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Chris and Susan Ferguson
Submitted by webweaver on Fri, 2011-05-06 11:09.
On Home Assignment after serving the World Council of Churches
October 2004 to Present
Susan Ferguson holds a B.A. in German Literature and a Master’s of Social Work from the University of Washington. She immigrated to Canada to take a job with the YWCA in the Chinatown area of Vancouver, where she worked closely with the staff of First United Church on many areas of concern. She has worked in volunteer and paid positions with community agencies and churches in B.C., Quebec and Ontario, in programs for women and children living in poverty, usually as part of United Church community ministries. She has also worked on organizational reviews of a number of large social agencies.
As Overseas Personnel, Susan first served with her husband Chris in Costa Rica, from 1987 to 1991, coordinating medical and health promotion services at a large daycare for low-wage working mothers, including refugees. In 2004, Susan and Chris were appointed once again as United Church of Canada overseas personnel, to serve with the World Council of Churches (WCC), based in Jerusalem. Susan was assigned primarily to the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), a WCC initiative to support efforts to end the occupation of the Palestinian Territories and support a just peace in the Middle East. She functioned as the EAPPI team support person to teams of human rights monitors in Jerusalem and the occupied Palestinian Territories. Susan also worked with the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees of the Middle East Council of Churches.
When her partner Chris was re-assigned in 2006 to the WCC’s United Nations Liaison Office, in New York City, Susan was re-assigned to work with the General Council’s Justice, Global and Ecumenical Relations Unit in the areas of education and advocacy. For over 3 years she provided leadership as The United Church of Canada’s Advisor on Refugees and Immigration, dealing with refugee issues and sponsorship concerns.
Chris Ferguson was ordained in Vancouver and is a minister of The United Church of Canada. He has served as Director of Chaplaincy Services at McGill University, Adjunct Professor of Ministry at the United Theological College in Montreal, and as a senior denominational leader in The United Church of Canada. For some 14 years Chris served the The United Church of Canada’s General Council as Area Secretary for the Caribbean and Latin America, as General Secretary of the Division of World Outreach, as Executive Minister of the Justice, Global and Ecumenical Relations Unit, and as Ecumenical Officer of The United Church of Canada.
As Overseas Personnel, Chris first served with Susan in Central America as a Professor of Ministry and Theology at the Latin American Biblical Seminary in Costa Rica (1987–1991). In 2004 Chris was re-appointed as United Church of Canada Overseas Personnel and assigned to serve as the World Council of Churches’s Representative in Jerusalem. He was also assigned to be the first Associate Executive Secretary of the new Jerusalem Ecumenical Centre (now known as the Jerusalem Inter-church Centre), a joint initiative of the WCC and the Heads of Churches of Jerusalem. Chris was assigned by the WCC to physically establish the office of Jerusalem Inter-church Centre, but particularly to give leadership to the challenging task of earning the confidence of local church and civil society leaders for joint global ecumenical witness and advocacy. In policy formation and communication, Chris ensured that Palestinian Christian voices were heard, rooting the international advocacy firmly in the reality and experience of those most directly affected.
In September 2006, Chris was re-assigned by The United Church of Canada and the World Council of Churches to serve as the Representative of the World Council of Churches to the United Nations in New York, and was the senior staff person in the WCC’s United Nations Liaison Office.
They returned to Canada in early 2011. They continue their service on “home assignment” and are available within the United Church as speakers and resource people.
The World Council of Churches is an ecumenical movement whose goal is Christian unity. The WCC brings together 349 churches, denominations, and church fellowships in more than 110 countries and territories throughout the world. The United Church is a founding member of the WCC which was established in 1948.