History and Mission of Latin American Fellowship of Reformed Churches (CLIR) “Orlando Manifest”

Manifest of the Latin American

Fellowship of Reformed Churches (CLIR)
Orlando, Florida – November, 2012

Preamble – In our Board meeting of November, 2012, we approved the following manifest, and wish to make it known to all the Reformed family, and especially the members of our Fellowship.

CLIR had its beginnings in 1994, and was the product of initial dialogues between the Igreja Presbiteriana do Brasil (IPB), the Iglesia Nacional Presbiteriana de México (INPM) and the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA). These churches decided to invite the other confessional Reformed churches of Latin America with the goal of forming a Fellowship, whose purpose would be to join brethren of like mind in Christian commitment, theological conviction and a missionary vision. We are grateful for the principle founders of this dynamic vision, which include Rev. Ludgero Bonilha Morais, Rev. Ramiro Laureano (now with the Lord in glory), and Rev. Rick Perrin. The meeting which officially constituted CLIR was held in Miami, and the by-laws and purposes were established which we honor to this day.

The doctrinal foundation of CLIR is the historic Christian faith expressed in the universal creeds, and the Reformed confessions of the 16th and 17th centuries. In contrast with other contemporary currents, we faithfully honor these doctrinal symbols.

Member churches of CLIR
Iglesia Presbiteriana Reformada del Caribe (OPC) – Puerto Rico
Iglesia Nacional Presbiteriana de México
Iglesia Reformada de Nicaragua
Iglesia Presbiteriana y Reformada de Costa Rica
Primera Iglesia Bautista de Balboa, Panama
Iglesia Evangélica Reformada de Colombia
Iglesia Evangélica Presbiteriana del Perú
Iglesia Presbiteriana Nacional de Chile
Iglesia Evangélica Presbiteriana de La Paz, Bolivia
Iglesia Presbiteriana Horeb, Cochabamba, Bolivia
Iglesia Presbiteriana do Brasil
Iglesia Reformada en Comayagua, Honduras
Iglesia Decisión Jesús, Cali, Colombia

Institutions – members of CLIR
Miami International Theological Seminary – MINTS
Visión Real
Instituto Bíblico Reformado de Colombia
Seminario Reformado del Caribe

CLIR is the organization which clearly represents the Reformed faith in Latin America. Since CLIR does not belong to any other world entity, this permits us to faithfully continue maintaining our historic Reformed identity, although we have the hope to contribute in the future to a formation of a world fellowship with which we could identify.

God has abundantly blessed our efforts during almost two decades of presence and testimony. CLIR has sponsored multiple conferences in the following countries: México, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Honduras, Belice, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panamá, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil. In this way we have contributed to the revitalization of Christian leadership in our continent. The communion fostered by CLIR among member churches has promoted the exchange of human resources and other resources, enriching our labor together in the Gospel.

Besides sponsoring the conferences, CLIR today is a printing service and publishing house, whose flagship is the well known theological journal Reforma Siglo 21. CLIR has printed and shipped over 50,000 copies of the journal, whose purpose is to make known and defend the Reformed faith. Along with the journal, CLIR has published some 70 titles of other books, some translated and some written by Latin American authors.

Furthermore, about four years ago CLIR established an accreditation committee (A-CLIR), whose purpose is to serve the theological institutions of member churches. It is our goal to provide support for those institutions which desire to strengthen their academic and theological programs.

Taking advantage of the internet, CLIR makes itself known through its website www.clir.net, which receives many visits and permits us to be present in almost the entire continent.

Until the year 2009, CLIR was the regional expression of the World Reformed Fellowship (WRF), an organization which was born in the bosom of CLIR. The WRF, however, subsequently decided to take its own path, changing its by-laws and purposes. CLIR, for its part, remains faithful to its identity, committed to representing the Reformed faith in Latin America.

We are convinced that God has called us, and continues to bless our labors. For this reason we assume the firm commitment to pursue the following challenges:
– To continue providing solid, Reformed literature for Latin America
– To become an effective tool for discipleship in our member churches by means of theological conferences in most of Latin America, providing professors for theological seminaries, the publication of our journal Reforma Siglo 21, and the preparation of Sunday school material for children and youth.
– To continue fostering cooperation in church planting among member churches
– To strengthen fraternal fellowship through our General Assemblies. We are encouraged by the cooperation of the principle founding churches, the Iglesia Presbiteriana of Brasil and the Iglesia Nacional Presbiteriana of México, as CLIR seeks to fulfill its vision and goals.

The Lord has caused CLIR to mature over the years, and this can be seen in the following ways:
– The CLIR Board is composed in its totality of Latin Americans
– There is a strong contribution of contemporary authors and translators, men such as Augustus Nicodemus Lopes, Peter Jones, Ludgero Bonilha, Alonzo Ramirez, and others. Through our publishing efforts, these men are making a positive impact on the theological development of Reformed leadership.
– Activities approved by the Executive Committee of CLIR (Board), such as: the implementation of challenging goals approved at our November, 2012 meeting; the plan for a General Assembly to be held in Natal, Brazil in 2014 at which we will celebrate 20 years of fruitful service in the Gospel
– Decisions made for future publications which include:

Letter to a homosexual friend, Peter Jones
Living Savior, J. Gresham Machen
Fundamental principles for preaching, Bill Green
The coming of the kingdom, Vol 2, H. Ridderbos
Promise and Deliverance, S.G. DeGraaf
Commentary on Joel, John Calvin
Faithful under fire: the story of Guido de Bres, William Boekestein
Eschatology of Geerhardus Vos (articles), translated by Alonzo Ramírez
Doctrines of Grace (Catechism material from the URC)
Necessary steps in the preparation of sermons, Rodney Wood

We hereby advise all our member churches of the upcoming General Assembly, and the magna celebration of the 20th anniversary of our Fellowship. This meeting will be held in Natal, Brazil in July of 2014.

It is our sincere prayer to God that all Reformed efforts around the world might be prospered, for God’s glory!

Soli Deo Gloria!

For the CLIR Board:
Francisco Magaña – president Javier Muñoz – secretary

Ludgero Bonilha M – vice president Elías Gaete – Treasurer

Alonzo Ramirez – 2nd secretary Carlos Cruz

Nicolás Vaca (absent with prior notice)

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