World Alliance of Reformed Churches

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Pentecostal–Reformed Dialogue

May 18-24 2000 - São Paulo, Brazil


São Paulo, May 24 2000: Delegates from the World Alliance of Reformed Churches met here from May 18 to 24 with members of Pentecostal churches from Finland, Korea, the Philippines, Switzerland and the USA. The Reformed representatives came from Brazil, the Czech Republic, Germany, Ghana, Italy, Korea, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA.

The São Paulo meeting was the last in a series of five sessions of international Pentecostal-Reformed dialogue. The first took place in 1996 in Torre Pellice, Italy, with the theme "Spirituality and the challenges of today". The second, held in Chicago in 1997, dealt with "The role and place of the Holy Spirit in the church". The third session, in Kappel, Switzerland in 1998, discussed "The Holy Spirit and mission in eschatological perspective". The fourth session which was held in Seoul in 1999, with the theme "The Holy Spirit, charismata [gifts], and the kingdom of God".

The fifth session in São Paulo centred on "The Holy Spirit in church and world", and tried to summarize and evaluate the findings of the previous sessions and to indicate points of agreement as well as points needing further exploration.

The joint statement adopted at the end of the meeting expressed the work accomplished in the five sessions. It covers the following topics: "Holy Spirit and Word", "Holy Spirit and Church", "Holy Spirit and Mission" and "Holy Spirit and the Kingdom of God." The joint statement will be published in a final version in September 2000.

Participants expressed the hope that the international bilateral dialogue between Pentecostals and Reformed will continue.

The meeting was jointly hosted by the Independent Presbyterian Church of Brazil and the First Independent Presbyterian Church of São Paulo, under the leadership of Rev. Abival Pires da Silveira. It was co-chaired by Prof. Dr. Cecil Melvin Robeck (USA, Pentecostal) and Prof. Dr. Milan Opočenský (Czech Republic, Reformed). Participants worshipped together and visited Reformed and Pentecostal congregations as well as Mackenzie Presbyterian University. They also discussed the state of Pentecostal studies in Brazil with representatives of a research group on Brazilian Protestantism from the Ecumenical Institute of Graduate Studies on Sciences of Religion in the Methodist University of São Paulo.

The World Alliance of Reformed Churches links 75 million Christians in 214 churches of Presbyterian and Congregational origin in 105 countries. For further information contact Páraic Réamonn, press officer, at the numbers above.