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A journey of learning about myself, the world and about God A journey of learning about myself, the world and about God
Thirteen youth and two adults traveled across Canada this summer to learn about the social justice, ecumenical, and environmental work of the United Church of Canada. Travelling by planes, trains and automobiles for six weeks, fifteen strangers turned into a family.
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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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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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Dignified and sustainable work for the common good Dignified and sustainable work for the common good
The environmental crisis and climate change are part of a more general economic, socio-political and spiritual crisis. The topic of work plays a central role in this connection. "The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it,” declares the psalmist (Psalm 24:1). And again "You cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for people to use; to bring forth food from the earth, and wine to gladden the human heart, oil to make the face shine, and bread to strengthen the human heart (...). People go out to their work and to their labour until the evening” (Psalm 104:14f. 23).
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Earth Overshoot Day 2015 Earth Overshoot Day 2015
Today, 13 August 2015 is Earth Overshoot Day, meaning that, since January, humanity has already spent as many natural resources as the Earth can renew in a year. And there is still four months and a half to come!
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Environment day and the pilgrimage of justice and peace Environment day and the pilgrimage of justice and peace
What does the environment have to do with the pilgrimage of justice and peace? In my view, a pilgrimage is an expression of what we are as human beings: people on the way, from birth to death. A pilgrimage is also a spiritual practice for Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and other faith traditions.
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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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Let justice roll down like waters… Let justice roll down like waters…
Justice and peace have been high on the agenda of the churches for a very long time. In their pursuit of peace, churches are inspired by Jesus Christ, the prince of peace who promised to give peace to all his followers. From the very beginning, the work of Ecumenical Water Network (EWN) of the WCC had a justice perspective
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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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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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