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Urgency to act now for climate justice

Participating in the COP26 in Glasgow resembled a reunion of sorts. After the pandemic cancelled meetings of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Working Group on Climate Change and led to the rescheduling COP26, it was wonderful to catch up with my ecumenical friends who are devoted to the work of climate justice.

Returning to where everything started

As people of faith concerned about the climate crisis, there are two origin stories that may guide and concern us as we ponder how we ought to live in the world today. One is the Genesis story, which establishes our faith in the God of Creation, and our particular role in nature. Another, is the story that started years ago on the same soil and the same river where COP26 is taking place today.

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.

Water on Wall Streets: understanding the evils of water futures markets

I teach water law, especially the water laws of the western United States.  Every year we discuss the question of water marketing, which is a well-established practice now in the somewhat arid western portion of the United States.  Naturally, students and others ask about the recent development of a futures market for water in California. Here is my answer: the creation of a futures market for water is the ultimate act of commodifying water in California. It is dangerous, inequitable, and quite contrary to the rule in water law that prohibits financial speculation in water. 

The rights and dignity of the other

In the words of Prof. Rev. Dr John Langan SJ, a human right "is a right that a human person has simply by virtue of being (human), irrespective of his or her social status, cultural accomplishments, moral merits, religious beliefs, class memberships or cultural relationships.” 

In times of global crisis, time to formulate the narrative of the way out

In just a couple of weeks an invisible virus got the world economy on its knees and made 2020 the year of postponement. Not only concerts and conferences, sports and theaters have been suspended or postponed. Even pivotal UN meetings have been postponed and among them the UNFCCC COP 26 in Glasgow. A meeting that should have at its best ramped up the ambitions to cut the world’s emissions of greenhouse gases. Incredible amounts of money have been thrown in by different governments of the world to keep the economy from a total collapse. And no one seems to be against it.

Easter Reflections: “I have come that they may have life and life abundantly.” (John 10:10)

Bishop Emeritus Munib Younan from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land:

It is Easter 2020.

This is the commemoration of both the crucifixion and the resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This is the source of our liberation but also of our praise and joy, especially in this time of the coronavirus crisis.

'I think it is the same for us now. It is enough that we are reflecting and praying, it is enough that we are listening to the voice of God, and the God of love will always be with us in our homes, in our churches, and our workplaces. The Risen Christ will bring us peace in our homes, and grants us hope in a hopeless situation, bringing us life and life abundantly.'

Reflections on our deeper crisis

An article on an interesting subject? No, not this time. I can only write from the deep crisis situation we are in at present. There is nothing else that keeps me more busy than the question of how to live with the anxiety and fear of the coronavirus and what to make of it.

A Christmas reflection on climate change

Amongst those who “came into being” are the familiar faces of the Christmas story. They faithfully lived the life they were given. There is significance in this for us, in our being here now. The life they were given was very different from the life they had probably planned.