Argentinian Churches Alive and Active
RON HAMILTON, CCCC CONFERENCE MINISTER
I had the privilege of representing the CCCC at the mid-term meeting of the World Evangelical Congregational Fellowship held in Argentina on November 8 – 9 at the Congregational Seminary in Urdinarrain, a small town several hours north of Buenos Aires. The meeting provided an opportunity for members of the Congregational Church in Argentina (Iglesia Evangélica Congregacional en la Argentina – a fellowship of about 120 churches) to get to know members of the WECF from around the world. The Argentinian fellowship was officially accepted as a member of the WECF in 2016.
The meetings also provided an opportunity for international delegates to visit member churches and pastors of the Argentina fellowship. Representatives from Australia, Brazil, the United Kingdom and the United States were warmly welcomed by these churches on the days following the mid-term meeting. Steve and Helen Gammon joined my wife, Shirley, and me as representatives of our Conference.
I was very encouraged by the time in Argentina. The Argentinian fellowship is active and growing and their churches are healthy and alive. This group is planting churches in Uruguay and southern Brazil. It was a joy to meet pastors from these areas and hear their faith stories and learn of their ministries.
These Argentinian churches were planted in the 20th Century by missionaries from the United States. These people were sent by churches from a Vulga (an area in western Russia) German Reformed background who learned of German people setting in Argentina. They had a started desire to start churches that functioned as the church did in the Book of Acts. We have many churches with a similar heritage who are a part of our fellowship. I know that they would be encouraged to witness the fruit of the mission work of their forefathers.
The Argentinian fellowship is very effective in raising up a new generation of pastors and church leaders. The seminary students come out of member churches with a strong call to ministry. They are actively engaged with member churches on the weekends as they work in youth and children’s ministries. Some of these students also assist in pastoral ministry with new and developing churches.
We visited church services in Urdinarrain and San Antonio (Entre Rios province) as well as the 60th anniversary service of a church in Buenos Aires. There was a common expression of enthusiastic and sincere worship in these churches and a strong sense of Christian fellowship. We can thank the Lord for the vital spiritual life that is evident in our sister churches in this nation.