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Bethlehem shepherds, water shortage and trees of hope Bethlehem shepherds, water shortage and trees of hope
This Christmas Season I will have concrete places in my mind when I listen to the story of the shepherds in the fields of Bethlehem. I will think of the Bedouin community in Suyica, near Yatta, a Palestinian city in the West Bank. They live in tents and in caves because they are not allowed to build houses. Together with about 20 Methodists from around the globe representing the World Methodist Council, we visited them in October.
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Water and the human right to food Water and the human right to food
Water is a key resource both to provide drinking water and to generate food and energy for a growing world population. A fifth of the global population lives in regions affected by water stress - in regions where more water is used than can naturally be recharged.
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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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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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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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Global water community introduced to Season of Creation Global water community introduced to Season of Creation
For the past 26 years, the global water community is gathering in Stockholm for a week in August or September, at the World Water Week, organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute, to discuss the importance of water for human development and a sustainable planet. Call it a coincidence: just one year before the first World Water Week, September 1st was proclaimed as a day of prayer for the environment by the late Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I in 1989. For some reason, in the past, faith communities, even though engaged in the water sector, were barely present at the World Water Week.
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The water we “eat” The water we “eat”
The Ecumenical Water Network (EWN) of the World Council of Churches (WCC) has been observing World Water Day since its inception. It is an important occasion for all those working on water issues, including the WCC, to highlight the global water crisis. Particularly the Lenten campaign of the WCC, the “Seven Weeks for Water”, is an opportunity to galvanise its constituencies to discuss issues around water.
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Porto Alegre +10: pilgrim’s memories from the 9th Assembly of the WCC Porto Alegre +10: pilgrim’s memories from the 9th Assembly of the WCC
I was standing in the control booth at the back of the auditorium when the moderator of the WCC Central Committee declared the 9th Assembly open, in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on 14 February 2006. My friend Jean-Nicolas Bazin and I were surrounded by light and sound technicians and we had our eyes on the script of the opening plenary, making sure everything was flowing smoothly and according to plan.
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World Toilet Day is all about dignity and life! World Toilet Day is all about dignity and life!
The 19th of November is observed around the globe as United Nations World Toilet Day. The theme for this year’s World Toilet Day is highlighting the link between sanitation and nutrition. “Drawing the world’s attention to the importance of toilets in supporting better nutrition and improved health. Lack of access to clean drinking water and sanitation, along with the absence of good hygiene practices, are among the underlying causes of poor nutrition,” the United Nations' official event site reads.
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A year full of promise for sustainable development, water and sanitation A year full of promise for sustainable development, water and sanitation
Year 2015 is an important milestone for all those who care for the environment, climate and water. Arguably it could be remembered along with 1992, as one of those “green years”. For networks such as the Ecumenical Water Network, who are engaged with both water concerns as well as other ecological issues such as climate change, this year has been an excellent opportunity to highlight issues of water and sustainable development.
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