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In Lebanon, “without peace there is no justice”

When Dr Michel Abs, secretary general of the Middle East Council of Churches, speaks about living conditions in Lebanon, his compassion for his people—and his passion for peace—brim over. In a video interview with the World Council of Churches, he honestly shared his deepest concerns about the current socio-economic crisis in his nation, and how churches are helping.

Faith(s) Seeking Justice

Dialogue and Liberation

Published to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the WCC’s Programme on Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation, this volume celebrates a common confidence that dialogue can be linked to liberation in ways that can be both faithful and fruitful.

From the Introduction: “The heartbeat of this book is its concern to reimagine interreligious dialogue as a “dialogue of and for life” by interlinking it with liberation. What drives it is a passion that seeks to hold together two distinct concerns that emerged within theological thinking during the latter half of the 20th century and have since freed theological imagination in manifold ways.”

Hoping against hope

The same week Brazil reached half a million deaths by COVID-19, my parents got the first dose of the vaccine. On my way to work, I pass through a vaccination post full of people, and through a cemetery full of grief. The past year and few months were a mix of fear, indignation and anger for me. But also a time where I saw generosity and hope bloom.

Indigenous peoples and the pandemic in the land of inequalities

476 million indigenous people live around the world, of which 11.5% live in our Latin American region. In these years that we are going from the COVID 19 pandemic in our territories (indigenous or tribal at the Latin American level), the presence of many extractive companies, mainly uranium and lithium, has increased, land traffickers and among other monoculture companies with fires for the cultivation of oil palm, logging, putting vulnerable peoples at greater risk than what is already experienced.

The imperative to go back to the ecumenical basics

Dr Agnes Abuom, moderator of the World Council of Churches (WCC) central committee, was asked about the WCC executive committee meeting held on 17-23 May 2021. The WCC executive committee set a tone of hope for the future while, at the same time, addressing multiple global crises with statements, pastoral messages, and calls for prayer.

The transition to online programming and prayers during COVID-19 has challenged the WCC, and the rest of the world, Abuom found, and said is a heavy burden” on all in the ecumenical family as the WCC prepares for its 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany next year.

The pandemic does not stop the pilgrimage— it deepens the accompaniment

As part of a series of material prepared for a special edition of the WCC newsletter focusing on the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, WCC news interviewed Rev. Prof. Dr Fernando Enns, from the Association of Mennonite Congregations in Germany, and Jennifer Martin, Education in Mission secretary for the Caribbean and North America Council for Mission, United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Enns and Martin share the moderation of the Reference Group of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace since its creation in 2013.

Arctic communities to WCC pilgrims: “We need your voice”

Lorraine Netro, who was raised in the Gwichin First Nation of Old Crow, Yukon (Canada), is part of an indigenous community—but shes also a global citizen.

Todays Arctic peoples are important members of global society,” Netro said. The survival of Arctic cultures and communities remains tied to the wildlife and landscape of the Arctic Refuge.”

The COVID-19 pandemic and community life: reflections and challenges

The Greek word Koinonia, which Paul especially uses in the New Testament, translates as community, communion, union, fellowship, participation, among other meanings. The term "solidarity" expresses the meaning of Koinonia. The community based on solidarity seeks peace, justice, well-being, the Shalom of the people. The word "coexistence" can also be equivalent of Koinonia, because it means to live in unity for several generations under the same roof or house. The "coexistence" leads us to take care of the integrity of creation, to recognize that we are not the only inhabitants of this house.

COVID and the challenge of holistic humanity

While traveling from the border of South Sudan on a remote dirt road toward the Ugandan town of Kitgum, my companion and I were flagged down by two men. They were carrying their paralyzed friend to Kitgum Hospital and asked if we would give them a lift. Routine as the question may seem, the choice was not an easy one.  The year was 2007, and while the Lord’s Resistance Army had been mainly cleared out, sympathizers remained, and picking up travelers was risky. Pietro, the South Sudan country director who was traveling with me, turned and said, “You’re the logistics officer, what do we do?”

Rev. Dr David Emmanuel Goatley: “Pray that the Spirit will breath on the conversations”

A new weekly podcast series, “Pilgrimages of Striving and Thriving,” aims to draw wisdom from Black churches in the US through engaging conversations with pastoral leaders. The tone of the series, produced by Lott Carey, encourages transparency on how spiritual gifts interact with unique settings for ministry.

Below, Rev. Dr David Emmanuel Goatley, who cohosts the podcast, reflects on the path that led to the series, the response to the conversations so far, and hopes for future inspiration.