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Perkins names Dr Evelyn Parker as 2021 Distinguished Alumna

The Perkins School of Theology Alumni/ae Council selected Dr Evelyn L. Parker as the 2021 recipient of the Perkins Distinguished Alumnus/a Award. The award recognizes Perkins graduates who have demonstrated effectiveness and integrity in service to the church, continuing support for the goals of Perkins and Southern Methodist University, outstanding service to the community, and exemplary character.

US House panel advances historic effort to pay reparations to descendants of slaves

A House panel in the United States Congress advanced a decades-long effort to pay reparations to the descendants of slaves by approving legislation, commonly referred to as H.R. 40, on 15 April that would create a commission to study the issue. The “40” refers to the failed government effort to provide 40 acres (16 hectares) of land to newly freed slaves as the Civil War drew to a close.

It's the first time the House Judiciary Committee has acted on the legislation.

U.S. veterans work for peace on divided Korean peninsula

Throughout 2020, the World Council of Churches (WCC), together with the National Council of Churches in Korea, has been observing a Global Prayer Campaign,“We Pray, Peace Now, End the War.” As part of the campaign, the WCC is sharing personal stories and interviews that inspire others to work for peace. The story below features the perspective of U.S. war veterans, all of whom are also featured in video interviews.

Joint message calls for healing wounds and a shared future for the Korean Peninsula

A Joint Ecumenical Peace Message for the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War was publicly delivered on 22 June during a live-streamed event. Co-sponsored by churches and councils of churches around the world, especially from countries that participated in the Korean War, the message describes the Korean War as an “appallingly destructive conflict” after which no peace treaty was ever concluded.

Churches should use their voice on climate change

Pacific islands experience lasting impacts of the 50 years of nuclear testing and the region has become a global hotspot of climate change, the World Council of Churches (WCC) Commission of Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) learned in its meeting this week in Brisbane, Australia.

WCC leaders reiterate need for United States and Iran to step back from escalating conflict

In the aftermath of armed attacks by both the US and Iran, WCC reiterates its call for restraint and de-escalation of the confrontation.
“Further escalation and conflict between the United States and Iran can only serve short-term political interests, while threatening the permanent destruction of many lives, communities and precious cultural and environmental heritage,” said World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit. “I appeal to political leaders on all sides of this confrontation to put the interests of the people of the region ahead of their own interests, and to seek peace through dialogue and negotiation rather than confrontation.”

WCC condemns attack at Hanukkah celebration in New York City

The World Council of Churches (WCC) condemned an attack on a Hanukkah celebration at a rabbi´s home north of New York City, on 28 December, stabbing and wounding five people. Several state and local officials have described the location of stabbing as a synagogue.

Dr Saïd Ailabouni: God is on the side of rejected, oppressed, occupied

Born in Nazareth, Galilee, Rev. Dr Saïd Ailabouni moved to the US at the age of 19 to become a physician. But he was so angry at God that he went to study theology instead, becoming a Lutheran pastor. Now he is leading the Middle East & Europe desk of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Since leaving his hometown 50 years ago, he visits his Palestinian family regularly. As the World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel approaches, Ailabouni agreed to share some of his lifetime observations with the Word Council of Churches.

Salpy Eskidjian Weiderud honored with International Religious Freedom Award

Salpy Eskidjian Weiderud, leader of the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process, has received an International Religious Freedom Award from the US Department of State. The awards “honor extraordinary advocates of religious freedom from around the world” and will be presented on 17 July in Washington, D.C.

Peacemakers at work in Sri Lanka

In the wake of the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka, the Omnia Institute for Contextual Leadership, based in Chicago, lifted up points of hope that peace will win in the end. In a 25 April message, Shanta Premawardhana, president of the institute, wrote that every person of every faith of every nation deserves to wake up in peace. “Every child deserves to feel safe, welcomed, and alive to the promise that each day brings,” Premawardhana wrote. “I'm sure you know that this is why we build Interfaith Peacemaker Teams in Sri Lanka.”

Thursdays in Black: Making a difference one person at a time

“What can one person do” can often sound like a lament about powerlessness.

For Thursdays in Black, though, one person can build a movement.

David Emmanuel Goatley, Faculty Director of the Office of Black Church Studies at Duke University Divinity School in North Carolina, USA, learned about Thursdays in Black through his involvement with the World Council of Churches’ Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace. He has now launched the campaign through the Office at Duke University.