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Regional Webinar on Racism, Xenophobia and Discrimination in Africa

21 October 2019

The thematic focus of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace (PJP) in 2019 is Racism.The WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA), organises a series of eight WCC CCIA regional expert Webinars on the issue of racism and racial justice from August to December 2019. The aim of the webinars is to explore how racism manifests itself in the respective regions, learn about the work that churches and ecumenical partners are doing in this respect, identify synergies and avenues for possible collaboration.

Online

WCC Executive Committee envisions future for one ecumenical movement

The WCC Executive Committee met in Uppsala, Sweden from 1-8 November to approve the 2019 programme plans and budget, follow up and decide on a variety of assembly matters, review the WCC strategic plan, discuss world affairs and issue seven statements in response to current situations. The Executive Committee also discerned the way forward for the WCC’s Communication Strategy.

“We live for each other” – Focolare meeting of bishops gathers in Sweden

“We are united in a pact of love, that encourages us to live in such a way that Christian unity is not only a dream, but may come closer each day,” said His Eminence Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij, archbishop of Bangkok and Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria Addolorata, as 40 bishops from 18 churches in 12 different countries gather in Sigtuna, Sweden, this week.

Peace-building and migration on agenda of WCC-Catholic Joint Working Group

At a time of increased divisions within churches and within rapidly changing societies, Christians are called, more urgently than ever before, to model the values of reconciliation, justice and peace. That’s why a group of theologians and church leaders from different denominations have been meeting near the German city of Augsburg to work together on two documents calling for much closer collaboration in the tasks of peace-building and the care of migrants and refugees.

Churches express solidarity with indigenous peoples at UN Permanent Forum

From 16-27 April, the United Nations headquarters in New York City is hosting the 17th Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. The World Council of Churches (WCC) is assisting the participation of a representative of the Ecumenical Indigenous Peoples Network Reference Group (EIPNRG) and co-sponsored a public event that explored ways that the church can move into a new phase of interaction with indigenous communities.

Konrad Raiser shares ecumenical journey of transformation

Rev. Dr Konrad Raiser has been on an ecumenical journey for most of his adult life, which spans 80 years. The former WCC general secretary relates some of this pilgrimage in his newest publication, “The Challenge of Transformation: An Ecumenical Journey.” On 5 February, shortly after Raiser’s birthday, ecumenical experts from different generations, confessions and continents met in Geneva to discuss the newest publication by the man who led the WCC from 1993 to 2003.

#WCC70: A story of how we meet together

The adoption of consensus decision-making for WCC meetings was proposed in 2002. Dr Jill Tabart of the Uniting Church in Australia was consensus mentor as these new meeting procedures were introduced at the 9th Assembly and beyond.

#WCC70: Dr Agnes Abuom: “I dream of a world where every man and woman’s dignity will be upheld”

It’s 70 years since the World Council of Churches was founded in Amsterdam on 23 August. In addition to a commemoration service in Amsterdam on 23 August, the WCC, its member churches and partners are planning a variety of events to move forward on our ongoing Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, and at the same time honour and learn from these 70 years of ecumenical endeavour. Dr Abuom, from the Anglican Church of Kenya, is the moderator of the WCC Central Committee. She is the first woman and the first African in the position in WCC’s history. In an interview, she reflects on the evolution of the WCC in the past 70 years.

“The work of truth-telling has to happen”

At a “Hearing on Racism, Discrimination, Afrophobia and Xenophobia” held at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva on 25 September, speakers reflected, lamented and, at times, simply sat in silence as they considered the experience of people of African descent in the USA.

Hielke Wolters: Apostle of mission strategies

Rev. Dr Hielke Wolters is leaving the WCC after serving for nine years - the last seven years as associate general secretary - but he is not leaving the ecumenical movement to which he has been dedicated since his student days. Officially is he going to retire, but only on the paper. He has many thoughts and plans to realize as he moves back to the Netherlands to serve, in one way or another, the church or the wider ecumenical movement. Wolters said to WCC News with a smile: “I’m open for any suggestion and I know that God will lead me in the right direction when that time comes.”