Taking its cue from a lecture by former World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Philip Potter, the October issue of the WCC quarterly The Ecumenical Review explores the meaning of the “oikoumene,” which in Greek refers to the whole inhabited earth and gives “ecumenism” its name.
A webinar on 4 November, “Realizing Equal Nationality Rights for All,” will consider that an estimated 15 million people worldwide are stateless—having no country that considers them to be a national by operation of law.
The World Council fo Churches (WCC) central committee leadership convened on 27 October to prepare for the upcoming WCC executive committee in November, which will be the executive committee’s first in-person meeting in two years.
Journalist and theologian Michel Kocher is a director at Médias-pro, a Swiss company that produces audio-visual materials with a spiritual flair. Below, Kocher reflects on how his team produced a new 360° tour of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Chapel.
As part of an ongoing campaign on youth and patriotism, the All Africa Conference of Churches has convened a pre-congress meeting in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, to prepare for a continental youth assembly later next year.
On 12 October, Dr Ofelia Ortega received a “Illustrious Daughter of the City” award from Matanzas, Cuba. Ortego, former World Council of Churches (WCC) president for Latin America and the Caribbean, also served as a Bossey Ecumenical Institute professor as well as the WCC staff person responsible for Latin America and the Caribbean in the Programme on Theological Education.
In many parts of Ethiopia, the forests surrounding churches and monasteries are among the last remaining in the country. They are severely threatened as people cut trees to obtain firewood. The church fights for the preservation of the forests by making local communities more aware of the link between the forests and water availability and by helping them to find alternative livelihoods for themselves and their families.
2021 has shown how vulnerable and unprepared even wealthy, industrialized countries are in the face of the escalating climate crisis. Devastating flooding, unprecedented heat waves and out-of-control wildfires have hit parts of Europe and North America. Yet this is just a foretaste of catastrophes that have long since become a bitter reality in other parts of the world. They are almost always a matter of too much or too little water. Yet water problems are often the result of discrimination and political failure, especially in times of climate change.
The Pacific islands are in grave danger and at the frontline of global climate change, so that is why the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, known as COP26, in Glasgow is so important for islanders, says Rev. James Bhagwan. He is general secretary of the Pacific Conference of Churches, a Methodist minister based in Fiji, and visited Geneva on his way to COP26, in Scotland's biggest city, Glasgow, from 31 October to 12 November.
On 12 October, representatives from the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (WCC-EAPPI) joined with Rabbis for Human Rights to be a presence of helping hands and hopeful hearts in villages during olive harvest.
As the journey continues towards the WCC 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe in 2022, a World Council of Churches consultation is now taking place in Berlin, Germany, to reflect and strategize on the future of the churches’ health ministry.