The Rev. Carlos Malave, who for the past 11 years has served as associate for ecumenical relations in the Office of the General Assembly, has accepted a call as executive director for Christian Churches Together (CCT).
Created in 2001, CCT is a forum of more than 35 churches and Christian organizations that encompasses the broad diversity of Christianity in the U.S. ― Evangelical, Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Pentecostals, historic Protestant, Racial and Ethnic churches.
“I’m convinced CCT offers hope to our country for a reconciliation that’s inclusive of all Christian traditions,” Malave told Presbyterian News Service in a June 14 interview. His selection as CCT’s executive director was confirmed June 19. “CCT is still an experiment in the works,” Malave said. “There are still some gaps, but the intention and possibility of being fully inclusive is there.”
Malave, raised in the Seventh Day Adventist church, was drawn to ecumenism while a student at Fuller Theological Seminary. “What really clicked was a church history class taught by Cecil (Mel) Robeck Jr., an Assembly of God pastor but a really strange Assembly of God pastor because he was a leading Pentecostal ecumenist,” Malave recalled. “That was captivating to me, his call to work for the unity of the church.”
In his first call ― at First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, Calif. ― Malave “started to get involved in local ecumenism” and that path eventually led him to the ecumenical relations office of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
“What has been most rewarding about my time here,” Malave said, “is to experience the church not as a structure but as a family, to be respected even though our theological perspectives differ.”
Malave said he’s also come to greatly appreciate the commitment and historical importance of the PC(USA) to church unity. “As we explore the new ways of being church with new generations, we need to keep as a strong foundation our Presbyterian ecclesiology, to respect and build on the foundations previous generations of Presbyterian ecumenists have laid for us.
“Being Presbyterian,” he said, ‘really does mean being ecumenical.”