This document was signed by the Evangelical Alliance and the Council of Churches in 2011. It shows the good relationship between both organisations.
The Evangelical Alliance and the Council of Churches in the Netherlands announce their intention to continually seek mutual cooperation. The committees of both organizations identify each other as partners in the Christian faith. They will make an effort to seek to combine their own capabilities with the potential of the other, in order to learn from each other and stand stronger strategically.
The Evangelical Alliance and the Council of Churches in the Netherlands have been working together since the start of the 21st century. The number of matching themes focused on by both organizations has seen an increase over the years. Therefore the committees of both institutions find it of great importance to further structure and stimulate the harmonization of their work.
The Evangelical Alliance and the Council of Churches in the Netherlands pursue similar objectives. They focus their attention on encounters where faith and inspiration are shared, they long for vision regarding further cooperation and stimulation of church life and they are – each in their unique way – spokespersons on behalf of churches and organizations to society.
Both groups are umbrella organizations with a Christian identity. The commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Bible, the Early Church’s creeds, the ecclesiastic tradition, the living power of the Holy Spirit and the missionary call are existent in both organizations and part of their spiritual and operational frameworks of reference.
Differences between the two organizations do exist. These mainly concern their partners and certain theological emphases. The Evangelical Alliance joins together 115 organizations, six denominations, a few hundred local churches from different denominational backgrounds and individual persons. The Council of Churches brings together sixteen denominations, along with a number of Christian organizations.
The two institutions would like to acknowledge the character of the other as Christian and in many instances complementary to their own perspective. The Evangelical Alliance and the Council of Churches feel adequate to let these differences exist without letting them negatively affect their united effort.
The committee of the Evangelical Alliance and the Dutch Council of Churches meet at least once a year. The meeting will serve as a guarantee for joint activities, to explore annual plans and to identify possible joint efforts to be undertaken during the next year.
Annual plans consist of long term forms of cooperation and short term projects.
The aim is to enhance the capabilities of both organizations, to make maximum use of each others’ competence and to expand the credibility of the overall work. Both organizations also seek to increase ecumenicalism in an institutional way.
Meetings will be prepared by both organizations in order to justify the agenda objectively.
If desired there is room for administrative connections between the two organizations by appointing people who will work for and in both offices.
Picture showing the seigning of the agreement; standing left the chairman of the Council drs. Henk van Hout shaking hands with ref. Willem Smouter, chairman of the Evangelical Alliance; sitting ref. Klaas van der Kamp (left), general-secretary of the Council with ms. Karini Somhorst Smith, secretary of the Evangelical Alliance.