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US House panel advances historic effort to pay reparations to descendants of slaves

A House panel in the United States Congress advanced a decades-long effort to pay reparations to the descendants of slaves by approving legislation, commonly referred to as H.R. 40, on 15 April that would create a commission to study the issue. The “40” refers to the failed government effort to provide 40 acres (16 hectares) of land to newly freed slaves as the Civil War drew to a close.

It's the first time the House Judiciary Committee has acted on the legislation.

Where is God in these times?

In a time of a global pandemic that has killed almost 200,000 Americans, civil unrest in the streets, and an economy in tatters, I have been blessed with the opportunity to share my thoughts with you during this unique time in history. I decided to contribute to this blog in the form of a personal letter to each of you.

Panel explores: How do we teach ecumenism today?

As the World Council of Churches (WCC) Commission on Ecumenical Education and Formation held its biannual meeting at the Ecumenical Institute Bossey outside Geneva, Switzerland, space was given for a discussion on current concerns and trends in the area of teaching ecumenism in theological institutions today.

Ecumenical Review focuses on Pan-African Women of Faith and Inclusive Global Theological Education

The latest issue of The Ecumenical Review, the quarterly journal of the World Council of Churches (WCC), focuses on the Pan-African Women’s Ecumenical Empowerment Network (PAWEEN), a project of the WCC’s programme on Ecumenical Theological Education (ETE).

Formally established as a network in 2015, PAWEEN aims to celebrate, commemorate, and build upon the legacy of Pan‐African women in the ecumenical movement.

Pan African Conference celebrates the past, inspires the future

With a combination of joyous celebration and thorough research, women and men gathered at the University of Botswana from 1-4 July under the theme “Mother Earth, Mother Africa in theological/Religious/Cultural/Philosophical Imagination.” Eighty papers were presented, and participants came from South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria and other African countries and the diaspora. All were brought together by their concern on ecological degradation.

A tribute to Rev. Dr Rena Joyce Weller Karefa-Smart

The life of Rev. Dr Rena Joyce Weller Karefa-Smart is being remembered and commended this week by the WCC fellowship after her passing last week. Karefa-Smart was the first Pan African woman to graduate in 1945 from Yale Divinity School. She was a champion for global ecumenism over the course of a long and distinguished career. An attendee of the first WCC Assembly, she was also a procession leader and author of the liturgies at the second WCC Assembly in Evanston, Illinois (USA).

Walker-Smith named president of Christian Churches Together

Rev. Dr Angelique Walker-Smith has become the first female in history elected to the post of president of the Historic Black Church Family of Christian Churches Together (CCT). Walker-Smith is a member of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee and also a member of the WCC Commission on Ecumenical Education and Formation.

Ecumenical theological education: sharing space for transformational experiences

Eighteen theological educators and church representatives gathered on 22 June in Geneva for the second meeting of the Network of Institutions of Higher Ecumenical Theological Education (NIHETE). The inaugural meeting took place in Halle, Germany, in May 2016. NIHETE is an open platform of exchange on contents, methodologies and contexts of teaching ecumenism in the era of world Christianity.

Latin American, Caribbean theologians strengthen collaboration

Over 30 representatives of several theological institutions connected to the World Council of Churches programme of Ecumenical Theological Education (WCC-ETE) are gathered at the Faculty of Theology of the Methodist University of São Paulo, from 14-18 May, for the first Meeting on Ecumenical Theological Education of Latin America and the Caribbean in Global Dialogue.

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.

Pan-African women demand end to gun violence in USA

In a “Holy Week Statement of Lament and Solidarity” for Maundy Thursday, the Pan African Women’s Ecumenical Empowerment Network demanded an end to gun violence in America. The statement, developed for use in prayer on Maundy Thursday as well as other Holy Week liturgy, decries the response to gun violence against children in the USA as “scarce and insufficient.”