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Indigenous peoples and pilgrimage: redeeming a concept once tarnished Indigenous peoples and pilgrimage: redeeming a concept once tarnished
The word pilgrimage is a linguistic double-edged sword. On the one hand, it connotes a kind of movement towards a higher, even spiritual or religious, end that one has in mind. When thought of in this positive sense, I think of the pilgrimages of the desert fathers who migrated into the sun and sand longing to be alone with God and who were eager to shed off the weight of this world so that they could experience His world more intimately. However, in our post-colonial context, the word pilgrimage equally stirs up mixed emotions, most of which might be negative, particularly amongst Indigenous peoples across the globe.
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Looking back to colonization, and forward to a Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace Looking back to colonization, and forward to a Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace
Looking back to the Mennonite World Conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, I am glad that the opening ceremony started with indigenous music, a reconciliation song. A recount of the taking of the lands by European colonists, called pioneers.
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Solidarity with peaceful eco-resistance movements 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.
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A journey of learning about myself, the world and about God A journey of learning about myself, the world and about God
Thirteen youth and two adults traveled across Canada this summer to learn about the social justice, ecumenical, and environmental work of the United Church of Canada. Travelling by planes, trains and automobiles for six weeks, fifteen strangers turned into a family.
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Polarization, polar ice and what they tell us Polarization, polar ice and what they tell us
All over the world polarization is on the increase. And it seems like the further distance between the standpoints, the better. To be clear about something has become a synonym of being irreconcilable. We should be concerned about this.
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The World Council of Churches works for environmental justice The World Council of Churches works for environmental justice
Christians have a long tradition of dominating other peoples and other faith traditions and even some variant Christian groups. From the early church times, Christians have taken seriously the mandate to go to the ends of the earth to convert peoples to Christianity. Christian European immigrants came to North America and were complicit in genocide against the indigenous peoples. Mass killing, displacement, and domination of native peoples are a horrific part of American history from which there remains irreversible damage to the Native American people and their culture.
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The WCC Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace in South America The WCC Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace in South America
The aim of the WCC is to encourage spaces for encounter between the churches in order to give the witness of service to the world in unity with the Spirit of God. During this pilgrimage it has been stimulating to learn of the recognition accorded in Argentina and Chile to the churches and to the organizations that defend human rights.
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Standing Rock: the pain of the past and the challenges of the future Standing Rock: the pain of the past and the challenges of the future
They stopped counting at 524, but many more showed up. The 524 were clergy, registered from over 50 different groups, but many others were along to show support for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline. They also called for an end to the militarized governmental response to the peaceful protest.
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A new moment for Colombia A new moment for Colombia
We have been breathing joy, optimism and excitement to promote a new way of being a country. 26 September was a very busy day for all of us who were invited to attend the official ceremony of the signing of the Colombia peace agreement, in Cartagena. As I met other participants, a strong common feeling of hope was present in every shake of hands, every hug and every look.
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A pilgrimage to the bottom of our street opened our eyes A pilgrimage to the bottom of our street opened our eyes
We traveled only a short distance through our residential neighbourhood to a lakeside park at the mouth of a river but found ourselves on a voyage of discovery. Our intent was to learn more about the history of the area as told by aboriginal people. We learned that and much more.
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