As theological debates on sexuality and marriage become more and more central, many Christian denominations are being asked to clarify their views.
New Word Evangelical Alliance premises should not be compared to the Vatican City or other world religions' centres, Director of Communications Timothy Goropevsky explains.
The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) inaugurated its new premises in Dover (New York), on January 15.
“The property that will host international conferences, meetings, and training programs is located in the vicinity of New York City, where WEA has its General Office, and serve as center for evangelicalism worldwide”, the organisation which represents 600 million believers in the world, explained in a press release.
“The Evangelical Center is God’s gracious provision that enables us to be more effective in fulfilling WEA’s vision of establishing and strengthening Evangelical Alliances around the world”, Secretary General Bp Efraim Tendero said.
Evangelical Focus asked Timothy Goropevsky, Director of Communications of the WEA, to know more about the vision behind the new project.
Goropevsky clarified that the new Evangelical Center in New York is not “the headquarter of evangelicalism similar to the Vatican or Salt Lake City”, as some media suggested after the inauguration. “Our self-understanding as WEA is fundamentally different from the Vatican or the Mormons.”
Read the interview with Timothy Goropevsky:
Question. Some media described the new WEA centre as if it was some kind of Evangelical headquarters similar to the Vatican for Roman Catholics or the Salt Lake City premises for Mormons. Is this accurate?
Answer. As WEA, we wouldn't use this language for the Evangelical Center.
It does give us a location that we can use for various purposes, such as meetings, conferences, trainings, and more, and it is an excellent space for that.
However, our self-understanding as WEA is fundamentally different from the Vatican or the Mormons. Therefore, to put it in one line that the Evangelical Center is the headquarter of evangelicalism similar to the Vatican or Salt Lake City sends out a message that can easily be misunderstood.
Q. The WEA explained there will be several training courses starting in the new premises this year. Could you tell us a bit more about the training for national evangelical alliance leaders?
A. National Alliance leaders have a very unique role to play which requires unique training. The WEA Leadership Institute has focused on developing courses in Association Leadership, Effective Public Engagement, Governance Training, and others that are specifically tailored to the needs of Alliances.
Previously, all these courses were offered online or at times as workshops as part of regional meetings. The new location now allows a new format which is a mixture of onsite and online training.
Important is also that participants can learn a lot from each other, as they bring their own experience from their unique contexts. It is therefore not only training in a 'classroom' setting, but it's also about the exchange of ideas, experience and different perspectives that are vital part of the program.
Q. In creating "synergies" among evangelicals, how will the WEA centre help to be a space for evangelical movements across the world in the next 10 years?
A. As mentioned above, we seek to bring together Alliance leaders for trainings and events, which will also help to build stronger relationships between the different Alliance leaders.
Q. How many people work (asstaff) for the WEA? What kind of practical functions are developed by these workers?
A. The WEA leadership team, General Office, Geneva Office, and WEA networks include about 90 leaders and staff who are located in different countries around the world. Then there are also the regional Alliances who are integral to the WEA as well.