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Water Justice is integral to Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, by Dr Agnes Abuom

Recently during the PJP harvest gathering meeting of WCC, at a workshop on revisiting the Seven Weeks for Water – Lenten campaign of the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Water Network, Dr Agnes Abuom was asked to reflect on the linkage between the WCC’s water justice campaign and the WCC’s overarching theme of Pilgrimage of  Justice and Peace? Having attended several PJP meetings and Lenten campaigns herself, she responded in a pre-recorded video message. The following is the transcript of her video message.

Moderator of Central Committee

Youth amplify #NoDAPL movement in Standing Rock

Mni Wiconi

Water is life

This Lakota chant rang out anew as the Youth Council from the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Nations gathered with elders, tribal leaders and other water protectors for a springtime rally. Religious leaders continued to stand with them in solidarity for water justice.

Seven Weeks for Water 2021, week 7: "Healing the water heals the wounds of the earth and its people", by Andrew Schwartz

The seventh and last reflection of the Seven Weeks for Water 2021 of the WCC’s Ecumenical Water Network is written by Andrew Schwartz.* In the following reflection during Holy Week, he is using a small town in the USA as a case study to emphasise how local communities can take small initiatives to “resurrect” the contaminated or “dead” groundwater to form life giving waters.   Leaving us on a positive note, he ends by saying, “if Holy Week teaches us anything it’s that death is not final.”

Seven Weeks for Water 2021, week 6: "A universe reborn: in the context of Standing Rock", by Archbishop Mark MacDonald

The 6th reflection of the Seven Weeks for Water 2021 of the WCC’s Ecumenical Water Network is written by Archbishop Mark MacDonald.*  In the following reflection, he recognises that Jesus and his ministry are closely associated with water. Then he goes on to recall his presence at the Standing Rock protests in 2016 along with other clergy and indigenous water protectors.  He felt, at that time, that Jesus was also present beside them at the Standing Rock to protect its waters.

Seven Weeks for Water 2021, week 5: "Water on Wall Street: the ultimate abuse of God’s gift", by Susan Smith and Dinesh Suna

The 5th reflection of the Seven Weeks for Water 2021 of the WCC’s Ecumenical Water Network (EWN) is written by Susan Smith and Dinesh Suna.*  In the following reflection, they condemn the recent listing of water on Wall Street as a tradable commodity.  Referring to the biblical assurance that God will quench the thirst of the poor and needy and that water should be made available to all even if they have no money, they proclaim the true value of water as a gift from God, a human right, a spiritual wonder and the source of all life. 

Seven Weeks for Water 2021, week 4: "Gendered water: women fight for safe drinking water in their communities", by Krystina White

The 4th reflection of the Seven Weeks for Water 2021 of the WCC Ecumenical Water Network is written by Krystina White.* In the following reflection, she narrates her experience of how people of colour are denied their right to clean water because of lead poisoning of tap water in Flint, Michigan (USA). She further demonstrates how ordinary women, though at the receiving end, can do extraordinary work, just like Deborah, the prophetess in the Bible.  White and her friends challenged the lead contamination of Flint’s waters through the Black Millennials 4 Flint and offered lasting solutions to communities facing the crisis.

 

"USA: Race and income determine access to clean water" - interview with Michele Roberts

The Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform (EJHA) in the USA is dedicated to chemical safety and supporting healthy, toxic-free communities where people can safely live, work, play, pray and go to school. The alliance is rooted in the history of the environmental and economic justice movement. WCC-EWN talked to Michele Roberts of the Environmental Justice Health Alliance (EJHA) about challenges to safe drinking water in the USA, how these are closely related to systemic racism, and possible solutions to achieve water justice for all.

WCC Programmes

Seven Weeks for Water 2021, week 3: "Water for creation: protecting water for the sacred C’iyaal, C’waam and Koptu", by Jesse Cruz Richards

The 3rd reflection of the Seven Weeks for Water 2021 of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Water Network is written by Jesse Cruz Richards.*  The following reflection draws inspiration from the restoration of the Israelites from Babylonian exile as promised by Ezekiel, and from hopes and prayers for the restoration of the Klamath Tribes and other indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest to their rivers, waters and fishes, namely the C’iyaal, C’waam and Koptu. 

Reflections on water

Year after year, people of faith, theologians, philosophers, environmentalists, and people from church-related grassroots organizations, as part of the WCC-EWN’s Seven Weeks for Water Lenten campaign, try to capture what is happening in their region regarding water. The editors talked to different members of the WCC-EWN about what the Seven Weeks for Water mean to them and why spiritual reflection is important as we strive for the responsible management and equitable distribution of water for all.

WCC Programmes

Seven Weeks for Water 2021, week 2: "Water for life: not guaranteed for the indigenous people of the Navajo Nation", by Annika Harley

The 2nd reflection of the Seven Weeks for Water 2021 of the WCC Ecumenical Water Network is written by Annika Harley.*  In the following reflection, Harley highlights the challenges of mining and fracking in the Navajo Nation based on her conversation with Bitahnii Wayne Wilson, who not only challenges these unsustainable practices, but also provides small-scale solutions to indigenous communities in the time of COVID-19.

Seven Weeks for Water 2021, week 1: "The rainbow color of the pilgrimage of water justice in North America", by Michele Roberts

The 1st reflection of the Seven Weeks for Water 2021 of the WCC Ecumenical Water Network is written by Michele Roberts*, from the Environmental Justice Health Alliance. In this reflection, the author, based on several instances of large scale water contamination in many cities in the USA, comes to a conclusion that lack of access to clean water in USA is a result of systemic racism.

Seven Weeks for Water 2021

17 February - 29 March 2021

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Water Network invites you to use the season of Lent to reflect on God’s gift of water. Since 2008, the WCC– through its “Seven Weeks for Water” campaign – has been providing weekly theological reflections and other resources on water for the seven weeks of Lent and for World Water Day on 22 March (which always falls during the Lenten period).

Morning Prayer for Monday, 25 January 2021

You who call us to be praise in the midst of the earth: glory to you!

This week in the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle, we are praying with the people and churches of Cyprus, Greece, and Turkey.

Today marks the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

This week also marks Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27.

Prayers were prepared in cooperation with the Lutheran World Federation.

Ecumenical movement