We believe a North American regional fellowship would be a force for unity and mission. Separated as we are by denominational and other divisions, it is often difficult to work together. The WRF brings together brothers and sisters who share a commitment to the Reformed tradition in its various manifestations but who otherwise might have little fellowship with one another. The sharing of ideas, dreams, ministry models, stories, etc. is a powerful tool for the mission of the church. Hence, the WRF fills a need not met by the more broadly-defined interdenominational organizations (such as the NAE) nor the more narrowly-defined organizations (such as NAPARC).
Harvie Conn, in his magisterial work Eternal Word and Changing Worlds, said, “The Third World church will find its greatest struggle in learning to be a teacher of the West. The Western church will find its greatest agony in being taught to be a learner.” We North American Christians need our brothers and sisters in the developing world more than they need us; we have much to learn. We do, however, want to see the WRF in North America serve the church in the developing world out of the abundance of resources with which we have been blessed. For example, many from North American participated in the 2006 General Assembly in Johannesburg, while many from Africa were unable to attend due to limited financial resources. We want to work to see more of our brothers and sisters from the developing world participate in the 2010 General Assembly in Scotland.
- We intend to communicate with a number of individuals—men and women, ordained and lay, from the mainline and “separated” churches, and from Anglican, Baptist, Presbyterian, and Reformed ecclesial backgrounds—to help form a steering committee for a North American regional fellowship. Much of this will be done by phone and email, although it is hoped that a face-to-face gathering can take place.
- We intend to hold events which will connect pastors who have the potential of influencing and sharpening the effectiveness of the entire Reformed Church in North America. We are also considering the possibility of gathering the leaders of Reformed seminaries and colleges [in coordination with the WRF Commission on Theological Education] and the leaders of Reformed missions agencies and ministries [in coordination with the WRF Commission on Missions and Evangelism] to discuss ways in which we all may together work toward building the influence of evangelical Reformed theology on the North American continent.
- Under the leadership of several of our members (Dr. Diane Langberg, Dr. Phil Monroe, Dr. Sam Logan, Mrs. Susan Logan, Rev. Richard Tyson, and Mrs. Bethann Tyson), we have been working for the better part of two years toward the development of resources for ministerial leaders in crisis. When 18,000 ministers of the Gospel in the United States leave the ministry each year, the church has a problem. And the problem is not restricted to those in pastoral positions. All kinds of ministry leaders seem under attack. We intend to work toward the creation of a program and a facility which will provide assistance to ministry leaders - before, during, and after times of actual crisis. Consultations with such organizations as Focus on the Family, the Association of Theological Schools, the Lilly Endowment, and numerous specific denominations have been done -- and continue. An ever-widening network of people and organizations are becoming involved. Weekend retreats/consultations for ministry couples were held in 2011; others are planned for 2012.
In March of 2008, the WRF Board of Directors approved the recommendation of the North American Regional Board that the WRF assume sponsorship of Women in the Word: A Workshop. This new oversight created the potential for training women from a wide variety of evangelical Reformed denominations, not only in the United States and Canada but from further abroad. The Workshop is an annual two-day event that serves the church by helping women grow in their understanding of Scripture, strengthening both those who teach and those who study on their own. In large group sessions and interactive Study Groups, it focuses on women helping women interpret, apply and present the Bible to others.
The eleventh Women in the Word Workshop will be held on October 28 and 29, 2016 at Calvary Presbyterian Church, in Willow Grove, PA.
In the early 2000’s, over several years, a dozen American women participated in a U.K. conference organized by Proclamation Trust. (See http://www.proctrust.org.uk.) In 2006, some of these women worked together to offer the first “American version” of the British conference. Sixty women from across the U.S. attended that first year. In 2015, at our tenth Workshop, over 100 women participated!
Women in the Word is committed to helping women learn to "correctly handle the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15) so that God's Word can bring joy, understanding, and revival to their hearts, and to others. The preparation that is required of participants before the Workshop is actually part of the whole Workshop experience! In 2010, aiming to help not only women Bible teachers but also those who “just want to be better Bible students,” the Workshop provided Study Groups in both a Teacher Track and Personal Study Track format. For more details, see Women in the Word under “Resources.” The Word is worth the work!
Go to this same area of the WRF web site for must-read articles and audio recordings from Workshops. (You'll want to have your Bible in hand as you read or listen!)