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Virtual services enable real prayer, but not all have online access

As the world grapples with the spread of the new coronavirus, churches are finding ways to continue their traditions, but now by virtual means. On the coming Sabbath, churches around the world will engage in prayer, not publicly – as the church moves out of big public buildings – but inside the private spaces of homes.

Like a prophet: breaking the silence

As we continue our 16 Days Against Gender-based Violence, one of the fundamental messages that must be heard is to break the cycle of remaining silent. This is critical because at so many levels in our society we are repeatedly being told to be quiet.

Thailand consultation highlights need to combat sexual abuse and exploitation of children

A consultation jointly organized by the Christian Conference of Asia and the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Chiang Mai, Thailand has reiterated the need to combat sexual abuse and exploitation of children. About 40 child rights activists and representatives of churches as well as organizations working on the rights and dignity of children from various countries and regions across Asia committed to sensitize churches in Asia to be engaged in child rights advocacy.

Youth Take the Lead – and Faith Communities Should Endorse Them

When the UN general secretary, António Guterres, called for a Climate Summit during the opening days of the 2019 General Assembly, he placed extraordinary focus on youth. That was natural, since the greenhouse gas emissions of today will be affecting the world of tomorrow. And the world of tomorrow is in the hands of the children of today.

"Diversity" documentary reflects on maze of self-identity in Canada

"Let us all learn how to listen without interrupting, and how to speak without accusing, and how to share without pretending, how to enjoy without complaint, how to trust without wavering, how to promise without forgetting, and how to forgive - and forgive is the greatest teaching in Islam - without punishing."

When you have nothing, you give your heart

If the human spirit and likeness of God's will for peace with justice for all people is alive in the world, the pilgrim team that visited South Sudan this week has witnessed it. From 5-9 May, a World Council of Churches “Pilgrim Team” visited South Sudan under the theme “African Women of Faith and Gender Justice.” The delegation was hosted by the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC).

The Resistance of Biblical women and the leadership of Mrs. Winnie Nomzamo Madikizela Mandela

When I was a young adult I visited the home of Mrs. Winnie Nomzamo Madikizela Mandela. I was blessed to meet her and a few of her family members. I also heard her speak at a program in Soweto. Since this time, I have come to a deeper understanding about her and the spouses of celebrated leaders. Too often their leadership is not only overlooked but not considered.

Jonah 4:1-11 “Invitation to tolerance and compassion”, by Magali do Nascimento Cunha (Pilgrimage Bible study)

The story of Jonah is about the compassionate God whose mercy has no geographical, cultural, political, and economic frontier. The dialogue between God and Jonah (Jonah 4:1-11), which is considered the climax of the Book of Jonah, is an invitation to overcome intolerance and to cultivate compassion. The dialogue consists of two main parts: the anger of Jonah (v. 1-5) and the compassion of God (v. 6-11). In the dialogue, Jonah becomes angry, but God responds to him with two questions: “Is it good for you to be angry?” (v. 4) and “Is it good for you to be angry about the plant?” (v. 9) which indicate the limitless and universal mercy of God. In this way, the story of Jonah invites us to the pilgrimage of tolerance and compassion.

WCC Programmes

Seven Weeks for Water 2018, week 3: "Sweet water", by Rev. Dr Dario Barolin

The third reflection of the "Seven Weeks for Water", of World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Water Network, is by Rev. Dr Dario Barolin, a pastor of the Waldensian Church in Uruguay. He is also the executive secretary of AIPRAL, the Alliance of Presbyterian and Reformed Churches in Latin America. In the following reflection he recalls an encounter with two youths of his church who are trying to revive a creek which has lost its freshness due to water pollution by industries. He then draws a parallel to the story of Exodus where Moses turns the bitter water of Marah into sweet, fresh water with the help of a plant, thereby implying plantation being key to watershed.

WCC Programmes

As Hollywood speaks out, will other wounded women go deeper in the shadows?

Bishop Mary Ann Swenson has a unique position in observing and advocating for women’s rights or, as she would quickly clarify, “the fair treatment of human beings” no matter what their gender. As bishop-in-residence at the Hollywood United Methodist Church, she ministers to church members who were not only present at this week’s Golden Globe Awards – they were the nominees. And, as vice-moderator of the WCC Central Committee, she is part of a global parish, traveling to communities far removed from the privilege of Hollywood, where violence occurs against women who are seen by their own communities as having no voice and no rights.