“As we search for unity through the ecumenical movement, I am keenly aware of the importance of relationships,” said Winkler, who hosted some Pilgrim Team Visits that focused on North America. “Through this experience, I broadened and deepened relationships and friendships with people throughout the world.”
Noteboom also served as a host, and said that storytelling during Pilgrim Team visits was deeply meaningful. “The experience of serving as a pilgrimage host was as good opportunity to engage the Canadian member churches of the World Council of Churches and to share some of the unique and meaningful stories around the themes of land and landlessness, truth and trauma, gender justice, and racial justice,” he said. “For me personally it was a good opportunity to see what ministry and change looks like in local, community settings across Canada and to reflect on the situation and context of the church more generally.”
Key lessons learned not only from North America but also from meetings in the Pacific (2020), Asia (2019), Latin America and Caribbean (2018), Africa (2017) and the Middle East (2016) will be shared at the WCC 11th Assembly in 2022.
“I think the intersectionality of the four principal themes explored in the pilgrimage—gender justice, truth and trauma, land and displacement, and racial justice—was ratified and will feed into next year’s WCC assembly in Karlsruhe,” said Winkler. “I heard a strong affirmation of the need for the entire ecumenical movement to focus on anti-racism in the years ahead.”
Noteboom also expressed appreciation for new relationships and connection with different communities that didn’t exist before. “For example, the visit to the far north, made possible only because of virtual technologies, made visible the situation of the church in the Canadian Arctic that is invisible to many churches in southern Canada," he said, adding his wish for prayers for the work ahead.
“Pray for patience, wisdom, and insight as the church wrestles with what reconciliation can possibly mean across all the different religions, cultures, and histories in Canada and changes to more closely resemble God’s beloved community,” he said.
WCC Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace study groups gather to harvest their insights- WCC press release 10 June 2021
Latin American countries wrestle with injustices exacerbated by rising wave of COVID-19 - WCC press release 1 June 2021
In Winnipeg, WCC Pilgrim Team Visit explores how “out of sorrow comes action – WCC feature story 1 June 2021
The pandemic does not stop the pilgrimage— it deepens the accompaniment - WCC interview 27 May 2021
Arctic communities to WCC pilgrims: “We need your voice” - WCC feature story 11 May 2021