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Week of Prayer brings fruits of the Spirit despite COVID-19

Prayer is a powerful way to be united as Christians from all over the world. Every year my church community in Cuba joins the celebration of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity with daily devotions and a special worship service, usually on Sundays. Being connected in the same prayerful spirit around a common text that turns into so many testimonies of faith is truly a gift of the Spirit and an ecumenical commitment.

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.

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.

Applications open for WCC Eco-School

The fourth edition of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Eco-School on Water, Food and Climate Justice will be held 18-24 January 2021 in the Pacific region in five countries (Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, Tuvalu & Solomon Islands).

In Fiji, mindset is changing amid work to prevent violence against women

Thursdays in Black grew out of women’s movements of resilience and resistance to injustice, abuse and violence. In the Pacific region, which has some of the highest recorded rates of violence against women, churches are leading conversations to change attitudes and actions. Domestic violence is prevalent throughout Fiji. According to UN Women’s Global Database on Violence against Women, almost 2 out of 3 women aged 18-64 in Fiji have experienced physical or sexual violence from their intimate partner – almost twice the global average.

Papuan religious leaders urge justice as an end to racism

In a statement to the president of the Republic of Indonesia, Papuan religious leaders are urging justice for seven defendants on trial in the Balikpapan - East Kalimantan District Court who held a demonstration because they were rejecting racist treatment. “But the indictments and charges at the trial were very different from the data and facts in the field,” reads the statement. “They are victims of racism but they have been accused of treason.”

Pacific Conference of Churches on “the new normal”

In a 5 May message entitled “The Story of our Pacific Household in the ‘New Normal,’ ” the Pacific Conference of Churches acknowledges those risking their lives to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and expressed condolences to those who have lost loved ones.

WCC postpones seminar on transformative masculinity and femininity in Tonga

Taking into consideration the growing global concerns and implications of the current spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), the World Council of Churches (WCC) will postpone its annual Ecumenical Continuing Formation on Youth seminar in the Pacific to the end of the year 2020, with a date to be announced. The event was scheduled for June 2020 in Tonga.
The WCC is taking steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including cancelling or postponing certain meetings and limiting travels.

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.