Pentecostal-Reformed International Dialogue
June 5-11, 2003 - Evangelical Theological Seminary of Puerto Rico
San Juan, Puerto Rico - June 11, 2002: Representatives of some classical Pentecostal churches and delegates of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches met in San Juan, Puerto Rico, June 5 to 11, 2003. The meeting was the second session of a five-year international dialogue on “Experience in Christian Faith and Life” which began in 2002, following the first five-year round of theological conversations (1996-2000) on “Word and Spirit, Church and World.”
The theme of this year’s session was the relation between the experience and fundamental elements of the Christian life. Discussion focused particularly on the marks and practices of Christian discipleship. Three papers were presented to facilitate the common exploration of this topic: a collection of brief statements on the Christian life taken from classical and contemporary Reformed writings, a study on “Growing in the Life of Christian Faith” adopted by the Presbyterian Church (USA), for the Reformed side; and a paper, “From Strength to Strength – The Neglected Role of Crisis in Wesleyan and Pentecostal Discipleship” by Cheryl Bridges Johns, for the Pentecostal side.
This year’s session of the Pentecostal – Reformed international theological dialogue was generously hosted by the Synod of Puerto Rico of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in close cooperation with the Evangelical Theological Seminary of Puerto Rico and the Office of Theology and Worship of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Participants joined the congregation of Hugh O’Neill Memorial Presbyterian Church for worship on Sunday. They also met with representatives of the Synod of Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rico Council of Churches, and the faculty of the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico. A special session was dedicated to the common Christian witness in the struggle against the presence of the U.S.A. naval base on the Vieques island, Puerto Rico.
The Pentecostal delegation included Dr. David Daniels (Co-chair, USA), Dr. Harold Hunter (USA), Dr. Cecil M. Robeck (USA), Dr. Anthea Butler (USA) and Dr. Jean-Daniel Pluss (Switzerland). The Reformed team included Dr. Joseph Small (co-chair, USA), Mrs. Nolipher Moyo (Zambia, representing the Reformed Ecumenical Council), Rev. Aureo Rodrigues de Oliveora (Brazil), Dr. Marsha Snulligan Haney (USA), Dr. Cephas Omenyo (Ghana), Dr. Gesine von Kloeden (Germany) and Dr. Odair Pedroso Mateus (WARC staff, Brazil.)
The next session of the Pentecostal – Reformed dialogue will continue the theme of discipleship by focusing on discernment and discipline in Christian life and practice. The meeting with take place in South Africa, September 2004.