Religion of Tuesday, 15 January 2013
14 January 2013
Head of WCRC’s justice programme now based in Geneva
Dora Arce-Valentín has arrived in Geneva to take on full-time responsibility for the
Office of Justice and Partnership of the World Communion of Reformed Churches
“Now I am where I have to be. Our staff team needs to be together so that we can
make justice issues felt,” says Arce-Valentín. “The justice programme is one of the
organization’s two pillars along with Theology and Communion. I am happy to be here
to provide the balance.”
Arce-Valentín had been working in her native Cuba as part-time programme consultant
for justice programmes since January 2012. Funding from the Council for World
Mission has enabled the Cuban pastor and justice advocate to come to Geneva for
2013. In 2014 she will move with the staff team to new offices in Hannover, Germany.
In welcoming Arce-Valentín, WCRC General Secretary Setri Nyomi says: “Rev. Dora
Arce-Valentín comes to WCRC with much experience as a pastor and a person committed
to justice. With her as a full-time member of the staff team, WCRC will be better
able to continue its work with its member churches to be a strong force for justice
in the world.”
Arce-Valentín says she is grateful to the Presbyterian Church in Cuba for allowing
her to take on this assignment with WCRC at a time when there is a pressing need for
pastors in the country.
“My church doesn’t have financial resources. We are giving what we have – human
resources. It is our way of saying we know the importance of justice work to WCRC
and the ecumenical movement,” she says.
In the coming year, Arce-Valentín will be focussing on creating closer contacts with
regional church groups. Based on her experience in the Caribbean region, she knows
this is the way to connect with local parishes to learn about their needs and let
them know what WCRC can offer.
Arce-Valentín’s vision for the justice programme puts a priority on working with
youth. Plans include offering workshops on positive, non-violent images of
masculinity and supporting youth involvement in ecological justice.
“Justice issues appeal to young people,” she notes. “There is the potential for
youth to take on some issues and force their churches to deal with them.”
Plans for 2013 include follow-up to a meeting last year in Brazil that produced
proposals for a new frame of reference for the world’s financial structures. A panel
of experts is now being formed to follow through on the proposals. And in March,
Arce-Valentín will convene a meeting of WCRC’s networks of justice advocates in the
context of a consultation on human trafficking.
WCRC represents 80 million Christians in 108 countries. Its member churches are
active worldwide in initiatives supporting economic, climate and gender justice,
mission, and cooperation among Christians of different traditions.
Office of Communications
World Communion of Reformed Churches
tel: +41 (0)22 791 62 43; fax: +41 (0)22 791 65 05