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WCC invites youth to Stewards Programme for 2020 Central Committee

The World Council of Churches (WCC) invites ecumenical youth to be stewards at the 2020 Central Committee in Geneva, Switzerland. With an application deadline of 1 December 2019, the Stewards Programme aims to bring together a dynamic and diverse group of 20 young people from all over the world on 12-25 March 2020. The invitation is open to people from a variety of backgrounds, churches and regions.

Thailand consultation highlights need to combat sexual abuse and exploitation of children

A consultation jointly organized by the Christian Conference of Asia and the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Chiang Mai, Thailand has reiterated the need to combat sexual abuse and exploitation of children. About 40 child rights activists and representatives of churches as well as organizations working on the rights and dignity of children from various countries and regions across Asia committed to sensitize churches in Asia to be engaged in child rights advocacy.

An emoji for forgiveness? It’s on the way…

A coalition of peace-building organizations in Finland has launched a campaign to crowdsource an emoji that symbolizes forgiveness. The idea was created by the Evangelical Lutheran church of Finland, which is also one of the founding organisations of the #forgivemoji campaign.

Churches and UN uneasy at rise in undernourished people, despite hunger fight progress

The tally of undernourished people is climbing again after decades of worldwide progress in the fight against hunger and the rise is of grave concern for the World Council of Churches (WCC), its ecumenical partners and the United Nations.

Dutch Reformed Church holds assembly, receives ecumenical support

The Dutch Reformed Church held its general assembly from 6-11 October in Benoni, South Africa. The church adopted a new policy on sexual abuse and misconduct, and also publicly strengthened its commitment to gender justice. The new policy, the result of conversations over many years about the way in which women are sometimes treated in the church, describes in detail which acts could be seen as sexual abuse or misconduct.

Elias Crisóstomo Abramides of Argentina, deeply mourned and fondly remembered

The global ecumenical family is deeply saddened by the death of Elias Crisóstomo Abramides, on 21 October 2019. He was a pioneer and a vital stalwart in the faith community's ongoing struggle to stop climate change. Elias was a founding member of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Working Group on Climate Change which emerged from WCC participation in the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro that gave rise to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. He continued to be a dedicated and active member of the WCC Working Group on Climate Change, and the ecumenical work on climate change, until his death.

In the Bahamas, “some things are beyond our understanding”

Bernadette Butler, who is from the Bahamas, shared a morning reflection at the World Council of Churches (WCC) on 21 October. She spoke as part of the ecumenical prayer cycle for the people of the Caribbean.

WCC general secretary nominated as presiding bishop for Bishops’ Conference of the Church of Norway

The Bishops' Conference of the Church of Norway has nominated World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit as its new presiding bishop.

Youth leaders: “We will stop at nothing” to end HIV and violence

Young people in Uganda are on fire for change that will free the world from both HIV and sexual and gender-based violence. Spreading sparks of knowledge and enthusiasm, they have been visiting schools to inform and inspire even more young people.

Southern African theologians craft advocacy tools for women’s health, equality

With both creativity and dedication, a group of diverse theologians from across southern Africa have developed tools that will strengthen advocacy for women’s sexual and reproductive health.

Hanbeet Rhee: “Young people can be bridges”

Our series of interviews with Thursdays in Black ambassadors highlights those who are playing a vital role in increasing the impact of our collective call for a world without rape and violence. Hanbeet Rhee, from the Presbyterian Church of Korea, is a member of the Ecumenical Youth Council in Korea. She is also a commissioner with the World Council of Churches (WCC) ECHOS programme, as well as a youth advisor for the WCC Central Committee.

Global Christian Forum Facilitation Group focuses on youth participation

The Global Christian Forum Facilitation Group met, with the addition of extra youth voices from Christian confessions, in Christiansfeld, Denmark, from 11-12 October, at the invitation of the Moravian Church, with a focus on enhancing youth participation in the life of the forum.

Catholicos Karekin II visits Geneva

His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, visited Geneva on 12-13 October. Karekin II, a World Council of Churches (WCC) president, was attending the 2019 Swiss Red Cross Ball with the theme of “Brighten the Lives of our Elders.” The main purpose of the event was to support people with disabilities in Armenia.

Tveit: “Combatting racism - a global ecumenical task”

In a message to those gathered in Hampton, Virginia (USA), World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit explored “Race, Repentance, and Reparation: An Ecumenical Opportunity.”

Lutheran Archbishop of Finland: “In mission we find ourselves as giving and receiving”

As the Finnish Mission Council celebrated its centenary on 12 October in Tampere, Finland, the Lutheran Archbishop of Finland, Dr Tapio Luoma, celebrated the witness in mission of the earlier missionaries and generations. Luoma also urged every generation to find answers to the question of how to live fully as a disciple of Jesus and fulfil his commission.

The Céligny congregation, Bossey, and the memories of Arnold Mobbs

As Rev. Marc Gallopin welcomes the new Bossey students to the Reformed congregation in Céligny, Switzerland, this sunny Sunday, 13 October, the name of another Céligny pastor comes to my mind: Arnold Mobbs.

WCC expresses appreciation for vibrant Finnish mission work

As the Finnish Mission Council observed its centenary, Dr Risto Jukko, director of the World Council of Churches Commission on World Mission and Evangelism, spoke about the relation between Finnish mission work and the international mission movement.

Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox women reflect on common journey

A consultation held on the campus of Saint Vlash in Durres, Albania on 3-7 October brought together Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox women involved in the work of the World Council of Churches (WCC) since the 10th WCC Assembly in Busan, Korea in 2013.

Young WCC commissioners contribute to Václav Havel exhibition in Rome

"The best thought is one that always leaves a certain crevice for the possibility that everything is totally different at the same time" - Rev. Martina Viktorie Kopecka, moderator of the World Council of Churches ECHOS Commission, cites this as her favorite quote from Václav Havel, opponent to Czechoslovak’s communist regime and later president of his country.

“African at Heart” conference set for USA in November

Pan-African Women of Faith, Bread for the World, the World Council of Churches (WCC), Pan-African Women’s Ecumenical Empowerment Network, Pan-African Diaspora Women’s Association, African Union, and All Africa Conference of Churches have announced plans for a November conference as well as the rollout of a social media campaign aimed at promoting profiles advocating justice and equity.