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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.

Prayers are key of peace

We believe that the global prayer campaign for the Korean Peninsula will be a key of peace to open the gate to cultivate forgiveness and reconciliation, a fountain of peace to revitalize a global ecumenical solidarity, and a milestone of peace to end the war on the Korean Peninsula after 70 years.

Lamentation in a Pandemic

Two months ago, I would not have spent a Sunday afternoon driving through a deserted city. There were people out and about, walking with children in strollers, jogging, laughing. Some were driving to do errands and buy groceries. Although it was sunny, there was still a somber pall over the city. I am told the same is true of New York and Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, and other cities.

Peace on the Korean Peninsula – NOW!

“We pray – Peace now – End the War!” This is the motto for the “Light of Peace” Prayer Campaign for the Korean Peninsula. “Peace now!” Now we are caught in the global coronavirus pandemic. The airtime in TV and radio is occupied by news related to the spread of the virus with many bad consequences for health and wealth of humankind. In this crisis we tend to forget other urgent needs. One of them is the call for peace for the Korean Peninsula.

God, faith and church life under question in a time of a pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the political, economic and social life of a troubled world, already suffering by the financial crisis and imposed neoliberal austerity measures. With this current crisis, a strange unity has risen; a unity in fear of illness and death, anxious uncertainty for the future and collective mourning for the tens of thousands of deaths.

Staying spiritually connected through song

Though the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in physical distancing, it has not made us any less of a global community. On the contrary, these troubling times have revealed just how connected we truly are. We have all been forced to find creative ways of staying connected whether it is from the smallest unit of a nuclear family to large transnational companies.

Easter Reflections: “I have come that they may have life and life abundantly.” (John 10:10)

Bishop Emeritus Munib Younan from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land:

It is Easter 2020.

This is the commemoration of both the crucifixion and the resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This is the source of our liberation but also of our praise and joy, especially in this time of the coronavirus crisis.

'I think it is the same for us now. It is enough that we are reflecting and praying, it is enough that we are listening to the voice of God, and the God of love will always be with us in our homes, in our churches, and our workplaces. The Risen Christ will bring us peace in our homes, and grants us hope in a hopeless situation, bringing us life and life abundantly.'

Do not let your hearts be troubled

“Do not let your hearts be troubled” (John 14:1) said our Lord, but my heart is troubled. I read this morning that the Chaldean Patriarch ordered to close the Churches in Bagdad in order to protect his people from the virus, and my heart got troubled.

Finding hope amid ashes in Australia

As you’ve undoubtedly seen on the news in recent weeks, our beautiful country of Australia is suffering under a terrible fire season this summer. People are suffering and look in awe at the terror of the fires, and they live in the bondage of fear.

A year participating in #ThursdaysinBlack

This will be my last weekly posting of a news article from the past week related to violence against women and girls around the world. Following the 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches a year ago, I decided to join the WCC movement of #ThursdaysinBlack, to speak out against violence and discrimination by wearing black and by posting on Facebook each week, for the duration of one year.

How difficult it is to go on a pilgrimage of peaceful coexistence

Over the last 5 years, the World Council of Churches has been following the process that led Colombia to a Peace Agreement. During these three years since its signing, the WCC has met with government agencies responsible for its implementation and heard reports from the UN Verification Mission, from the Kroc Institute, and from the Truth Commission and the Special Jurisdiction for Peace.