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Blessed school starts for kids in Finland

Nowadays, children in Finland are offered blessings by their parishes in the beginning of each semester. The blessings take place in the local church, usually in connection with evening mass, but sometimes also during regular school hours.

#WCC70: From ecumenical seeds

A conversation on the way home to Chile from the WCC 4th Assembly planted an ecumenical seed that grew into a wonderful experience of Christian unity – the partnership agreement between the Pentecostal Church of Chile and the United Church of Christ.

Churches denounce increasing violence against children in Argentina

Churches, civil society organisations and almost 100 children and adolescents - many of whom experience poverty and violence daily - attended a consultation on 11 August organized by the World Council of Churches (WCC) in the town of Pilar, north of the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

WCC developing toolkit for health-promoting churches

A new “toolkit” to empower and enable churches to promote better health in their congregations is in the making. A workshop held 17 – 19 July 2018 in North Carolina, USA, by the WCC prepared the ground for this new resource.

Working toward an AIDS-free generation

Faith-based organizations have been at the forefront of calls to accelerate HIV testing and treatment for children and adolescents. As gaps in infection and treatment between adults and children have become more apparent, there are now more concerted efforts to “super fast-track” services for children. But will they be enough?

Building bridges of faith in the HIV response

A symbolic bridge, carefully constructed over a two-day interfaith conference, connects an interfaith networking zone with a space shared with the World Health Organization (WHO), UNAIDS and Unitaid at the Global Village of the International AIDS Conference 2018.

#WCC70: A prayer about health and healing

Dr Erlinda N. Senturias, from the Philippines, gives thanks that WCC has created safe spaces for the churches to talk about HIV and AIDS. She asks that the ecumenical movement continue to be a beacon of support for this ongoing journey of health and healing.

Congolese churches respond to Ebola outbreak

As Ebola breaks out in northern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), church and church agencies are moving to help counter the virus, which has left at least 25 people dead and more than 50 infected.

In Nigeria, voices on gender justice, HIV prevention and scriptures

Interfaith consultation on positive masculinities and femininities with adolescents and young people in Abuja, Nigeria brought together more than fifty religious leaders, theologians, people living with HIV, adolescents and young people, teachers, health professionals, media persons and government officials for frank conversation.

Different but one in Christ

From the face value, the above African proverb “A single stick may smoke, but it will not burn,” means that it actually takes a collection of sticks to have a burning fire since a single stick can only produce a thread of wispy smoke. The same is actually true with regards to our life. It is common to hear statements like ‘let us keep the fire burning’ when initiatives are started, but, most times it is just that, statements because individualism often supersedes collectivism. Little is done to fan the fire and add wood to it to ensure that it actually keeps burning.

Arusha offers vibrant and colourful worship life

Tanzanian dance, vibrant choral performances, and treasured liturgy: the African worship experience in Tanzania has something for everyone searching for meaning. With a spirit of hospitality, the Christ Church Cathedral of Mount Kilimanjaro Diocese in Arusha celebrated mass on 11 March, inviting fellow Christians from around the world who were participating in the WCC Conference on World Mission and Evangelism.

Sowing Peace

I recently attended the conference on ‘Interreligious dialogue for peace: Promoting Peaceful coexistence and common citizenship’ organized by KAICIID in Vienna on the 26 and 27 of February. The conference brought together some high profile religious leaders (predominantly but not exclusively from the Christian and Muslim faiths) who spoke with a united voice for social cohesion, peaceful coexistence and respect for religious diversity.

Seven Weeks for Water 2018, week 4: "The Daily Struggle for Water, Especially for Women", by

The fourth reflection of the of the "Seven Weeks for Water", of World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Water Network, is by Rev. Adelaida Jiménez Cortes, a pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Colombia.  She has a master’s degree in Theological Studies and currently she is a doctoral candidate in Education with a specialty in Pedagogical Mediation. In the following reflection she draws a parallel between the situation of Hagar, who had the challenge to survive and keep her son Ishmael alive in a desert without water, to a village in the northern region of Colombia where women have the socially entrusted “responsibility” to fetch water for their families amidst water scarcity.

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