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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.

Reflecting on California groundwater abuse

I live in western Oregon, part of the Pacific Northwest long regarded as a verdant paradise, courtesy of rains and snowfall that can exceed 100 inches each year.  The snowfall in the mountains sustains our rivers through the dry summer.  But our climate has been profoundly disrupted.  Where I live, summers are far drier and hot.  But just to the south of us, this climate change has caused a drought worse than any drought in the past 1200 years.  Scientists call it a “mega-drought,” a severe drought affecting massive areas of the western United States for more than two decades.  

11th Assembly Bible study - Pentecost

Part of a series of Bible studies in preparation for the WCC 11th Assembly, this seventh text was written by Karen Durant-McSweeney, from Friendship Methodist Church, Friendship Circuit, Guyana.

11th Assembly Bible study - Easter

Part of a series of Bible studies in preparation for the WCC 11th Assembly, this fifth text was written by Bishop Maxim (Vasiljevic), bishop of the Diocese of Los Angeles and Western America of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

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.

COP26: historic moment into what really matters to sustain life

The highly anticipated, long awaited COP26 began 31 October. It has now been six years since the adoption of the Paris Agreement at COP21 and much remains to be implemented in order to fulfil the promises agreed to at that historic moment by the member states. We knew then that the road ahead would be challenging and that changing our systems would require a radical shift in policies and behaviours—but we were hopeful. 

Let the food systems nourish people and the planet rather than feed the profits of the privileged

The food system is a complex web of activities involving production, processing, transport, and consumption. Key issues concerning the food system include how food production affects the natural environment, the impact of food on individual and population health, the governance and economics of food production, its sustainability, and the degree to which we waste food.

Thursdays in Black Bible Series- Profound Poverty and Structural Inequity Examined through Ruth (Ruth 1:1–22)

Dr. CL Nash is ordained in the American Baptist Church and has a PhD in historical theology. She has published in various theological blogs including with the Centre for Religion and Public Life, and the University of Leeds; in journals including the Journal of Theology for Southern Africa; and magazine articles with Mutuality Magazine. In addition to several articles and chapters being released throughout 2021, her first book is scheduled for release in 2022 with SCM Press. Visit her website here

Thursdays in Black Bible study series-Looking and Seeing (Luke 13:10–17)

Sister Imelda Poole, MBE, a native of Great Britain, is a sister of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM). After many years in the field of education and grassroots mission in the United Kingdom, her ministry moved to Albania where the Roman Catholic archbishop of Tiranë-Durrës invited the IBVM to work in the mission against human trafficking. This led to her co-founding Mary Ward Loreto, an NGO that addresses the root causes of trafficking, including poverty, and is involved in the rescue and rehabilitation of survivors of trafficking. 
Sr Imelda Poole currently serves as president of Religious in Europe Networking Against Trafficking and Exploitation (RENATE). RENATE has grown from a handful of religious sisters into a leading NGO combatting human trafficking in 31 European countries. It regularly convenes in different European nations to support work across borders in partnership with the many members of RENATE. Presently, Imelda Poole is co-founding the NGOs Mary Ward Loreto UK and Anti Modern Slavery Alliance.
 

Thursdays in Black Bible study series - Gender, Economics, and Structural Injustice (Ruth 16–13)

Amanda Khozi Mukwashi is the chief executive officer of Christian Aid, a global movement of people, churches, and local organizations working to end poverty. Her career spans intergovernmental and non-governmental spaces, including the UN, VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) International, and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa. She is the author of But Where Are You Really From? published by SPCK Publishing in 2020.

Hoping against hope

The same week Brazil reached half a million deaths by COVID-19, my parents got the first dose of the vaccine. On my way to work, I pass through a vaccination post full of people, and through a cemetery full of grief. The past year and few months were a mix of fear, indignation and anger for me. But also a time where I saw generosity and hope bloom.

Indigenous peoples and the pandemic in the land of inequalities

476 million indigenous people live around the world, of which 11.5% live in our Latin American region. In these years that we are going from the COVID 19 pandemic in our territories (indigenous or tribal at the Latin American level), the presence of many extractive companies, mainly uranium and lithium, has increased, land traffickers and among other monoculture companies with fires for the cultivation of oil palm, logging, putting vulnerable peoples at greater risk than what is already experienced.

Sailing on a wave of prayer

Do we discern the work of the Holy Spirit in the unsettling times that the world experiences these days? I’d like to share a little example:

Our brainstorm for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2021 began three years before. The liturgy and prayers—so carefully prepared with help of the World Council of Churches and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity—presented in the booklet of 2021, were being read and appreciated by many already in the process of preparation!

Seven Weeks for Water 2021, week 5: "Water on Wall Street: the ultimate abuse of God’s gift", by Susan Smith and Dinesh Suna

The 5th reflection of the Seven Weeks for Water 2021 of the WCC’s Ecumenical Water Network (EWN) is written by Susan Smith and Dinesh Suna.*  In the following reflection, they condemn the recent listing of water on Wall Street as a tradable commodity.  Referring to the biblical assurance that God will quench the thirst of the poor and needy and that water should be made available to all even if they have no money, they proclaim the true value of water as a gift from God, a human right, a spiritual wonder and the source of all life.