A brief yet lively history of the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey, The Story of Bossey: A Laboratory for Ecumenical Life, will be released by the World Council of Churches (WCC) Publications at a book launch 1 October on the grounds of the institute.
The Grand Imam of Cairo’s prestigious Al-Azhar mosque and university, Prof. Dr Ahmad al-Tayyeb, will visit the WCC to give a public lecture and participate in high-level dialogue on interreligious peacemaking. “We are honoured to welcome one of the world’s highest-ranking and most influential Muslim leaders to Geneva, and I very much look forward to his lecture and to sharing views with him on the many challenges that we as religious persons and leaders face together,” says WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit.
“What happens when we journey on a pilgrimage, a pilgrimage of justice and peace, with people who share our values but who may or may not accept the institution of the church? And what does it mean to be on a pilgrimage of justice and peace, when the next generation shares our concerns for justice and peace, and want to follow God, but do not share our spirituality as confined by church and by tradition?”
“Bossey opened my mind and my horizon.” These words from a former student touched Rev. Dr Dagmar Heller, dean of the Bossey Ecumenical Institute, one month ago as the two met at a conference.
Including persons with disabilities and the aged in humanitarian practices was the theme for the 4th annual International Humanitarian Partnership Conference in Nairobi on 21-22 September. More than 140 humanitarian practitioners, academicians and advocates met for the conference, organized by the Inter Agency Working Group on Disaster Preparedness for East and Central Africa (IAWG). The theme was “Disability and Age Inclusion in Humanitarian Practice: Scaling up inclusive practices toward the achievement of Agenda 2030.”
Leading religious scholars representing the major world religions have issued a declaration saying it is imperative that religions be a “positive resource for human rights”. The Declaration of Human Rights by the World’s Religions was released 15 September in Montreal, Canada at the 3rd Global Conference on World’s Religions after September 11.
The Ecumenical Institute at Château de Bossey is observing its 70th anniversary with notable speakers, creative worship, prayer services and a book launch, over the weekend of 30 September - 2 October.
A panel discussion “Religion and Religious Freedom in International Diplomacy” was organized during the 33rd session of the UN Human Rights Council by the United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, the delegation of the European Union to the UN in Geneva and the World Council of Churches (WCC).
At the second-ever convening of the Moral Imperative in New York City on 22 September, advocates from faith-based groups joined World Bank representatives and UN officials to discern the next steps for a diverse group of people trying to end extreme poverty by 2030.
Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Christian and Buddhist religious leaders met this week in Assisi to discuss peace, while across the ocean in New York City global political leaders assembled at the United Nations also focussed on a troubled world.
"If there ever was a time to change words into action, it is today", said U.S. ambassador-at-large Deborah L. Birx, M.D., coordinator of the United States Government Activities to Combat HIV/AIDS and U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy, at an interfaith prayer breakfast held during the United Nations General Assembly in New York on 20 September.
The WCC is committed to a just peace in Palestine and Israel with a view that this conflict is about justice with deep moral dimensions that must be given proper weight by all if we are to reach a lasting solution. Religion can both contribute to the increase of the level of conflict, or help establish peace. Read the interview with the WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit.
The six presidents of the organization Churches Together in England are encouraging all churches to pray together through an initiative called “Thy Kingdom Come.” The effort focuses on praying for Christ’s transforming love to bring hope and joy to all.
How does missional formation transform discipleship? A consultation in Cuba from 10-16 September explored this question and others related to the text Together Towards Life. The gathering was coordinated by the World Council of Churches Commission on World Mission and Evangelism as part of an ongoing quest to explore the means and methodologies for the practical application of Together Towards Life in the life of WCC member churches and mission community.
Germany’s Protestant and Catholic churches pledge "healing of memories" to mark Reformation anniversary
Germany’s main Protestant and Roman Catholic churches have published a “Common Word” for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 in which they call for a “healing of memories” of past divisions and for the event to be commemorated in ecumenical fellowship.
Roman Catholic and WCC representatives are forging new ways of working together on today’s most pressing issues.
“Dignity, Freedom, and Grace: Christian Perspectives on HIV, AIDS and Human Rights,” a book published earlier this year by the WCC, will be among reports discussed at a 20 September event with the theme “Keeping the Faith in Development: Gender, Religions & Heath.”
More than showing up to sing a song: Building understanding and joint action between people living with HIV and religious leaders
Being open about living with HIV can still be daunting and damaging, even some 30 years into the response to the virus. The pernicious stigma that cleaves to testing positive, remains one of the main barriers to a truly effective response. While billions of dollars have been spent over the last few decades to tackle HIV and AIDS scientifically and medically, with huge gains in prevention and treatment, social and cultural barriers still remain in what is the greatest epidemic in modern history.
The Association Internationale pour l’ Education Sociale Chretienne (AIESC), or International Association for Social Christian Teaching, held its 30th anniversary meeting at the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece from 2-3 September.
“The remarkable development to overcome poverty in Brazil has been an inspiration for many others, and it is extremely important that justice for the poor continues to be on the agenda for the leadership of Brazil”, said Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the WCC. Tveit has been in São Paulo, Brazil, from 7 – 9 September, attending the Pentecostal World Conference and meeting local church leaders.