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On the ambiguities of border and our quest for unity today

In the world today, border is far from a neutral or natural notion. Depending on the context of interpretation, it evokes different thoughts and emotions. For some, it may recall an expensive wall of xenophobia. For others, it could mean a gateway to safety and refuge, or the relentless defense against hostile aggressors. As we ponder the theme “Christ’s love (re)moves borders,” we shall begin by asking: What are borders? At a time when world powers are trying to change borders by force, what does it mean for Christ’s love to (re)move borders? And, ultimately, how do we discern between ideological pacifism and true unity?

Happy Birthday, Dear WCC!

You are very much needed. You are very much appreciated. You are very much discussed. You are bringing the fellowship of churches together through prayers, discussions, reflections, and actions in consensus.

Stolen dreams, stolen generations

Human trafficking continues to remain one of the most grievous assaults on the fundamental rights and inherent dignity of people. The crime, also known as modern-day slavery, is dehumanising in the sense that it corrupts one’s identity as being made in the image of God, instead reducing one to a mere commodity or object.

Prayers are key of peace

We believe that the global prayer campaign for the Korean Peninsula will be a key of peace to open the gate to cultivate forgiveness and reconciliation, a fountain of peace to revitalize a global ecumenical solidarity, and a milestone of peace to end the war on the Korean Peninsula after 70 years.

75th anniversary of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki: has your country ratified the UN treaty?

August 2020 will mark 75 years since nuclear bombs were detonated over Hiroshima and Nagasaki – devastating these cities and killing several hundred thousands. Since the First Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in 1948 where those gathered declared that war with atomic weapons was a “sin against God and a degradation of man,” the WCC has continued to call for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons and the existential threat that they pose to all humanity.

Catching the moment

Will the COVID-19 pandemic be remembered as a time when everything changed, as a unique moment in history that all can personally relate to? It has already changed a lot for many – while many people have been hit very hard, almost all have faced totally new situations, having to adopt new daily routines, think differently.

Staying spiritually connected through song

Though the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in physical distancing, it has not made us any less of a global community. On the contrary, these troubling times have revealed just how connected we truly are. We have all been forced to find creative ways of staying connected whether it is from the smallest unit of a nuclear family to large transnational companies.

Churches’ Commitments to Children: when the church comes to the table

It was at the World Council of Churches (WCC) 10th Assembly in Busan in 2013 where my journey with the Churches’ Commitments to Children - or (CC2C for short - started. Thirty-eight churches came together, formed a working group and came out with a joint declaration entitled “Putting Children at the Centre.” This declaration essentially called upon the WCC to ensure that children were not shunted to the side but took their rightful place at the centre of the churches’ plans, activities and social fabric where they belong.

Promoting Peace Through Arts and Social Media

Creating art or poems is a way to reimagine the future, to build bridges and foster understanding, to develop empathy, to make friends, to express feelings, to build self-confidence, to learn how to be flexible and open-minded, to be exposed to different ideas and learn to listen to the views of others, to work collaboratively. These are all attributes that can help to promote peace.

Our hope and our prayer

50 years after the 1968 Uppsala Assembly of the World Council of Churches, Rev. Olle Alkholm, vice president of the Uniting Church in Sweden, shares a personal reflection, based on his only memory from that year.

Deepavali lights celebrate the victory of justice

The festival of lights called Deepavali (or Diwali) in India is deeply connected with the idea of hope, aspiration and abundance. Deepavali is the celebration of victory that is promised to a person who leads a morally responsible life. It is a victory of justice, represented by the oil lamps that cast away the darkness of oppression.

Preaching in Toronto about the Pope’s visit to Geneva

When I was asked to preach recently, it seemed obvious that I would speak about the visit of Pope Francis to Geneva in June at the invitation of the World Council of Churches. This would give me the opportunity to talk about ecumenism with people who might not be familiar with either the word or the concept. It would also be the chance to draw attention to the 70-year quest by the WCC for practical ecumenism, that is to say an ecumenism that is about Christians working together to love their neighbour and care for creation.