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Why theology must occupy social media

I see five imperatives for theologians (prophetic, pastoral and priestly), to occupy the social media space, which is currently dominated by politics (politricks), business (including profiteers), entertainers (artists, sports, etc.), economists, lawyers, etc.

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. 

Happy Birthday, Dear WCC!

You are very much needed. You are very much appreciated. You are very much discussed. You are bringing the fellowship of churches together through prayers, discussions, reflections, and actions in consensus.

On Small Beginnings

When I read about Zerubbabel launching efforts in rebuilding Jerusalem I nod with a smile. Zechariah 4:10 says: “... Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin" (New Living Translation)Zerubbabel reminds me of a small nation that also started humbly, but whose efforts, despite the choir of doubters, have been greatly blessed by the Lord.

Bethany Seminary students creatively explore hospitality in the neighborhood—and across the world

These days, we are all swimming in the murky waters of theological, political, and social division. Swamped by waves of conflict and pulled down by undercurrents of dysfunction, it is reasonable to fear for the future of our communities of faith. But thats not the end of the story. As president of Bethany Theological Seminary, an agency of the Church of the Brethren, I have found a deep, clear reservoir of hope in the witness and work of our students and alumni.

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.

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.” 

Peace, the mother of love

“Peace especially attracts the Spirit of God, for peace is the mother of love and the hallmark of sanctity.” So said Alcuin of York. Although he lived and died over 1,200 years ago he remains one of the greatest Christian scholars this country has ever produced, and even though he is not so well remembered today, his influence upon the church in Europe was profound and long-lasting.

Practicing the interfaith discipline of hope

Last September I visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki for the first time as part of my sabbatical year. How does one encounter these two places that are such containers of pain, suffering and for me, as an American, complicity? To be a tourist feels wrong and I ended up contemplating the World Council of Churches (WCC) model of pilgrimages of justice and peace as a way to be in a space of suffering, and as a way to practice accompaniment, commitment and perhaps even hopefulness.