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In a COVID-stricken world, “everyone is important”

A webinar held 22 October gave space for persons with disabilities to share their reflections. Entitled “From Lamentation to Transformation,” the event, first in a series of webinars on COVID-19 perspectives, highlighted hope through stories, practical support, and social change as experienced by persons with disabilities.

Rev. Dr Angelique Walker-Smith: From a Christian Pan African perspective, “who writes the stories?”

Rev. Dr Angelique Walker-Smith is senior associate for Pan African and Orthodox Church Engagement at Bread for the World. She also serves on the World Council of Churches (WCC) central committee. She recently participated in a rally and march in Washington, DC, where thousands gathered to commemorate the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington in 1963 that included Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream" speech.

Churches in Nigeria promote rights of women with disabilities

“The church has lots of roles in removing barriers that prevent persons with disabilities from living a fulfilled life. All are created in the image of God and have equal rights. Sexual and reproductive health is one such right that should not be denied to any woman,” said Rev. Evans Onyemara, general secretary of the Christian Council of Nigeria during a training on empowering women with disabilities on sexual and reproductive health care held at Umuahia, Nigeria from 9-11 March.

Ecumenical partners in Africa celebrate women’s achievements

Ecumenical partners in Africa convened by All Africa Conference of Churches, World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network, WCC Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiative and Advocacy, Christian Aid, and Side by Side gathered in Nairobi on World Prayer day 2020 to celebrate the achievements of women in Africa as well as to recognise men as allies. The gathering also observed the International Women’s Day under the theme #EachforEqual.

"Mission for God’s people” explored at seminar in Kenya

At a seminar on African missiology held in Nairobi, Kenya on 13 February, participants gave space to theological reflections linked to the Arusha Conference.

The one-day event, “Re-visiting Arusha 2018: Highlights of African Missiology,” also created space for new reflections based on the Arusha Call to Discipleship.

WCC mourns passing of Prof. Vuyani Vellem

With great sadness, the World Council of Churches (WCC) received news of the demise of Prof. Vuyani Vellem on 4 December. A member of the WCC’s Commission on Ecumenical Education and Formation, Vellem was director of the Centre for Public Theology and associate professor at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. He also served as deputy secretary of the South Africa Council of Churches.

Ethiopians celebrate Meskel festival

Ethiopians have celebrated the annual festival of the Meskel (which means “cross” in Amharic), marking the finding of the “true cross” on which Jesus Christ was supposedly crucified. The festival is one of the major religious celebrations of the Orthodox Church in the Horn of Africa country. The main national feast - which occurs on 27 or 28 September - is held at Meskel Square in the capital Addis Abba.

Religious leaders from South Sudan cherish those who host refugees

Commemorating the International Day of Peace on 21 September, the Ecumenical Network of South Sudan sent a message to the Uganda Joint Christian Council and to other organizations and communities who have hosted refugees.
“We would like to express our solidarity, knowing quite well your ever-commendable efforts towards your support for the people of South Sudan,” reads the statement. “You have been true ambassadors of the love of Christ.”

Erhard Hermansen: “The church in South Sudan needs our prayers"

Erhard Hermansen is general secretary of the Christian Council of Norway, which has been collaborating closely with churches in Sudan and South Sudan for nearly 30 years. Hermansen attended the South Sudan Council of Churches 2019 Assembly in late August, and shares his reflections and hopes below.