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Called to Transformation - Ecumenical Diakonia

A joint publication of the World Council of Churches (WCC) and ACT Alliance, this study document aims to clarify the understanding of ecumenical diakonia and to provide a common platform for acting and reflecting together for the churches and ecumenical partners worldwide. 

The major publication outlines the theological components of diakonia and offers practical content for those engaged in the service of diakonia. The study document is intended to be used for formation and training in ecumenical diakonia, to strengthen the institutional capacity of those involved in diakonia, and to foster dialogue and cooperation between churches, ecumenical partners, ACT Alliance and the WCC.

Transformative Spiritualities for the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace

The Churches of the World Council of Churches have been on a “Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace”—together with people of goodwill—since they met for their assembly in Busan in 2013. Building peace with justice has been at the heart of the ecumenical movement since its beginnings. It reflects the call of the churches in a wounded world caused by systemic injustice—racism, sexism, xenophobia, economic exploitation, and violence among humans and against nature, our “Mother”. While political advocacy, theological reflections, and ethical orientation have been high on the agenda of the World Council of Churches, the spiritual dimension of a “just peace” has not always received the same attention.

Starting a Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, the WCC began to focus intentionally on “transformative spiritualities” in order to (re-)discover the strength of the many and diverse faith communities around the globe. What is the well of that distinct power to resist evil with good, to transform injustices into a life of dignity for all, to heal broken relations – including Mother nature? And what are some of the spiritual practices that inspire communities on that “sacred walk”?

This volume provides a selection of reflections on those transformative spiritualities, from Indigenous perspectives to women’s voices, from Black communities´ to campesino/as´ struggles, from specific Christian traditions to sister faiths. It is that common well we all drink from—inviting readers to participate in that promise that a life in peace and justice is, in fact, possible for all.
 

Celebrate Christ’s Love!

Sing and Pray

Celebrate Christ’s Love! Sing and Pray
Feiern Wir Die Liebe Christi! Singen und Beten
Célébrons L’amour Du Christ! Chante et Prie
¡Celebremos El Amor De Cristo! Canto y Oración

In four languages, a newly released publication developed by the assembly’s worship planning group, Celebrate Christ’s Love!, expands the opportunity to prepare spiritually for the assembly.

This publication contains some of the components of the final spiritual-life resource that will be used at the assembly. It invites assembly participants and the wider fellowship to celebrate the love of God that we find in Christ through prayer, song, and reflecting on Jesus’ preaching and healing as portrayed in the Gospels.

Seven Weeks for Water 2022, week 7: “Pilgrimage of water justice in Europe,” by Prof. Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri

The seventh and final reflection of the Seven Weeks for Water 2022 of the WCCs Ecumenical Water Network is written by Prof. Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri*. In the following reflection she, being the staff focal point of WCCs Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, makes a compelling analysis of how the WCC pilgrimage and the pilgrimage of water justice inter-relate, complement, and strengthen each other, with a particular reference to Europe.

Seven Weeks for Water 2022, week 6 “Water is a gift of God, a common good and a human right” by Dinesh Suna

The sixth reflection of the Seven Weeks for Water 2022 of the WCC’s Ecumenical Water Network is written by Dinesh Suna.* In the following reflection ,  he gives a historical background of the WCC's water justice ministry and reaffirms that water is a gift of God, a common good and human right. Taking the inspiration from Isaiah, he calls the churches to become blue communities and say no to privatisation of water and to bottled water.

Seven Weeks for Water 2022, week 5: “Water – a blessing and a threat?”, by Peter Pavlovic

The fifth reflection of the Seven Weeks for Water 2022 of the WCC’s Ecumenical Water Network is written by Peter Pavlovic.* He reflects that  Europe is a water rich continent, still, a lot of concerns related to water availability persist in the region.  Climate change makes this problem worse, our vulnerability is, as the last IPCC report warns, increasingly exposed.  Faith describes the world as a gift of God given to humanity. Fragility of our existence is closely related to disrespecting the limits of the world in which we live and is rooted in the failure of our relationship with God.

I Belong Volume 2

Biblical Reflections on Statelessness

This second publication of biblical reflections on statelessness presents new perspectives, including indigenous voices and reflections on the meaning of land. These texts can be valuable tools for discussion and reflection during Bible studies in congregations and communities around the world.

Coexistence

Peace, Nature, Poverty, Terrorism, Values (Religious Perspectives)
Archbishop Dr Anastasios

First published as Συνύπαρξη, this collection of reflections suggests that coexistence has been an essential component of the life of humanity, however, it is frequently undermined and even poisoned. 

The book shows how violence has taken new uncontrollable forms which culminate in polymorphous terrorism. Human aggression expands to exploitation and even to the contempt of creation, with painful consequences for both the natural environment and for human life itself.

The author views, through a theological and religious point of view, peace in ecumenical dimensions as well as in a specific country; the human being and the environment; poverty; terrorism; and universal moral values.

Συνύπαρξη was awarded the 2016 Free Thought Essay Award in memory of Panagiotis Foteas in Greece. It has been published in Greek, Italian, and Albanian, is awaiting publication in French by Apostolia Publishing House, and the German translation will follow soon.

Seven Weeks for Water 2022, week 4: “Water for peace: an interfaith perspective”, by Susanne Öhlmann

The fourth reflection of the Seven Weeks for Water 2022 of the WCC’s Ecumenical Water Network is written by Susanne Öhlmann.* She says water and peace are similar to each other. We do not miss them until they are absent. On one hand, Europe, a water rich continent, has started to feel the pinch of water shortages in recent times, and on the other, peace and security of the region has started to destabilize in the wake of war in Ukraine. Drawing inspiration from the prophet Amos, she prays for peace and justice to prevail.

Seven Weeks for Water 2022, week 3: “Care for Creation and Water for life”, by Louk Adrianos

The third reflection of the Seven Weeks for Water 2022 of the WCC’s Ecumenical Water Network is written by Louk Andrianos.* He reflects on the  words of God found in James and John, by warning Christians about less recognized  “ecological sins" toward water: “pollution.” When our thirst is not quenched by Jesus Christ’s water and we follow the worldly consumption lifestyle, we act sometimes as springs of polluted water that are destroying creation instead of giving life to it. We cannot be the source of blessing and cursing (James 3: 10-11). 

Seven Weeks for Water 2022, week 2: "Water Justice towards Gender Justice", by Nicqi Ashwood

The second reflection of the Seven Weeks for Water 2022 of the WCC’s Ecumenical Water Network is written by Nicole Ashwood (Nicqi).* In the following reflection , which was  written around the International Women’s Day, she reflects how the women in the story of Exodus were deprived of water and how Moses came up to their defense  and provided them and their flock with water. Then she  highlights how developed countries in Europe, including Switzerland fares in getting access to clean water and how it affects the health, wellbeing and dignity of the people, particularly, women, everywhere.

Seven Weeks for Water 2022, week 1: "Water justice now", by Philip Peacock

The first reflection of the Seven Weeks for Water 2022 of the WCC’s Ecumenical Water Network is written by Philip Vinod Peacock.* In the following reflection, he reflects on the promise of God found in Isaiah, that God will quench the thirst of the poor and will not forsake them. In the current global water crisis, he juxtaposes the poor against the rich in terms of their capacity to access  clean water. He challenges us to be enablers of God’s promise of water for the poor.

Pilgrims on the Path of Peace

The Journey of the WCC from Busan to Karlsruhe (Unillustrated)

For each assembly, the central committee submits an accountability report, describing and offering an assessment of the activities of the WCC between the assemblies; in this case, since the 10th Assembly, in Busan, Republic of Korea, in late 2013.

The report “Pilgrims on the Path of Peace – The Journey of the WCC from Busan to Karlsruhe,” is now available online for WCC member churches, ecumenical partners, and other global pilgrims. The WCC central committee received the report in February.

Common Threads

Key Themes from Responses to The Church: Towards a Common Vision

Faith and Order Paper No 233

Churches now agree more than they disagree on many characteristics of the Church and its faith, mission, and life: the responses to the convergence statement The Church: Towards a Common Vision make this clear. Within this growth in agreement, key themes come to the fore, calling for greater understanding, study, and common conversation: visible unity, communion, mission, the role of the people of God in ministry and decision-making, sin and the church, and more. 
This volume presents essays on sixteen of these key themes. Each essay was written by a member of the subgroup of the WCC Commission on Faith and Order that focused on reading and analyzing the responses. The essays were then discussed by the group and revised in light of the discussions. Some of the themes have been prominent since the 1982 convergence statement Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry. Others have emerged more recently. 

Together with the report What are the Churches Saying about the Church?, the essays illuminate the many ways in which the vision of unity has inspired and changed the churches, as well as critical areas where future work is needed.