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My first Confucian-Christian dialogue

The effects of certain types of experiences do not fade with time; rather they permeate deep into your existence to further broaden your understanding about the realities of life. For me the first Christian-Confucian Dialogue initiated by the World Council of Churches at South Korea was one such experience. It will stay with me for a long time and I will time travel back and forth from it to understand the complexities of inter-religious discussions.

Prayer Service for Peace on the eve of ICAN’s Nobel Peace Prize

Trinity Church in Oslo is a great round space of silence and light. It’s a place that invites those who enter to think about peace. Campaigners of different faiths and traditions, in the city to celebrate the Nobel Peace Prize for the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, quietly fill the pews. Then a grand organ sounds—this house of prayer welcomes guests with its own voice.

Let the children come to me

The children were brought to Jesus in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray. They were brought with hearts filled with hope and confidence. “Do not stop them” Jesus said. Today, on World Children’s Day, let us think about the 28 million refugee children who are driven from their homes by conflict, migrating in the hope of finding a safer life.

Solidarity with peaceful eco-resistance movements

“We are part of a struggle in defense of water, life, and mother earth,” people from the Peaceful Resistance Movement of La Puya told us. La Puya is a campsite at the entrance of the El Tambor gold mine in Guatemala, built by some local people five years ago after Kappes, Cassiday and Associates (KCA) – a U.S. based company, tried to bring in equipment to start mining.

Impressions from Iraq

Returning from another visit to Iraq alongside Carla Khijoyan, the World Council of Churches' Middle East programme executive, and Fr Emanuel Youkhana of the Christian Aid Programme Northern Iraq (CAPNI), many images fill my mind: images of destruction, and of life hesitantly picking up again. Many uncertainties remain, prompting us to bend our heads and raise our prayers to the Lord.

Moments of rest on the pilgrimage

When recalling the 2013 WCC General Assembly in Busan, South Korea, one of the things than often comes to my mind is Madang. In Korean culture, the Madang is a space in the traditional Korean household, where the members of a larger family meet not only to discuss serious issues, but also to spend time together, to rest, to laugh, and simply to enjoy each other’s company.

On the inaugural address of one of the greatest world leaders in human history

“See I set before you today two ways in which you can walk, the way of life or the way of death, the way of blessing or the way of curse.” During the last few weeks I have listened to, and then re-read several times, the inaugural address given by one of the greatest world leaders in human history. I am referring of course to the Sermon on the Mount.

One year and still moving forward

When you choose to join the ecumenical movement, it means you'll never stop moving. You need to always find a new perspective of life, to share your faith to all people that you'll met in your journey. It also means you'll never stop learning, from all things that you encounter, good or bad. And it means you should never stop sharing about your ecumenical movement so the people you meet can start their own ecumenical journey.

Walking the Pilgrimage, on my feet and in my heart

In May and June, leading up to the World Council of Churches’ Central Committee meeting in Trondheim, I was on a pilgrimage from Oslo to Trondheim, promoting peace and peaceful co-existence between religious groups in my home country, Norway. On 18-20 October, I was again at a pilgrimage of justice and peace, this time together with about 50 people, representing councils of churches, specialized agencies and other ecumenical actors, who were gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, for the annual meetings of the South Sudan Ecumenical Network and the Sudan Ecumenical Network.

We're the economy, stupid.

The economy is what the bankers do. Or all these business people. It’s about profit, efficiency, rationality, and all these things they invent at the stock market that no normal person would understand. That’s what one could easily think when reading the economy section in newspapers or listening to economists.

A “pilgrimage” to Colombia

“Prayer is our only answer.” Salvador and Samuel are crystal clear about it. Their faith is their defense against the violent threats they are suffering from in El Garzal, Colombia. It’s a kind of answer to the cruelties of the ongoing civil war in Colombia that shows a brave and hopeful way of living in peace.

USA Racial Justice Accompaniment Visit

The Racial Justice Accompaniment Visit to the USA is a continuation of the WCC’s long history of racial justice work. As part of the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, the WCC wishes to listen to and express support for people and churches in the USA, and to encourage the efforts of member churches and ecumenical partners in the US, as well as other justice-seeking movements on these issues.

Justice and peace in Nigeria and in Sweden

As a youth leader of The Church of the Lord (Prayer Fellowship) Worldwide, I am currently on a journey to Switzerland and Sweden to explore the ecumenical landscape on behalf of our church and also to learn firsthand about the work of the Church of Sweden. Journeying together can be a practical way for churches to engage in the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace which invites member churches of the World Council of Churches and all people of goodwill to speak and act together in our continued search for peace in our troubled world.

I’ve rediscovered pilgrimage!

I grew up in the south of England. And many of the places I loved to explore had names that revealed a lost history. I went for walks along paths that were called the ‘Pilgrims Way’. Sometimes I would explore the ruins of of a long closed convent. I lived in a road called Friar’s Gate, and the local beer came from a brewery called The Friary. But there were no pilgrims walking the way anymore.

Porto Alegre +10: pilgrim’s memories from the 9th Assembly of the WCC

I was standing in the control booth at the back of the auditorium when the moderator of the WCC Central Committee declared the 9th Assembly open, in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on 14 February 2006. My friend Jean-Nicolas Bazin and I were surrounded by light and sound technicians and we had our eyes on the script of the opening plenary, making sure everything was flowing smoothly and according to plan.

A sobering retrospective of the Canberra Assembly 25 years ago

The incredibly complex issues that came to the fore in the 1991 WCC Canberra Assembly continue to echo in contemporary ecumenical history. In 1991, I had been in ecumenical work already sixteen years. I began my ecumenical career being in charge of the WCC relationship with the United Nations. But nothing could have prepared me for my Canberra assignment given by General Secretary Emilio Castro on behalf of the Executive Committee: to enable the membership of the China Christian Council by resolving the condition it placed on the WCC.