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Senior friends of WSCF: revisiting the past, creating a future

In 1895, student leaders from ten North American and European countries met at Vadstena Castle in Sweden to form the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF). Among its founders were John R. Mott (US), Karl Fries (Sweden), Martin Eckhoff (Norway), Luther D. Wishard (US), Johannes Siemsen (Germany), and J. Rutter Williamson (UK). The WSCF was the first international student organization and together with YMCA and YWCA, it is one of the oldest youth movements still in existence. 

Reflections on “What Are the Churches Saying About the Church” share fruits of WCC Commission on Faith and Order

Below, Rev. Dr Susan Durber, moderator of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Commission on Faith and Order and His Eminence Bishop Maxim, from the Serbian Orthodox Church and a WCC Faith and Order commissioner, reflect on the publication What Are the Churches Saying About the Church?”

The publication, which presents key findings and proposals from responses to The Church: Towards a Common Vision,” is among the many fruits being harvested by the study groups of the WCC Faith and Order Commission for the WCC 11th Assembly.

Groundwater is “a political question”

In many regions, groundwater is being extracted faster than it can be replenished. Groundwater pollution from raw material extraction, industry, private households, and agriculture is also increasing. This year’s UN’s World Water Day focused on groundwater, urging to make “the invisible visible.” A new publication by Brot für die Welt (Bread for the World, Germany), a member of the WCC Ecumenical Water Network, takes up this call and demands the better protection and fairer use of this vital resource.  WCC news talked to co-author Dr Ingrid Jacobsen about the social and political dimension of groundwater.

Seven Weeks for Water 2022, week 7: “Pilgrimage of water justice in Europe,” by Prof. Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri

The seventh and final reflection of the Seven Weeks for Water 2022 of the WCCs Ecumenical Water Network is written by Prof. Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri*. In the following reflection she, being the staff focal point of WCCs Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, makes a compelling analysis of how the WCC pilgrimage and the pilgrimage of water justice inter-relate, complement, and strengthen each other, with a particular reference to Europe.

Easter Initiative to highlight sacredness of Jerusalem as well as obstacles to peace

While Christians around the globe prepare to celebrate Easter, high holidays for Muslims and Jews—Ramadan and Pessach—are also being celebrated at the same time period in 2022. At this confluence of sacred celebration, the very sacredness of Jerusalem is especially evident for locals and visitors alike. But the sacredness of the Holy City and its inhabitants is increasingly threatened by consequences of the ongoing occupation, such as discrimination and violence.

WCC plans implementation of Gender Justice Principles with practice-oriented approach

After the World Council of Churches (WCC) central committee, during its February meeting, approved a set of Gender Justice Principles, the WCC’s work of implementation is just beginning. The principles clearly define the WCCs own approach to gender justice and apply to WCC staff, governing bodies, commissions, and reference groups. The WCC executive committee will review and evaluate implementation of the principles.

Seven Weeks for Water 2022, week 5: “Water – a blessing and a threat?”, by Peter Pavlovic

The fifth reflection of the Seven Weeks for Water 2022 of the WCC’s Ecumenical Water Network is written by Peter Pavlovic.* He reflects that  Europe is a water rich continent, still, a lot of concerns related to water availability persist in the region.  Climate change makes this problem worse, our vulnerability is, as the last IPCC report warns, increasingly exposed.  Faith describes the world as a gift of God given to humanity. Fragility of our existence is closely related to disrespecting the limits of the world in which we live and is rooted in the failure of our relationship with God.

WCC-EAPPI Easter Initiative 2022

16 March - 17 April 2022

An Easter initiative by the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (WCC-EAPPI) sets out to connect the sacredness of Jerusalem with what is sacred to us as human beings: home, worship, family, identity, human dignity and life, and solidarity.

“Go for Gender Justice” initiative opened by Protestant Church in Germany in Berlin

A Go for Gender Justice” initiative was launched by the Protestant Church in Germany in Berlin on 1 February with calls for overcoming gender clichés and traditional role models. Germanys "First Lady,” the judge Elke Büdenbender called on women and men to fight together for social change. Under the motto "Go for Gender Justice,” nine regional churches invited people to move together toward gender equality.

International symposium lays bare links between racism, colonialism

The systemic injustices of racism, colonialism and slavery—and how they feed into increases in violence and atrocities—held the attention of hundreds of people who attended the online Symposium on the Role of Religion and Faith-based Organizations in International Affairs on 25 January.