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Theological reflections on the way of just peace Theological reflections on the way of just peace
What are the prospects for theology in peacebuilding? A couple of years ago this question became the springboard for my research on a textual process that was carried out by the World Council of Churches. The process towards an international ecumenical declaration on just peace resulted in An Ecumenical Call to Just Peace and the study document Just Peace Companion being published in 2011. Eventually, it formed part of the groundwork of the current Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace. My research on this process drew my attention to a couple of themes that inspire theological conversation around the very idea of a pilgrimage: the way, the movement, the process, and the fellow traveller.
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Remembering the remarkable life of Brother Roger, Taizé Remembering the remarkable life of Brother Roger, Taizé
It was a warm August day and I was on my way to Taizé. I was looking forward to going to the community in France that was already close to my heart. As a young adult I participated in many Taizé worship services organized by local churches where I lived in Canada. We sang the beautiful chants that Taizé is so well known for: “Come and fill our hearts with your peace…” For me, these services were a refuge for the soul.
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Different but one in Christ Different but one in Christ
From the face value, the above African proverb “A single stick may smoke, but it will not burn,” means that it actually takes a collection of sticks to have a burning fire since a single stick can only produce a thread of wispy smoke. The same is actually true with regards to our life. It is common to hear statements like ‘let us keep the fire burning’ when initiatives are started, but, most times it is just that, statements because individualism often supersedes collectivism. Little is done to fan the fire and add wood to it to ensure that it actually keeps burning.
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Becoming pilgrims: walking alongside our brothers and sisters in Egypt Becoming pilgrims: walking alongside our brothers and sisters in Egypt
Egypt, that ancient and mysterious land where the pyramids of Giza grace the hot desert landscape and the Pharaohs once reigned. A land overflowing with beauty and a historical richness unparalleled in all the globe. Today, it is a place whose regal image has been tarnished by the devastating consequences of revolution, economic decline, and fanatical religious zeal.
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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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Worlds come together in prayer Worlds come together in prayer
A thousand associations come to my mind when the theme is prayer: My Lutheran parents prayed for me and with me when I was a child, and my uncle who was a Baptist minister began dinners with long free prayers. In church and at home we sang Danish hymns with wordings such as: “All good gifts come from above” and “Now we all give thanks to God”.
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I’ve rediscovered pilgrimage! 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.
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United Church of Canada youth pilgrims inspired to be changemakers United Church of Canada youth pilgrims inspired to be changemakers
This summer has undoubtedly been one of the most inspiring and eye-opening experiences of my entire life. On the 4th of July, 2015, a small group of youth from across the United Church of Canada gathered in Vancouver, on the Pacific coast of our nation. Along with our two adult coordinators, we would embark on a pilgrimage across Canada to reach Corner Brook, Newfoundland, on the Atlantic Coast, where we were to participate in the triennial general meeting of commissioners and delegates from across our Church: General Council.
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Prayer Service for Peace on the eve of ICAN’s Nobel Peace Prize 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.
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A sobering retrospective of the Canberra Assembly 25 years ago 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.
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