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An exercise in hoping

I’m writing this text exactly one year after Brazil declared quarantine, on 16 March. Last year we went into quarantine thinking it would only be two weeks at home, and maybe a few months of wearing masks and sanitizing our hands. I’m the first to confess that I’ve underestimated the virus. However, we all know that is not how it went. Month after month went by - the internet joked about how could it possibly be August already, when last week was March?

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.

Voices of Lament, Hope, and Courage

A Week of Prayer in the Time of the COVID-19 Pandemic

To commemorate a year since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the spread of COVID-19 a pandemic, the World Council of Churches provides this resource for a week of prayer.
This book was designed as a resource for use in prayer groups, congregational services, personal prayer, and in the pastoral accompaniment of those directly affected in different ways by the pandemic. The prayers, messages, reflections, statistics and WCC resources have roots in faith challenged by mourning, fear and uncertainty in different contexts worldwide. 

As goodwill ambassador, Rev. Martina Viktorie Kopecka breathes fresh spirit into reconciliation in Czech Republic

Rev. Martina Viktorie Kopecka, a priest in the Czechoslovak Hussite Church, is moderator of the World Council of Churches (WCC) ECHOS Commission for young people. She also serves on the WCC executive and central committees. In February, she was named a goodwill ambassador by H. E. Tomáš Petříček, minister of foreign affairs of the Czech Republic, a role she will serve for one year. Below, she reflects on her hopes and plans for sharing stories from the Czech Republic with the world, bridging divides in her home country, and, ultimately, bringing about new expressions of Christian love.

African Churches mark International Women’s Day

As African churches joined the rest of the world in marking International Women’s Day, pastors, gender experts and activists called for a critical evaluation and strengthening systems to ensure gender justice and equality in churches and society.

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?”

Remembering Patrick Matsinkinyiri (27 July 1937 – 15 January 2021)

Patrick Matsikenyiri was born in Biriri, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), and died in Mutare, Zimbabwe near his home village a few kilometers from the border of Mozambique, as a result of complications due to the COVID-19 virus. His career included virtually all aspects of church music — singing, choral directing, composition, hymnal editor, festival leader, professor, and enlivener of global songs in venues around the world.

The ecumenical spirit at Calvin’s Cathedral

Few moments in the early history of the World Council of Churches have embodied and conveyed the spirit of the modern ecumenical movement as vividly as the service celebrated at Saint Peter’s Cathedral, Geneva, 20 February 1946, less than one year after the end of World War II.

Churches Respond To The Church: Towards A Common Vision Volume I

Faith and Order Paper No. 231

This publication and its companion volume collect the responses received to The Church: Towards a Common Vision (TCTCV) between 2013 and 2020.
The responses address the Church’s mission, unity, and its being in the Trinitarian life of God in order to encourage and advance the churches’ growth in communion with each other in apostolic faith, sacramental life, mission, and ministry for the sake of God’s world.
These responses are of great importance, not only because they test the points of convergence and of difference identified in TCTCV but also because they express the interests and concerns of many member churches and ecclesial bodies engaging in the work for Christian unity. They also provide invaluable insight and guidance for future work on ecclesiology.

Churches Respond To the Church: Towards a Common Vision Volume II

Faith and Order Paper No. 232

This publication and its companion volume collect the responses received to The Church: Towards a Common Vision (TCTCV) between 2013 and 2020.
The responses address the Church’s mission, unity, and its being in the Trinitarian life of God in order to encourage and advance the churches’ growth in communion with each other in apostolic faith, sacramental life, mission, and ministry for the sake of God’s world.
These responses are of great importance, not only because they test the points of convergence and of difference identified in TCTCV but also because they express the interests and concerns of many member churches and ecclesial bodies engaging in the work for Christian unity. They also provide invaluable insight and guidance for future work on ecclesiology.

Rev. Prof. Dr h.c. Cornelia Füllkrug-Weitzel: “Respect for the life and dignity of women needs to be promoted by all churches”

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. Rev. Prof. Dr h.c. Cornelia Füllkrug-Weitzel is retiring as president of "Brot für die Welt" and "Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe" after leading the German charity for 20 years.

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.