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A Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace in Korea: Exodus from division and nuclear threats A Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace in Korea: Exodus from division and nuclear threats
The summer in Korea is a lush and attractive season for vacationers. Yet it is far more than that. It is a period haunted by heavy historical memories. June 25 marks the day of the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950; July 27, the day of the conclusion of armistice in 1953; and August 15, the day of liberation from Japanese occupation in 1945, which immediately led to the division between North and South by the Soviet Union and the United States.
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Armenian Genocide Centennial in Beirut – an ecumenical commemoration Armenian Genocide Centennial in Beirut – an ecumenical commemoration
Aram I, Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church, invited church leaders to commemorate the Armenian Genocide Centenial in Beirut, Lebanon, 18-19 July. And many of us came to show solidarity and to pray together.
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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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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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Commission on Faith and Order embraces the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace Commission on Faith and Order embraces the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace
To be part of the WCC Commission on Faith and Order is a privilege and at the same time a big challenge. Its aim has been that Christians may make theology together through dialogue and communion in search for the visible unity of the Church.
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European pilgrims, open to God’s transforming spirit European pilgrims, open to God’s transforming spirit
On 5 May each year the Council of Europe marks Europe Day. It is a day to celebrate peace and unity across the continent. It is also a day to honour successes of Europe—widespread peace and free movement at internal borders, increasing prosperity and cooperation, recovery and flourishing following times of crisis. It is also a time to reflect on where we want to go, who we want to be as Europe.
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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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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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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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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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