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Happy Birthday, Dear WCC!

You are very much needed. You are very much appreciated. You are very much discussed. You are bringing the fellowship of churches together through prayers, discussions, reflections, and actions in consensus.

Less COVID-19 cases, more “hope cases”

The Uruguayan Council of Christian Churches (CICU, by its Spanish acronym), the only ecumenical organization in the country, hosted an online gathering during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. It took place last 26 May at 7:30pm (local time) via Zoom. I had the immense joy of participating as a Catholic communicator, currently serving as correspondent for SIGNIS ALC (Latin-American and Caribbean Association of Catholic Communication) and as vice president of SIGNIS Uruguay (the Uruguayan Association of Catholic Communicators).

Week of Prayer brings fruits of the Spirit despite COVID-19

Prayer is a powerful way to be united as Christians from all over the world. Every year my church community in Cuba joins the celebration of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity with daily devotions and a special worship service, usually on Sundays. Being connected in the same prayerful spirit around a common text that turns into so many testimonies of faith is truly a gift of the Spirit and an ecumenical commitment.

Still together as one

“Abide in my love… you shall bear much fruit” (John 15:1-17) is an especially relevant theme for this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. In many places of the world, COVID-19 remains a pandemic, creating emergency measures, separating people from one another. Isolation, while deemed scientifically necessary, leaves scars on the hearts of those who wish to encounter the other, particularly within the context of the church. How can we enjoy fellowship while we are apart?

Sailing on a wave of prayer

Do we discern the work of the Holy Spirit in the unsettling times that the world experiences these days? I’d like to share a little example:

Our brainstorm for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2021 began three years before. The liturgy and prayers—so carefully prepared with help of the World Council of Churches and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity—presented in the booklet of 2021, were being read and appreciated by many already in the process of preparation!

Reflection from a Bossey graduate on the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

At the end of this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, even though we could not be in Rome as we had hoped, my fellow students at the World Council of Churches (WCC) Bossey Ecumenical Institute and I were thrilled to be able to participate online with two services: the WCC’s Global Ecumenical Prayer and the Vatican’s Vespers for the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul live from the Basilica of St Pauls Outside-the-Walls. Both services reflected on a reading from John 15 – from which was taken this year’s Week of Prayer theme: “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit.”

Global ecumenical prayer for Christian Unity

25 January 2021

WCC interim general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca is inviting the global ecumenical family and friends to join a livestreamed public prayer service on the final day of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

www.oikoumene.org/live

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.

Ecumenical prayer on the occasion of the Week of Action to Fight Inequality

20 January 2020

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is part of the “Fight Inequality” Alliance that aims to “build a global movement to counter the excessive concentration of power and wealth in the hands of a small elite and achieve a just, equal and sustainable world”. On 20 January, an ecumenical prayer service will be held in the WCC headquarters in Geneva as part of its involvement in the Week of Action to Fight Inequality 2020 (18 - 25 January).

Ecumenical Centre

Prayer for unity in many voices

Indeed, the end is another beginning. The end of Bossey students’ itinerary, not only in Rome but also in their community life at the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Institute at Bossey, somehow coincided with the beginning of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which we celebrated at the Basilica of St Paul’s Outside-the-Walls. For the twenty-eight Bossey students coming from various nations, racial-ethnic groups, Christian denominations, geo-cultural locations, the study visit to Vatican and Rome was also marking the very last stage of their brief yet intense community life at Bossey.

Worship on the Occasion of the Week of Action to Fight Inequality

21 January 2019

During the week of 18-25 January, we celebrate two important events: the Week of Action to Fight Inequality and the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity which has as its theme for 2019, “justice and only justice you shall pursue” (Deuteronomy 16, 18-20). As Christians, we are a diverse, worldwide family. Jesus calls us to be the light of the world, to preach the good news to those that have less. Where can our worldwide network serve as a light in a world of tremendous inequalities? Where can the Holy Spirit help us to come together as one and discover our potential for enacting change?

Chapel of the Ecumenical Centre, Geneva, Switzerland

Worlds come together in prayer

A thousand associations come to my mind when the theme is prayer: My Lutheran parents prayed for me and with me when I was a child, and my uncle who was a Baptist minister began dinners with long free prayers. In church and at home we sang Danish hymns with wordings such as: “All good gifts come from above” and “Now we all give thanks to God”.

Echoes from Namibia: an ecumenical spring

I was sitting in the space reserved for media, in the back of the plenary hall, when Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, of the Roman Catholic Church, brought greetings from Pope Francis to the 12th Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation in Windhoek, Namibia.

Small yet beautiful

I grew up in a society where faith is above everything. My country (Pakistan) had even based its campaign for independence on religious ideology, and religion has great impact on the social, cultural, political and economic values. From my childhood I have had Christian friends from different Churches and many friends from other religions. On this journey I experienced ecumenism and learned from different perspectives.

Thoughts for Interfaith Harmony Week

It has taken me a while to get enthusiastic about Interfaith Harmony Week each February, but I have gradually ‘warmed’ to the idea, and one thing that I like is that it falls shortly after the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (at least in the northern hemisphere). The implicit connection this draws between the need for unity and harmony between Christians, and as a starting point for harmony between religions feels a helpful link.

Share the prayer: grassroots ecumenism means praying together

Christians in Argentina, Brazil, Australia and many other places in the southern hemisphere have been engaged in responding to the joint call by the World Council of Churches and the Roman Catholic Church to pray for Christian unity this week.
Lately I have been witnessing, mainly through social media, how groups from this part of the world are gathering to celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (WPCU). But I also see how production and use of these liturgical resources and prayers bring to light the importance of these most basic elements in our common search for Christian unity.