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@WorldCouncilOfChurches @WorldCouncilOfChurches

21 - 27 May 2021

WCC executive committee sees hope for the future while making urgent calls to address global crises

This week we pray for:
Indian Ocean Islands: Comoros, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles
23 May 2021 - 29 May 2021

Next week we pray for:
Angola, Mozambique
30 May 2021 - 05 June 2021


The imperative to go back to the ecumenical basics
Dr Agnes Abuom, moderator of the World Council of Churches (WCC) central committee, was asked about the WCC executive committee meeting held on 17-23 May 2021. The WCC executive committee set a tone of hope for the future while, at the same time, addressing multiple global crises with statements, pastoral messages, and calls for prayer. The transition to online programming and prayers during COVID-19 has challenged the WCC, and the rest of the world, Abuom found, and said is a “heavy burden” on all in the ecumenical family as the WCC prepares for its 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany next year.
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As churches distribute COVID-19 vaccines, religious leaders are also “helping restore the soul of America”
As religious leaders in the USA gathered online for a Faiths4Vaccines National Summit on 26 May, they heard a clear message from policymakers and scientists leading the COVID-19 response: churches are not only caring for people’s health but for their souls, too.
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Inclusive communication: “words change the world”
The World Council of Churches (WCC) Communication has published new internal guidelines to ensure inclusive and accessible communication. In the recent past, WCC communication has been stepping up efforts to have a more inclusive and accessible communication. One example is that the development of the new WCC website took into consideration accessibility needs of persons with disabilities. Another example: the WCC has been testing sign language interpreta-tion in webinars. In 2021, the communication team explored even more ways to ensure our communication work is inclusive and maintains high accessibility as we prepare for the WCC 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe—and beyond. All this necessitated the need to have guidelines for inclusive and accessible communication.
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Prayer for unity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: a great warmth of love
The following interview with Benoît and Denise Lokila, of the Cana Fraternity in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is part of a series dedicated to the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
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Institute on Human Rights works to uphold values of human dignity
The Christian Conference of Asia is organizing a two-week Institute on Human Rights, which began 17 May, offering participants from Asian countries an opportunity to explore the theme “Being Defenders of Human Rights and Human Dignity.”
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Latest issue of International Review of Mission focuses on “reconciliation as a missional task”
The latest issue of the World Council of Churches’ journal International Review of Mission deals with one of the most urgent issues in the world today – reconciliation. Under the title, “Reconciliation as a Missional Task,” the issue explores the meaning of reconciliation, how it can be understood theologically, and what its missiological dimensions mean for the church’s missional task.
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The pandemic does not stop the pilgrimage— it deepens the accompaniment
As part of a series of material prepared for a special edition of the WCC newsletter focusing on the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, WCC news interviewed Rev. Prof. Dr Fernando Enns, from the Association of Mennonite Congregations in Germany, and Jennifer Martin, Education in Mission secretary for the Caribbean and North America Council for Mission, United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Enns and Martin share the moderation of the Reference Group of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace since its creation in 2013.
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WCC sends greetings to Buddhist friends during festival of Vesak
World Council of Churches acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca shared cordial greetings to Buddhist friends across the world observing the festival of Vesak. “May the values of compassion, loving kindness, empathy and equanimity taught by Gautama Buddha, whose birth, enlightenment and death you commemorate on this auspicious occasion, continue to inspire and guide you during this time of pandemic,” wrote Sauca. “We are living in an unprecedented time of uncertainty and widespread suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
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Faiths4Vaccines National Summit will focus on equitable vaccine access in USA
A Faiths4Vaccines National Summit will be held on 26 May, featuring US medical professionals—including US surgeon general Vivek Murthy—as well as faith leaders who have been serving critical roles in their communities to support equitable vaccine distribution in the USA.
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WCC welcomes ceasefire, urges stronger UN Security Council action for a just and sustainable peace in the Holy Land
In a letter to the UN Security Council, the World Council of Churches (WCC) welcomed the establishment of a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, while at the same time urging the UN to take a more assertive role to ensure the ceasefire is not simply a lull in the violence. The letter laments the “heavy toll in civilian lives, especially children and women” - which has overwhelmingly affected the people of Gaza but which has also affected communities in Israel - as well as the destruction of schools and hospitals, and the attacks on the international media during this conflict. “The responsibility under international law to protect these populations and institutions is fundamental” the letter stresses, “and there must be accountability for violations thereof.”
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African faith leaders urged to push for tangible climate change action
African faith leaders are being urged to push for commitments on tangible climate change action, as governments head to the next climate negotiations at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP 26) in the city of Glasgow in the United Kingdom from 1-12 November.
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WCC executive committee sees hope for the future while making urgent calls to address global crises
The World Council of Churches (WCC) executive committee, convening from 17-20 May, set a tone of hope for the future while, at the same time, addressing multiple global crises with statements, pastoral messages, and calls for prayer.
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WCC, Geneva for Human Rights make joint call for human rights-based approach to preventing fistula
The World Council of Churches and the organization Geneva for Human Rights made a joint call for a sustained human rights-based approach to the prevention of fistula, in conjunction with the international day for obstetric fistula, 23 May.Fistula was first acknowledged by the UN General Assembly in 2007 as a major women’s health issue.
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Still together as one
27 May 2021
“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?
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Sailing on a wave of prayer
25 May 2021
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!
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Webinar: Moral discernment – What can we learn from other traditions?
Virtual backgrounds for Thursdays in Black
Prayers and resources for coping with Coronavirus
Health-Promoting Churches Volume II: A handbook for churches for sustainable health promotion ministries
Voices of Lament, Hope, and Courage: A Week of Prayer in the Time of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Churches and moral discernment: A series of three webinars by WCC Faith and Order Commission
Dates : 29 April 2021 - 15 June 2021 In preserving and restoring unity, churches are increasingly confronted with moral questions. The World Council of Churches Faith and Order Commission has studied this topic and recently presented a new study document called “Churches and Moral Discernment: Facilitating Dialogue to Build Koinonia.” In a series of three webinars, the commission will introduce the document and two other publications that assist in learning from and with each other about discerning ethical questions in the churches.
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Pilgrim Team Visits to the Standing Rock Episcopal Community/North Dakota Council on Indian Ministries
Dates : 25 May 2021 - 28 May 2021 The WCC Pilgrim Team Visits (PTV) will focus on indigenous communities on Standing Rock, particularly along the shore of the Missouri River (Lake Oahe) and their struggle for justice, including water justice. The PTV is hosted by the The Standing Rock Episcopal Community & North Dakota Council on Indian Ministries. Rev. Dr John Floberg is the focal point for the host.
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Latin America: the pandemic in the land of inequalities
Dates : 27 May 2021 - 27 May 2021 Latin America regional webinar on the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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“Remembering Past Massacres: Honoring the Legacy and Resilience of Victims”
Dates : 01 June 2021 - 01 June 2021 A webinar on 1 June entitled “Remembering Past Massacres: Honoring the Legacy and Resilience of Victims” will focus on North America and the Caribbean.
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Teaching Ecumenism – International Conference
Dates : 02 June 2021 - 04 June 2021 From 2-4 June 2021, the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Institute at Bossey hosts an international conference on ‘Teaching Ecumenism in the Context of World Christianity’.
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Season of Creation Intergenerational Dialogue
Dates : 03 June 2021 - 03 June 2021 Learn more about how you can participate in the Season of Creation by attending the intergenerational dialogue on 3 June about the 2021 theme. The dialogue will be broadcasted on the Season of Creation Facebook Page.
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Central Committee meeting
Dates : 23 June 2021 - 29 June 2021 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.
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Mediation as a tool for conflict resolution in churches and religious communities: Online training seminar
Dates : 23 August 2021 - 23 August 2021 Representatives of churches and religious communities will participate in the international online training “Mediation as a tool for conflict resolution in churches and (religious) communities in the context of shrinking spaces for civil society and churches”, organized by the United Evangelical Mission (UEM) in partnership with the Word Council of Churches.
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Communication for Social Justice in a Digital Age
Dates : 13 September 2021 - 15 September 2021 This symposium will focus on the impact of digital transformation on communities and societies, and the actions needed to secure a just and inclusive digital future. Bringing together research, experiences from different regions and communities, expert input, and ethical and theological reflection, it will identify opportunities for action as a contribution to the 11th assembly of the World Council of Churches.
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Steward programme 2022 – Apply now!
Dates : 21 August 2022 - 10 September 2022 The World Council of Churches (WCC) invites ecumenical youth to be stewards at the 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany, in 2022. The Stewards Programme aims to bring together a dynamic and diverse group of 160 young people from all over the world, from 21 August to 10 September 2022. The invitation is open to young people from a variety of backgrounds, churches and regions.
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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 acting general secretary is Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca, from the Orthodox Church in Romania.

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