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December 2004

23 November 2004

<span style="font-weight: bold; "» Where is the ecumenical movement going in the 21st century?

<span style="font-weight: bold; "» Observing World AIDS Day

<span style="font-weight: bold; "» Theological consultation to affirm human dignity, rights of peoples and the integrity of creation

<span style="font-weight: bold; "» High-level visit from the Roman Catholic Church

<span style="font-weight: bold; "» Ecumenical formation seminar

<span style="font-weight: bold; "» Churches to review prospects for the struggle against HIV/Aids in Russia

<span style="font-weight: bold; "» Consultation on spiritual accompaniment of political processes

<span style="font-weight: bold; "» Advance notice of major WCC events in 2005

<span style="font-weight: bold; "»» Where is the ecumenical movement going in the 21st century?

30 November-3 December, Geneva, Switzerland

The WCC will join international ecumenical organizations, national councils of churches, specialized ministries and ecumenical communities around the world to discuss the direction of the ecumenical movement in the 21st century. Some 80 participants, about half of them coming from WCC member churches, will share visions of ecumenism from their own contexts, seeking more effective ways for the churches to work together in today's changing context of global Christianity. The conference will produce a vision statement outlining conclusions and recommendations for future cooperation among churches and organizations within the ecumenical movement.

More information on these discussions is available at:

www.wcc-coe.org > press corner > new configuration of the ecumenical movement

<span style="font-weight: bold; "»» Observing World AIDS Day

1 December, Geneva, Switzerland

Thirteen governmental and non-governmental organisations including the World Council of Churches (WCC), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) are observing this year's World AIDS Day under the theme "Women's voices, vulnerabilities and victories in the face of HIV/AIDS". Starting with an ecumenical prayer in the Ecumenical Centre chapel, the programme will include dance and vocal performances as well as speeches by women living with HIV and others affected by HIV/AIDS. A reception and exhibition of work by the organizations will conclude the event.

For further information please contact:

ehaia@wcc-coe.org

<span style="font-weight: bold; "»» Theological consultation to affirm human dignity, rights of peoples and the integrity of creation

4-10 December, Kigali, Rwanda

A theological consultation, organised by the World Council of Churches' Faith and Order Commission in the framework of the Decade to Overcome Violence, will explore various components of human dignity, rights of peoples and the integrity of creation in order to discern what these might mean for churches participating in the Decade to Overcome Violence. Upholding the sanctity of life and the created order is proposed as a decisive way in which churches can counter the reality and legitimisation of massive abuse and destruction of life in the world today.

This consultation will bring together a group of 25 theologians, human rights activists and social scientists from many parts of the world. It is expected to produce an aide-mémoire that can serve as guidelines for those who wish to continue work on this issue during the Decade.

<span style="font-weight: bold; "»» High-level visit from the Roman Catholic Church

6 December, Geneva, Switzerland

His Eminence Cardinal Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, will visit the World Council of Churches on December 6, 2004 at the invitation of the WCC general secretary, Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia.

<span style="font-weight: bold; "»» Ecumenical formation seminar

6-9 December, Bossey and Geneva, Switzerland

The WCC Round Table ecumenical formation seminar is an opportunity for staff of specialised ministries and agencies that form the WCC Round Table to develop a better understanding of the ecumenical movement through interaction with other partners and WCC staff. It will enable them to reflect together on matters of professional concern and build good working relationships.

The first two days at the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey will include sessions on ecumenism and the ecumenical movement and the role of religion in development. The second half of the seminar will include an introduction to the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva and to the work of WCC; participants will meet with staff working in areas relevant to their concerns.

Information about WCC work on ecumenical formation is available at:

wcc-coe.org/wcc/what/education/index-e.html

<span style="font-weight: bold; "»» Churches to review prospects for the struggle against HIV/Aids in Russia

8-9 December, Moscow, Russia

The World Council of Churches is supporting a two-day international interreligious conference to review "Prospects for interaction and cooperation between state, religious and public organizations regarding the problem of HIV/AIDS in Russia". The consultation, prepared by the Russian Orthodox Church, Russia Inland Mission (Baptist Church), a number of other Christian denominations, and various Russian and international organizations, will bring together some 150 participants representing state bodies, different religious faiths and public organizations.

A main objective will be to define the role of the various religious organizations and churches involved in combating HIV/AIDS, and strengthen interreligious dialogue and ministry in this field. The conference will also attempt to strengthen cooperation between Russian partners and international organizations that are carrying out various programmes on AIDS prevention worldwide.

More information on the WCC's work against the HIV/AIDS pandemic is available at

wcc-coe.org/wcc/what/mission/hiv-aids-e.html

<span style="font-weight: bold; "»» Consultation on spiritual accompaniment of political processes

16-17 December, Geneva, Switzerland

Growing interaction between religion and politics in most cultures today, both traditional and secular, is the framework for a consultation organised by the World Council of Churches' Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (WCC/CCIA). The consultation on "Reclaiming the Spirit: spiritual accompaniment of political processes" aims to identify ideas and to make recommendations on how the churches and the CCIA can meet the growing challenge of spiritual accompaniment.

Bringing together some 25 key representatives from different traditions and experiences, the seminar was developed in dialogue between the WCC and the Focolari movement. While not open to the public, the seminar is linked to a short public seminar on Thursday, 16 December.

More information about the WCC/CCIA is available at

www.wcc-coe.org/wcc/what/international/index-e.html

<span style="font-weight: bold; "»» Advance notice of major WCC events in 2005

In 2005, the annual focus of the Decade to Overcome Violence will be on Asia.

Orthodox pre-Assembly meeting

10-17 January 2005

Rhodes, Greece

Week of prayer for Christian unity

18-25 January 2005

Worldwide

Ecumenical Participation at the World Social Forum

26-31 January,

Porto Alegre, Brazil

Meeting of the international coalition for the Decade to Overcome Violence

14-15 February 2005

Paris, France

WCC Central Committee meeting

15-22 February 2005

Geneva, Switzerland

Conference on World Mission and Evangelism

9-16 May 2005

Athens, Greece

International interreligious conference hosted by WCC

6-10 June, 2005

Geneva, Switzerland

International day of prayer for peace

21 September

worldwide

Geneva interreligious conference and youth event

12-14 November 2005

Geneva, Switzerland

WCC 9th Assembly (2006)

14-23 February 2006

Porto Alegre, Brazil