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At Effata school in Togo, students transform attitudes about gender-based violence

Through four years of collaboration with the Effata Secular School in Togo, the World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy programme has introduced students and teachers to Thursdays in Black, towards a world without rape and violence, helped them better respond to HIV, and offered a safe space to discuss responsible sexual and reproductive health.

In Palestine, “God honored this olive tree”

“Just as you cannot live without water, olive oil is the same for us—and the olive tree is our life,” explains a smiling Abu-Issa under an awe-inspiring 13-meter olive tree. Its umbrella of branches extends over the al-Walaja hills, just north of Bethlehem.

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.   

On World Mental Health Day, “expect your colorful life”

In honor of World Mental Health Day, observed on 10 October, Hanbeet Rhee, a member of the Ecumenical Youth Council in Korea and a member of the World Council of Churches ECHOS Commission on Youth, shared her personal encouragement and testimony about the importance of caring for one’s mental health

Where is God in these times?

In a time of a global pandemic that has killed almost 200,000 Americans, civil unrest in the streets, and an economy in tatters, I have been blessed with the opportunity to share my thoughts with you during this unique time in history. I decided to contribute to this blog in the form of a personal letter to each of you.

Communication is all about being heard and understood

In most medium- to large sized organizations, there is a communications function dealing with all kinds of “communication issues.” Usually, that comprises everything from producing a broad variety of presentation material and managing websites to writing stories, handling media relations and advising management teams. The tasks are challenging and often stressful. Professionalism and integrity are key.

Systematically challenged to mutual love

This year, I received as a gift the book “My Ecumenical Journey” by the founder of the Focolare Movement Chiara Lubich (1920-2008). The compilation of reflections about ecumenism are accompanying my morning meditation before I start to work.
One year ago, I joined the communication department of the World Council of Churches, a membership organization that works for unity between churches from different Christian denominations.

Peace, the mother of love

“Peace especially attracts the Spirit of God, for peace is the mother of love and the hallmark of sanctity.” So said Alcuin of York. Although he lived and died over 1,200 years ago he remains one of the greatest Christian scholars this country has ever produced, and even though he is not so well remembered today, his influence upon the church in Europe was profound and long-lasting.

Are we our sisters' keepers? When it comes to atom bombs the world is saying 'yes'

On his visit to Japan last November, Pope Francis defined nuclear weapons as a “crime”. Two crimes, actually, folded into one. He named “the dignity of human beings” and “any possible future for our common home”. The pope added a critical qualifier in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The crime is committed not only by using nuclear weapons; it is also committed by having nuclear weapons.

Practicing the interfaith discipline of hope

Last September I visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki for the first time as part of my sabbatical year. How does one encounter these two places that are such containers of pain, suffering and for me, as an American, complicity? To be a tourist feels wrong and I ended up contemplating the World Council of Churches (WCC) model of pilgrimages of justice and peace as a way to be in a space of suffering, and as a way to practice accompaniment, commitment and perhaps even hopefulness.