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VAMP for a day – or my media pilgrimage with Pope Francis to Geneva VAMP for a day – or my media pilgrimage with Pope Francis to Geneva
When Pope Francis landed in Geneva slightly after 10am local time on 21 June for his visit to the World Council of Churches in an Alitalia plane with a discreet papal coat of arms, he was accompanied by a 60-strong contingent of journalists collectively known as the “VAMP,” for Vatican Accredited Media Personnel.
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Fifty years after Uppsala 1968, the pilgrimage continues Fifty years after Uppsala 1968, the pilgrimage continues
I was not yet born in 1968, but I have heard the stories: How the World Council of Churches Assembly in Uppsala, Sweden changed the world church agenda and put focus on social justice and equality. To live and to practice the Gospel. To show the reality and embrace of the Incarnation.
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Celebrating Peace Day as part of the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace Celebrating Peace Day as part of the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace
When we began planning for this year’s Peace Day, I started to think about the many different visions of peace in the Bible and from the Church of the Brethren tradition. Peace Day has been a ministry of On Earth Peace since 2007 and an international event since the UN resolution in 1981. But this year we really wanted to connect our visions and dreams of peace with what we hoped for the church and the world.
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Intercultural community garden “Rainbow Land” Intercultural community garden “Rainbow Land”
In Landskron, where I am a pastor of the Lutheran Church in Austria, we have a dynamic, growing and socially engaged congregation. Our town hosts hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers from various countries. While their papers are being processed, they are not allowed to work. In our interactions with the refugees and asylum seekers, they have expressed their frustration at not being able to use their time fruitfully. Most of them miss working, and the contact with the land.
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Together Towards Life: becoming a Church of inclusivity Together Towards Life: becoming a Church of inclusivity
When I was invited to attend the consultation on spirituality, worship and mission, I was asked to prepare some personal reflections on my own spiritual journey as a young person. I was asked to share what advice I had for the WCC with respect to how to engage youth in the Church as they aimed to define what they could say "about the spiritualities of the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace and how to manifest it in worship, spiritual formation, and mission activities of the church as well as in daily life."
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Walking together... Walking together...
I will carry today with me in my heart for a long time. My entire life. I have no words. So many emotions. My tears can speak for themselves.
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Bonhoeffer’s footsteps, an encouragement on our way Bonhoeffer’s footsteps, an encouragement on our way
Going on pilgrimage can be both strenuous and inspiring. Every step of the way, kilometre after kilometre, has to be your own. No-one else can walk it for you, nor relieve of your blisters or aching muscles. As an old Scottish music-hall song puts it, “Keep right on to the end of the road, keep right on to the end….” But it can also be inspiring because you are not the only pilgrim, and even if just now you happen to be walking by yourself you can recall that others have walked the way before you. I feel the same about being a pilgrim for justice and peace.
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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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