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Online spiritual dialogue fulfils growing needs

In times of involuntary isolation due to lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, online ecumenical retreats have emerged as an alternative place for spiritual dialogue. In Sweden, a series of four so-called “Quiet Days” retreats, where participants join online in a digital room to share a moment of stillness and reflection, were launched on the Eve of Pentecost. Initiated already last year under the headline “A spiritual dwelling for God,” by Lutheran Bishop Karin Johannesson from the Diocese of Uppsala, Sweden and co-hosted by Cardinal Anders Arborelius from the Roman Catholic Church in Sweden, the retreats have been expanded this year with English subtitles to also attract international audiences.  

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.”

In pictures: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Prayers for unity took on a different look and feel this year, but they weren’t stopped by widespread restrictions on face-to-face gatherings. From prayer cards to personal reflections, online gatherings to new connections, the images worldwide convey the spiritual richness of an ecumenical family that came together in prayer.

Driven by God’s grace and a sense of duty

When Rev. Dr Antje Jackelén became its first female archbishop in 2014, a major milestone was reached in the history of the Church of Sweden. It took 850 years and 69 male predecessors to get there. Jackelén also happens to be the first immigrant, at least in modern times, to occupy the highest chair of her church. That, however, she regards as a coincidence of lesser significance. For her, as a devoted Christian, the baptism matters more than the passport.   

“Coronaspection” project features Church of Sweden Archbishop Dr Antje Jackelén

As part of a “Coronaspection” project in which world religious leaders share wisdom in times of crisis, Church of Sweden Archbishop Dr Antje Jackelén was featured in a lively conversation with Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein, director of The Elijah Faith Institute. Through Coronaspection, The Elijah Faith Institute is bringing together world religious leaders for their insights on faith during the time of the coronavirus, with a sense of solidarity and interconnectedness of humanity.

Christian unity strengthens between Sweden, Malta

Mikael Stjernberg is public relations manager for the Christian Council of Sweden, which visited Malta in October to meet with churches and organizations to hear how they worked to produce the material for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, and to see how they work with refugees.

WCC well-represented in Religions for Peace leadership

Religions for Peace is the world's largest and most representative multi-religious coalition, and as in other multi-faith groups, the World Council of Churches (WCC) and its ecumenical family figure strongly in its leadership bodies.

Patriarch Bartholomew, archbishop of Sweden sign joint editorial

As Sweden prepares for a visit from His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarch and Antje Jackelén, archbishop of the Church of Sweden, signed a joint editorial for Swedish media.

“The church is a global network,” reads the joint editorial. “It has a presence around the world that is almost unsurpassed by any other organisation or movement.”

WCC President Wejryd: ‘Water, in many ways, represents God’

Swedish Archbishop emeritus Anders Wejryd, president of the World Council of Churches (WCC) for Europe, recently attended a ceremony during which Rodrigo Mundaca, who has fought for free access to water in Chile, received the Nuremberg International Human Rights Award. Wejryd shared with WCC Communication some of his thoughts on water justice.

American and Swedish church leaders sign joint climate justice pledge

The Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and Church of Sweden have signed a joint pledge related to climate justice.

The message urges action on the unprecedented negative effects of climate change. “As we observe the Season of Creation, we renew the call for our churches to work together for the sake of Earth and to build collaborations wherever possible, both with other communities of faith and with diverse agents in our civil society,” the text reads. “Now is the time for science, politics, business, culture and religion - everything that is an expression of human dignity - to address together this critical issue for our time.”