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Preaching in Toronto about the Pope’s visit to Geneva Preaching in Toronto about the Pope’s visit to Geneva
When I was asked to preach recently, it seemed obvious that I would speak about the visit of Pope Francis to Geneva in June at the invitation of the World Council of Churches. This would give me the opportunity to talk about ecumenism with people who might not be familiar with either the word or the concept. It would also be the chance to draw attention to the 70-year quest by the WCC for practical ecumenism, that is to say an ecumenism that is about Christians working together to love their neighbour and care for creation.
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Assembled by faith, united in Christ, strengthened by God Assembled by faith, united in Christ, strengthened by God
This week we continue celebrating the foundation of the World Council of Churches at the Amsterdam Assembly in 1948. Since its founding 70 years ago, the WCC has held assemblies in Evanston, New Delhi, Uppsala, Nairobi, Vancouver, Canberra, Harare, Porto Alegre and Busan.
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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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For birth or death: the destiny of Bethlehem For birth or death: the destiny of Bethlehem
I sometimes ask people if they know which is the first point in the Bible that Bethlehem gets a mention. And that normally offers them quite a challenge. People certainly move back from the New Testament into the Old – and come up with responses like, ‘the story of David’, or ‘the Book of Ruth’. Good thinking. But actually the first mention of Bethlehem in our Bibles (as they are now set out) occurs much earlier still.
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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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Let the children come to me Let the children come to me
The children were brought to Jesus in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray. They were brought with hearts filled with hope and confidence. “Do not stop them” Jesus said. Today, on World Children’s Day, let us think about the 28 million refugee children who are driven from their homes by conflict, migrating in the hope of finding a safer life.
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My heart is crying – but Pope Tawadros said, “love never ends” My heart is crying – but Pope Tawadros said, “love never ends”
Time for reflection after my visit to Egypt. The story has etched itself into my memory. I can’t leave it behind. It comes to me every day like a constant reminder of the fragility of life, of our mortality, of the courage and faith of our fellow humans that carries us in our darkest and most despondent hours.
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Celebrating together during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Celebrating together during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
We live next door to each other. Have the same landlord. Shop in the same stores. Greet one another when we meet. We read the same Bible and pray to the same God, but have never shared divine service together. Not until now, that is.
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One year and still moving forward One year and still moving forward
When you choose to join the ecumenical movement, it means you'll never stop moving. You need to always find a new perspective of life, to share your faith to all people that you'll met in your journey. It also means you'll never stop learning, from all things that you encounter, good or bad. And it means you should never stop sharing about your ecumenical movement so the people you meet can start their own ecumenical journey.
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Praying for toilets Praying for toilets
For many of us “toilet” is a taboo subject to talk about. To do so in the prayers is all the more not acceptable to many of us! We can talk of water in our prayers due to its strong spiritual significance with all religions, including Christianity. But it seems the issue of “sanitation” is rather a profane one! But it is high time we talk about it as lack of adequate sanitation affects 2.4 billion people – that is 1 in every 3 in our planet.
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