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Healing Together

A Facilitator’s Resource for Ecumenical Faith and Community-Based Counselling
Fulata Lusungu Moyo

Up to 80 percent of Africans are estimated to be traumatized as a result of violence, poverty, disease, natural disasters, and other causes. As a continent where the majority of the population are young people, Africa’s adolescent population is particularly affected. Along with common causes of trauma, youth also experience many other struggles related to growing up. But this trauma often goes unaddressed, not only because sexual and gender-based violence become normalized, but also because of the lack of specific services and awareness. 
This book addresses this lack. It is an important gift to enhance the role of churches to provide wholeness.

Hope prevails in times of crisis in Lebanon

The fatal blast in Beirut last month became yet another blow to an already plagued country. In recent months, a financial crisis with a free-falling currency and rising unemployment has further undermined the Lebanese economy. Add to that one million Syrian refugees and the COVID-19 pandemic, and the contours of a fragile nation facing monumental challenges emerge.

WCC invites all member churches to observe a day of prayer

WCC acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca invites all member churches to observe a global prayer day on 14 May. The joint initiative with the members of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, of which the WCC is part, is calling for “prayer and supplication” to God for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ecumenical Review focuses on “Global Manifestations of Racism Today”

The latest issue of The Ecumenical Review, the quarterly journal of the World Council of Churches (WCC), focuses on “Global Manifestations of Racism Today,” with a set of articles that originated at a theological symposium organized in Japan in 2019 as part of the WCC’s Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace.

Greenland’s grand Gospel preacher

Although she loves what she is doing, there are times when bishop Sofie Petersen feels a strong desire to be someplace else than inside her cosy diocesan office in Nuuk, Greenland. Preferably outdoors, inhaling crisp, arctic air in a stunningly beautiful landscape where mighty polar bears roam and huge whales gently plough their way through the ice-scattered waters along the coastline.

Islands of hope: Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace focuses on Pacific region

“The Pacific Conference of Churches welcomes you on board our ecumenical canoe, as we sail and voyage together beyond the fringing reefs and rocks of the many issues that affect us here in the Pacific and globally, and set sail with our eyes firmly fixed on the island of hope,” said Rev. Dr James Bhagwan, Pacific Conference of Churches general secretary as he welcomed participants of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace to Fiji, on 20 January.

Young Africans are eager to grapple with challenges

Young African clergy, theologians and laypersons are eager to engage with the challenging issues facing their continent and the world. This became clear in a recent essay competition for authors below 35 years by the World Council of Churches (WCC) in partnership with the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC).

Dr Saïd Ailabouni: God is on the side of rejected, oppressed, occupied

Born in Nazareth, Galilee, Rev. Dr Saïd Ailabouni moved to the US at the age of 19 to become a physician. But he was so angry at God that he went to study theology instead, becoming a Lutheran pastor. Now he is leading the Middle East & Europe desk of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Since leaving his hometown 50 years ago, he visits his Palestinian family regularly. As the World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel approaches, Ailabouni agreed to share some of his lifetime observations with the Word Council of Churches.

In Japan, indigenous and ecumenical youth call for action against racism

Twenty-seven indigenous and ecumenical youths gathered together for a five-day World Council of Churches (WCC) event this week in Japan’s third-largest, western city of Osaka. Participants gathered under the theme, “WCC Continuing Formation on Youth and Racism Awareness in Asia & Indigenous Youth Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace.”

Erhard Hermansen: “The church in South Sudan needs our prayers"

Erhard Hermansen is general secretary of the Christian Council of Norway, which has been collaborating closely with churches in Sudan and South Sudan for nearly 30 years. Hermansen attended the South Sudan Council of Churches 2019 Assembly in late August, and shares his reflections and hopes below.

Ecumenical young trailblazers

Young people are trailblazers, pioneers, visionaries and leaders who have the potential to create a positive, sustainable legacy for future generations on a global scale.
On 12 August, International Youth Day, youth led a TED-style talk and discussion in Geneva, with five young speakers from different parts of the world, four virtually and one live. The stories and experiences shared connected them to theme “Transforming Education,” while inspiring the audience for a call to action.

“The Africa we pray for” - WCC and the AACC launch youth essay competition

The World Council of Churches (WCC) and the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) are calling upon young Africans to participate in an essay contest for the African regional publication on Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace. Africans from the continent and the diaspora up to 35 years of age are invited to send their texts by 15 October 2019.

A humble servant in God’s herd

When he was asked last year to take over as vicar in the parish of Ilulissat, on Greenland’s west coast, Loqqi Fleischer was a bit anxious about how the transition from his smaller hometown Uummannaq, further north along the coastline, would work out. Nevertheless, he took on the challenge and was warmly welcomed right away in the new environment.

WCC Pentecost message “To prophesy is to tell the truth”

The regional presidents of the World Council of Churches sent special greetings to churches around the world celebrating Pentecost. “To prophesy is to tell the truth,” reads the message. "No rank or class, no race or club, no gender, nor even any religion, has a monopoly on the truth.”

Dealing with traumas and healing of wounds

It is confirmation season in Greenland. In churches across the country, bench rows are decorated with flowers and candles along the aisle. Joy is in the air and it is time for a vast majority of 14-year-olds to have their Christian baptism confirmed.