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News from the World Council of Churches
13 - 19 November 2020

During its online meeting, 9-13 November, the World Council of Churches (WCC) executive committee addressed vital international developments, approved plans for 2021 and pledged support and solidarity with churches across the world at a time of multiple concurrent crises.

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Water Network is condemning those who are depriving the innocent and vulnerable of their human right to water in this time of a pandemic.   

A webinar, “People on the Move: Solidarity and Advocacy,” highlighted the current experiences of refugees, stateless persons, seasonal and migrant workers, and undocumented persons, with a particular focus on ways they are being affected by COVID-19 as the pandemic rages on.

Rt. Rev. Dr. Munib Younan, bishop emeritus of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land, will be the 2020 recipient of the Kenneth W. Bensen Award for Contextual Leadership presented by OMNIA Institute for Contextual Leadership. 

In a message of solidarity to the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP), World Council of Churches (WCC) interim general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca expressed concern that the human rights situation in the Philippines continues to deteriorate.

In a 16 November letter, World Council of Churches (WCC) interim general secretary Rev. Prof Dr Ioan Sauca expressed joy upon the enthronement of His Beatitude Rev. Dr. Geevarghese Mar Theodosius as the metropolitan of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church.

A webcast on 25 November, in two one-hour sessions, will be the second in a series on ecumenical bilateral dialogues and their importance for the one ecumenical movement.

In a letter to leaders of the Group of Twenty (G20) on 17 November, the World Council of Churches, World Communion of Reformed Churches, Lutheran World Federation and Council for World Mission urged easing of pressure on countries being suffocated by debt especially in a time of pandemic. The organizations represent more than 500 million Christians across the world. 

Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, chair of the council of the Evangelical Church in Germany, and Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop in Munich and former president of the German Bishops’ Conference, were awarded the 2020 Augsburg Peace Prize for their “unconditional will to live together in peace.”

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Commission for World Mission and Evangelism is presenting a study, “Converting Discipleship: Dissidence and Metanoia,” during a webinar on  24 November at 15:00 CET. 

Young women’s voices from the World Council of Churches (WCC) ECHOS Commission will be highlighted during an online panel on 18 November under the theme “Creating resilient communities through faith and spirituality.” Hosted by the World YWCA, the panel is focusing on young women leaders in different communities who have served to support and strengthen communities in distress. 

Two weeks after Hurricane Eta struck, Nicaragua and Honduras are now bracing for another massive storm, Hurricane Iota. Eta killed at least 120 people in flash floods and mudslides. By 15 November, ahead of Iota’s landfall, some 63,500 people had been evacuated in northern Honduras, and 1,500 people in Nicaragua had been moved from low-lying areas of the country's northeast. Carlos Rauda, a regional officer with ACT Alliance, offers a glimpse of this unfolding situation, and the important role of churches. 

During an online morning prayer service on 16 November, Bishop Arnold Temple, chairperson of the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Water Network and the president of All Africa Conference of Churches, reflected on World Toilet Day, which will be observed this year on 19 November.

The WCC executive committee released a statement lifting up in prayer the people and churches of Ethiopia. 

The WCC executive committee issued a statement calling for calm and wisdom following six weeks of intense fighting for Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh, suspended by an agreement announced between the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia. Welcoming an end to the bloodshed and destruction, the executive committee appealed for “a lasting peace founded on justice and human rights for the people of Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh and the wider region.” 

Through four years of collaboration with the Effata Secular School in Togo, the World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy programme has introduced students and teachers to Thursdays in Black, towards a world without rape and violence, helped them better respond to HIV, and offered a safe space to discuss responsible sexual and reproductive health. 

Prayer Cycle



This week we pray for:

East Timor (Timor Leste), Indonesia, Philippines

15 - 21 November 2020
 


Next week we pray for:

Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore

22 - 28 November 2020

 

New videos

WCC solidarity message to the United Church of Christ in the Philippines

 



New photos


 Thursdays in Black poster     
Honduras: impacts of Eta and Iota hurricanes

 
 

New resources


Thursdays in Black poster     
Ecumenical Global Health COVID-19 Response Framework


Thursdays in Black poster     
Prayers and resources for coping with Coronavirus


 
 

New on Facebook


learning session
Pray with the #WCC



Gertrude Fefoame
#PrayTogether  #StaySafeTogether



Thursdays in Black
#ThursdaysinBlack: #16Days against Gender-Based Violence

 

 

Upcoming events

 

With the annual olive harvest season commencing, the World Council of Churches launches a global initiative to highlight the spiritual, economic and cultural importance of the olive harvest for Palestinian communities, and witnessing to the impact of the occupation.

In five episodes held on the third Thursday of each month beginning in November, the webinars will explore the following themes: “Answering the Ancestral Call of Legacy and Leadership,” “The Healing in Our Lament,” “Hope: Unity Within Diversity,” “The Celebration in Transformation,” and “Resurrection: The Diakonia at Work in the World Today.”

A short online service of prayer, reflection and action on climate justice with friends from around the world.

The fourth edition of the  World Council of Churches (WCC) Eco-School on Water, Food and Climate Justice will be held 23-27 November 2020 in the Pacific region in five countries (Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, Tuvalu &  Solomon Islands), hosted by the Pacific Conference of Churches.

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Commission for World Mission and Evangelism is presenting the study, “Converting Discipleship: Dissidence and Metanoia”, during a webinar on 24 November at 15:00 CET. 

The 16 Days Against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that begins on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and ends on 10 December, Human Rights Day. This year, the World Council of Churches is highlighting the links between the household of God, and the fundamental need to make our homes safe and loving spaces.

A webcast on 25 November, in two one-hour sessions, will be the second in a series on ecumenical bilateral dialogues and their importance for the one ecumenical movement.

Preparing the Week of Prayer 2021, the Community of Grandchamp in Switzerland chose the theme “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit” (cf. Jn 15:5-9). It expresses their community’s vocation to prayer, reconciliation and unity in the church and the human family.

Students in conversation outside the chapel of the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey. Photo: Peter Kenny/WCC

From 2-5 June 2021, the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Institute at Bossey hosts an international conference on ‘Teaching Ecumenism in the Context of World Christianity’.

Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC

The Central Committee serves as the chief governing body of the WCC until the next assembly, meeting every 2 years. It is responsible for carrying out the policies adopted by the Assembly, reviewing and supervising WCC programmes and the budget of the Council.

Applications for the Interreligious Summer School of the WCC's Ecumenical Institute Bossey are open until 30 November 2020.

 

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The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, today the WCC brings together 350 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing more than 550 million Christians in over 120 countries, and works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church. The WCC interim general secretary is Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca, from the Orthodox Church in Romania.

Media contact: +41 79 507 6363; www.oikoumene.org/press
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