelical Churches in Italy is one such response. Alberto Mallardo staff of Mediterranean Hope working in the frontline in Lampedusa island shared, “migrants reception is institutionalized and militarized…once they arrive on the Lampedusa coast, they are whisked away to secured camps where there is no possibility for local people to interact.”  Lampedusa, a tiny island south of Sicily with a population of 6,000 received 20,000 migrants, sparking speculation of the growing tension between the locals and migrants. “To combat this negative image we organize reception with local people bringing food, blankets, clothes the moment migrants arrive, established a Cultural Center to break marginalization and stigma” Alberto added during the panel presentation.

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    Sharing his experience, Massino Gnone, Coordinator of Commission Social Development (CSD) of the Waldensian Church in Prali was critical of government’s approach of repeating the “cycle of dispossession and the identity theft that migrants experience in the course of migrating,” he explained the concept of an Integrated Reception “a shift from sphere of assistance to recognition of (migrants) fundamental rights.”  Agreeing with this new approach, Immanuel Simon an International Volunteer at CSD from SCM India works on interfaith and ecumenical approach with migrants to break isolation and establish fellowship with the local residence.

    “How do we want the WSCF brand known for its advocacy and action on the issue of migration?” asked Rev. Levi Baustista, assistant general secretary of the GBCS and WSCF Advocacy Solidarity Committee (ASC) senior friend adviser during the skills training. He further urged WSCF to use “forced migration” as most appropriate to differentiate it from voluntary and documented migrants. He also challenged WSCF “advocacy and solidarity with migrants should include accompaniment by creating platform for the voice holders to be present.”

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    The training program concluded with the adoption of the WSCF Advocacy and Solidarity Plan on migrants, refugees and asylum seekers that will be implemented in the next four years. The Plan calls for consciousness raising and education at the national level, coordination of efforts, participation and advocating for migrants rights in national, regional and global platforms with churches and ecumenical organizations. WSCF will join with CWWM in next Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) schedule in Bangladesh in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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    The training program was supported by the Otto Per Mille of the Waldesian Church in Italy, Karibu Foundation, Bread for the World, United Church of Canada, United Church of Christ in the USA, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and individual donors.

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  5. Universal Day of Prayer for Students 2016

    Stories of Faith

    The materials for this year’s celebration were prepared by SCM Britain, on behalf of the Europe Region.

    First celebrated in 1898, the Universal Day of Prayer for Students is observed on the third Sunday of February; in 2016 it is celebrated on February 21st. The UDPS is one of the oldest ecumenical days of prayer.

    Student Sunday collage

     

    This year’s theme is ‘Stories of Faith’ – highlighting faith reflections and experiences of students and young people from around the world and from different contexts. Our British SCM has prepared the 2016 resource toolkit, which will help you run a UDPS-themed service on Sunday 21 February, with prayer points from universities across Britain, stories of faith from around the world, sermon notes, ideas for small groups, reflections from students and worship and liturgy ideas.

    DOWNLOAD YOUR TOOLKIT HERE

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  6. WSCF European Regional Committee is meeting in Helsinki

    Helsinki collage 1

    WSCF European Regional Committee is meeting in Helsinki (Finland) on 4-6 February 2016. This will be the first in-person meeting of the New ERC, elected at the 2015 European Regional Assembly. The Committee counts 11 members.

    The meeting in Helsinki will have two aims: planning of our projects in 2016 and 2017, and meeting Finnish Senior Friends and SCMers.

    You can see your agenda and detailed program points here. For any thoughts or comments, feel free to email Zuzana Babicova at .

    We are grateful for the support of our Senior Friends in Finland who have helped to arrange many practicalities and meeting venue for the ERC meeting. We look forward to meeting SCMers and Senior Friends in Helsinki.

    ERC plus Natia for Helsinki meeting

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  7. Global networking in WSCF-Europe

    Krista map

    WSCF-Europe established the post of Global Networking Coordinator at the European Regional Assembly October 2015.

    Krista Autio was elected to fill this post at the Assembly, and she reports that the past two months have been very interesting and inspiring.

    “My aim was to create a database of contacts for reaching out news from SCM’s of other Regions. This database is under its way. I have collected email addresses, facebook pages and homepage addresses for getting in to contact with people in SCM’s all around the world” – says Krista.

    “For every monthly newsletter I write articles about, and with the help of, SCM’s from other Regions. By December we have released two articles in our monthly newsletter from SCM Indonesia and SCM Canada. The first two newsletters of year 2016 are about SCM Colombia and SCM Jordan.”

    “Part of my networking post is also to help SCM’s from Europe and other Regions to contact each other, establish relationships for sharing projects and ideas, and gather information about what SCM’s do.”

    “If you’re interested in getting help to contact SCM’s in our global family, or you have ideas for articles, please contact me on . You are also welcomed to join my contacts.”

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  8. WSCF-E Office has officially moved

    Piazza Centa 9-2

    Here you have a sneak peek at our new Trento Office location. Starting from 1 January 2016, our new mailing and visiting address is Piazza Centa 9, 38122, Trento.

    You can reach us temporarily by this phone number: +39 348 6807658. The newest number will be always updated in the footer of wscf-europe.org homepage.

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  9. Global Religious Youth Leaders’ Summit

    Welcoming the Other: Multi-religious Youth Respond to the Challenges of Violent Religious Extremism, Refugee Crisis and Climate Change

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    The summit brought together more than 40 people to Paris for 3 days gathering, 26-28 November 2015, to focus on three topics- climate change, religious extremism and refugee crisis. The main main part of the gathering was contribution of members of RfP International Youth Committee from Africa, Europe, Latin America, North America and Asia and Middle East. Among them – two representatives from WSCF- Natalyia Pylypiv (WSCF Europe) and Marcelo Leites (WSCF Latin America) who are appointed representatives from WSCF to serve on International Youth Committee of Religions for Peace International were aiding the summit as resource persons.

    The gathering was facilitated by a Paris based interfaith organisation Coexister which presented its work in the field of dialogue across French plural society. Among many invited speakers were Meherzia Labidi Maiza, Honorary President for Religions for Peace from Tunisia and Jose Henriquez from Pax Cristi who touched upon the topic of the nature of peace being non religious when speaking about refugee crisis. Nataliya Pylypiv also shared her very direct experience with refugees as Human Right Officer in Ukraine.

    Paris- pic 1

    3 days were filled with lectures, discussions and creating of statement on the three main themes. As a group we joined the COP 21 programme of religious organisations on 28 November taking place in the cathedral of St. Dennis and also a gathering of Act Alliance celebrating achievement of faith-based petition urging political leaders at the COP21 climate summit to take action to curb global warming.  From the current board of WSCF Europe, Zuzana Babicova and Annika Foltin joined the summit.  It was once again a very fruitful meeting to get to know other organizations and create connections that can outlast the gathering.

    Group pic-Paris

     

    Paris Summit Statement

    Paris Summit Programme
    ZuzkaZuzana Babicová
    WSCF-Europe Chairperson

     

     

     

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  10. Palermo Communique

    The WSCF Transition Team and the Executive committee have published an official joint statement, following the Palermo meeting in December 2015.

    Download the Palermo Communique in PDF, or read the whole statement below.
    Note: The Document was updated on January 6, 2015, with a version in which a typing mistake on p. 3 was corrected.

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    Palermo Communique

     

    A joint statement from the members of the
    WSCF Executive Committee and Transition Team

    Dear Member Movements, Senior Friends, Churches and Partners of the WSCF,

    Advent greetings from the members of the Executive Committee and Transition Team!

    We invite you to celebrate with us as we welcome the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, our redeemer, liberator and our peace.  WSCF is a Community of Pilgrims journeying with the people of God in various contexts, we believe that by confessing our sins, acknowledging the need to transform ourselves and affirming our gift of diversity and creativity, we continue to participate in the building of God’s Kingdom in today’s world. After a year of reflections and discernment, we end the year 2015 with a message of thanksgiving and renewed hope for the life and future of the Federation by sharing this Joint Statement from the Executive Committee and Transition Team members.

    Last December 14 to 16, 2015, members of the Executive Committee and the Transition Team held its final meeting at the La Noce Centre, Palermo, Sicily. The meeting was attended by 20 regional representatives of the ExCo, officers, staff and members of the Transition Team. The three-day extra-ordinary ExCo meeting was organized to present the detailed final proposals for change from the Transition Team and the four-year WSCF Strategic Plan prepared by the WSCF Staff Team.

    In the last nine months following the 35th WSCF Bogota General Assembly in March 2015, the Transition Team embarked on a process of implementing the short-term and medium term recommendations of the Future of the Federation (FoF) Report approved by the GA to ensure the future sustainability and stability of WSCF. It organized a Strategic Workshop with the staff and officers in Birmingham in August, sent out questionnaires to the WSCF regional leaderships, former officers and staff, and received proposals and inputs from interest groups within the family of the Federation to develop the proposals for change. At the same time, the Team implemented urgent financial measures to prepare the Federation for strategic changes beginning 2016. Through its collective effort, WSCF paid off the (US) $ 200,000.00 debt to the World Council of Churches (WCC) and is going into 2016 with the prospect of a completely balanced budget in 2017 when all the changes now agreed have taken affect.

    Rationale

    In Palermo, the Executive Committee received the detailed proposals, containing the process and timeline of implementing the proposals from the Transition Team. It also provided the basis and rationale for the proposals gathered from the various stakeholders demonstrating their deep love, commitment and concern for the future of the Federation.

    While the financial crisis triggered the current impetus for reforms within the Federation, equally important factors were also considered in the deliberation of the proposals. First, movement building needs to be at the heart of the work of the Staff Team, second, the WSCF structure should encourage greater participation, democratic decision-making and communication between the global and national movements, third, the need for clarity and stream-lining of bureaucratic process in decision-making, fourth, a reduced and lean operational structure that is flexible and able to adapt to the changing needs of the Federation. Over-all, the Transition Team’s goal was to present a working model of a WSCF structure that is financially sustainable that would lead to long-term stability and a structure that is able to respond to the objectives, mission and vision of WSCF in this current context.

    Summary of the Executive Committee Decisions

    The Executive Committee approved the following major decisions in the following fundamental areas. (1) Executive Staff Team Model: two Co-secretary Generals and six Regional Secretaries, (2) Executive Committee, (3) General Assembly, (4) WSCF IRO Office Location and Relocation, (5) WSCF Financial System.

    1. Co-secretary Generals to Secretary General

    The Executive Committee decided to reduce the number of the global executive staff from two Co-secretary Generals to one Secretary General. This decision required subsequent proposal of a new job description designed for an executive post with the primary responsibility of leading the global work of the Federation and coordinating the staff team in the regions.

    The ExCo also decided to immediately appoint a Secretary General beginning January 2016 with the new Job Description notwithstanding the proposal for constitutional change. Following this decision, the Exco decided to affirm the decision of the ExCo in its meeting dated March 2015, when it received the recommendation of the Search Committee to invite successful shortlisted General Secretary candidates in the Bogota GA to apply for the new position. In addition, the term of office for the Secretary General was changed to four years, renewable for another two years, or a maximum of six years following the new period of the General Assembly.

    Before the meeting concluded, the ExCo appointed Necta Montes, one of the two shortlisted General Secretary candidates in Bogota and current Interim Staff Coordinator as Secretary General of WSCF beginning January 2016.

    1. Regional Secretaries to WSCF Regional Executives and Global Program Directors

    The Executive Committee decided to re-focus the work of the six regional staff to movement building and strategic programming as two core functions. The title of the Regional Secretaries will be changed to Regional Executives and Global Program Directors reflecting the changing nature of their work and priorities, which included major project fundraising, inter-regional connections, capacity building and project communication and visibility. Job descriptions were changed as plan for global coordinate and the integration of strategic programming will be the main feature of work in the next four years. As Executives and Directors, each staff will be assigned to lead one Strategic Programmatic Area and will continue to be based in their current regional location.  This new job-title will be pilot tested in the next two years and will be evaluated by the ExCo members 18 months later, or during its next in-face meeting.

    Subsequently, the following staff members were appointed to these new positions beginning January 2016:

    • Sunita Suna – Regional Executive for Asia Pacific and Global Program Director for Identity, Diversity and Dialogue
    • Luciano Kovacs – Regional Executive for North America and Global Program Director for Advocacy and Solidarity
    • Amos Mushendwa – Regional Executive for Africa and Global Program Director for Bible and Theological Analysis
    • Elsy Wakil – Regional Executive for Middle East and Program Director for Peace Building and Overcoming Violence
    • Marcelo Leites – Regional Executive for Latin America and the Caribbean and Program Director for Eco Justice
    • Natia Tsintsadze – Regional Executive for Europe and Global Program Director for Interfaith

    To ensure the sustainability of this new staff model, a study of the cost of maintaining the regional offices in its current location will be immediately conducted by the regional bodies headed by the regional ExCo representatives using the guidelines recommended by the Transition Team.  This study will be the basis for a decision to relocate the regional offices to ensure its sustainability and effectiveness in implementing its programmatic strategies in the next two years.  Likewise, Regional Committees will discuss the implication of the new model in the next six months as part of the adjustment and re-alignment of expectations. In addition, the ExCo agreed to request a percentage of the Regional Staff salaries to be fund-raised by the regions in the coming years.

    1. The Executive Committee

    The Executive Committee decided to remove the provisions for the two proxies for regional representatives in the ExCo. The two ExCo members elected at the Bogota GA will serve as the proxy of the other in situation where one is unable to attend both online and in-face meetings. ExCo likewise approved provisions for only half of the regional representative members to attend in-face meetings when funding is unable to support a full in-person ExCo meeting.  The ExCo also approved the Statement of Commitment for ExCo Members supporting the need for capacity building and leadership formation for the newly elected members. The ExCo also approved co-opting a Human Resource Development adviser or advisers, preferably senior friend to accompany the members of the Personnel Committee in performing role in human resource work.

    1. The General Assembly

    The Executive Committee affirmed the importance of the in-face General Assembly as the most representative and important expression of our life together in Christ fellowship. The ExCo also decided not to follow the traditional practice of regional rotation of hosting the General Assembly and to hold the event every after six years of interval. It also mandated the creation of the GA Solidarity Fund that aims to raise a target amount of $ 60,000 USD annually to ensure the minimum financial requirement of holding the GA is raised before the GA takes place.

    1. Global operation to move to a WSCF regional office

    The  Executive Committee decided that the global operational work performed the General Secretary will move to one of the regional office of the WSCF, the  exact location to be determined after a study is presented to the ExCo following the criteria prepared by the Transition Team. The Regional Committees are requested to conduct a review of the current location based on the criteria and present these studies to the ExCo after three months and these information will be used by the IRO Office relocation Working Group to determine the location no later than July 2016. The legal and judiciary identity of WSCF remains in Geneva where the WSCF Finance Officer maintains an office with minimal function. The actual operation of the new global office shall commence not later than December 2016. In the meantime, the Secretary General will function from her home station as an interim arrangement.

    1. An Integrated Financial System

    In an effort to systematize the financial operations of the Federation, the ExCo approved the proposal to integrate the reporting and accounting system of the six regions following the global standard and format. This change aims to simplify the financial management system, improve greater financial transparency and reduce the time in producing reports. The ExCo also approved the proposal for cash-pooling as a form of internal financial solidarity and promote regional responsibility and accountability towards the over-all global finance of the Federation.

    1. An On-line Assembly for Constitutional Change

    As a Constitutional body, several aspects of these proposals require changes in the constitution of WSCF. The Executive Committee will begin the process of calling for an on-line General Assembly in January to obtain two third of the vote required to amend the WSCF Constitution in July 2016. We encourage the member movements to discuss with the regional leadership the details of the above decisions of the Executive Committee, its impact and implications in the life of your movement.

    1. Moving Forward with the 2015-2019 Strategic Plan

    The ExCo approved the four-year Strategic Plan of WSCF and the 2016 Annual Operational Plan. As the WSCF aims towards the strategic program integration, it shall focus its work on four cross-cutting themes in the next four years: Eco-justice, Identity Diversity and Dialogue (IDD), Peace Building and Dialogue and Higher Education.  These global cross-cutting themes will be implemented in the following Programmatic Strategies on:

    1. Biblical and Theological Analysis
    2. Advocacy and Solidarity
    3. Ecumenical Transformative Diakonia
    4. Capacity Building
    5. Movement Building

    Conclusion and word of thanks

    As the Transition Team concludes its mandate this December 2015, the Transition Team members express its gratitude to all that have supported, cooperated and prayed for the work of the Team. We thank the members of the WSCF Centennial Fund, EMW, UK Methodist Church, Karibu Foundation, Otto Per Mille of Waldensian Church in Italy, United Church of Canada, United Church of Christ in the USA, Bread for the World, ELCA, SCM Britain for financially supporting us in the various stages of our work and processes.

    To our member movements and senior friend from all the regions, your solidarity and efforts are invaluable.

    Finally, we ask for your continued prayers and cooperation as the Executive Committee, its new leadership, embark on this journey in the implementation of the proposals for change.

    May our Lord Jesus Christ bring Peace and Joy to the world this Advent Season!

    Ut omnes unum sint!

    Members of the WSCF Executive Committee (2015 to 2019)

    Members of the WSCF Transition Team  (May to December 2015)

    23 December 2015

    Palermo, Sicily

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on December 28th, 2015 8:54 am / Continue Reading »

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