Since 2016, every year WCC’s Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace (PJP) movement had a regional focus. Accordingly, the WCC Ecumenical Water Network also focused on the same region and launched the Lenten campaign from that region with the participation of the Reference Group of the WCC PJP. Thus in previous years we have launched the Lenten Campaign from Middle East region (Jerusalem) in 2016, Africa region (Addis Ababa) in 2017, Latin America region (Bogota) in 2018, Asia region (Chiang Mai) in 2019, Pacific region (Suva) in 2020, North America region (Standing Rock) in 2021 and in Europe region (Switzerland) in 2022.
The biblical reflections on water issues were written by the respective regional authors, highlighting the regional water issues. However, after the WCC 11th Assembly of the WCC the PJP did not have a regional focus in 2023. Thus, the WCC EWN in 2023 is going global. The biblical reflections on water issues this year will have a global approach and the authors will be from all the regions of the world. This year in our Lenten reflections, we will revisit some of the previous years’ biblical reflections.
The year 2023 is crucial for the water community. For the first time in almost 50 years, the United Nations is organizing a global water conference at the UN headquarters in New York during World Water Day, 22-24 March 2023. Countries are far away from achieving the SDG 6 “Universal access to water and sanitation by 2030”. This UN Water Conference is calling for a Midterm Comprehensive Review of Implementation of the UN Decade for Action on Water and Sanitation (2018-2028). During Lenten campaign – Seven Weeks for Water in 2023, WCC EWN and its member churches will organize and participate in many activities, including at the UN Water Conference.
“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).
Like previous years, throughout the Lenten period the World Council of Churches will publish on its website, Biblical-theological reflections and resources on the water crisis from different regions of the world. We encourage our member churches around the world to use these resources during the Lenten period for small group Bible studies or personal meditations.
The Ecumenical Water Network will also organise a series of webinars including the authors of the following reflections.
Topics of reflections and publication dates:
Week 1: Theme: "The rainbow color of the pilgrimage of water justice in North America", by Michele Roberts
Date of publication: 22 February 2023
Week 2: Theme: "God’s Gift of Water", by Grace Ji-Sun Kim
Date of publication: 27 February 2023
Week 3: Theme: "Feminization of water poverty in Africa", by Dr Agnes Abuom
Date of publication: 6 March 2023
Week 4: Theme: "Water - Gift and Source of Life", by Ivo Poletto
Date of publication: 13 March 2023
Week 5: Theme: "Water: a gift of God, a public good and a human right. Should we privatize it?", by Rev. Dr. Donald Bruce Yeates
Date of publication: 20 March 2023
Week 6: Theme: "Water for Life", by Bishop Dr Heinrich Bedford-Strohm
Date of publication: 27 March 2023
Week 7: Theme: "And we are still thirsty for water!", by Bishop Munib Younan
Date of publication: 3 April 2023
Below, you find the collection of Bible studies from previous years: