A Quarter Century of Democracy and the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa

Keywords: Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA), democracy, unity, history, poverty


This paper focuses on the role of the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA) in the South African society during the past 25 years of its services to God, one another and the world. Firstly, the paper provides a brief history of URCSA within 25 years of its existence. Secondly, the societal situation in democratic South Africa is highlighted in light of Article 4 of the Belhar Confession and the Church Order as a measuring tool for the role of the church. Thirdly, the thermometer-thermostat metaphor is applied in evaluating the role of URCSA in democratic South Africa. Furthermore, the 20 years of URCSA and democracy in South Africa are assessed in terms of Gutierrez’s threefold analysis of liberation. In conclusion, the paper proposes how URCSA can rise above the thermometer approach to the thermostat approach within the next 25 years of four general synods.