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"Get up and go!" is the motto of an ecumenical pilgrimage for climate justice that will invite pilgrims to walk from Flensburg to Paris, where the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) will start at the end of November.

In Brekklum, in the northern region of the country, more than 60 delegates representing partner churches of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany are gathering for a ten-day consultation on issues of global justice, 16 – 20 September.

The general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, has sent messages of greetings and encouragement to the participants of both initiatives.

“The future of humanity and creation requires and deserves that we as Christians leave our divisions and tensions behind”, read the message from the WCC general secretary to those convened in Brekklum by Mélisande Schifter, member of the WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs.

“Only together can we become credible witnesses for the good news of the gospel and overcome the boundaries that separate us.  There is only one common future for humanity, not many and not just mine. Real hope is the only hope we share,” the text continued.

Tveit stressed that such convictions motivated the delegates of the WCC 10th Assembly at Busan in 2013 to call on churches and all people of good will to join in a pilgrimage of justice and peace. He expressed encouragement to the pilgrims in Flensburg who have begun the journey towards Paris.

“Those who started in Flensburg are part of a worldwide movement for climate justice. Four hundred thousand people demonstrated on the streets of Manhattan in September last year. We were there in New York at the same time, together with representatives of many different religions, to express our care for creation in front of the United Nations,” Tveit’s message recalled.

The pilgrimage from Flensburg to Paris is supported by a broad ecumenical alliance of German regional Evangelical churches, Roman Catholic dioceses, associations and development agencies like Bread for the World and Misereor.

Read full text of the WCC general secretary’s message

More information: event in Brekklum and Flensburg (in German)

Ecumenical pilgrimage for climate justice (in German)

WCC Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace

WCC’s work on climate justice and care for creation