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by admin last modified 27 March 2015 05:00 PM

Love cannot come with harm and destruction

The reading from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 has long been one of my favourites. It calls to mind what perfected love would look like. Nonetheless, the phrase "endures all things" verse 7, has given me much pause for thought on many occasions over these long years.

Love is the action of unity

As a young person who finds myself passionately involved in human rights movements, I often wonder how people’s unity at a large scale is sustained and even strengthened. Most of us understand what binds our smaller and closer relationships, but our acts of unity among the larger society despite all our differences certainly goes beyond believing in the same cause and being well organised.

Love heals: it never hurts

Let us talk about Abuse and Love. Growing up as a child, I saw my mother being physically, emotionally, mentally abused by my father. She was beaten, violated, abused – but not once did she ever mention this to anyone. One day, I asked my mother why she had to take all the pain, the violence and abuse she was going through in the hands of my father all to herself. Guess what… She said, my daughter listen, “your father hits me, he beats me, he hurts me because he loves me.”

A harmful text on love?

“Yes, he abuses me, but you know, the Bible says I must bear all things” - “There are many signs that he is cheating and exposing me to HIV, but he says that he is faithful and I should believe all thing in love.” - And even: “My father/pastor/teacher rapes me, but my family says that I should just endure it and not bring disgrace on our family/church/school.” - This can never be the message that Paul wanted to send to the Corinthians or to those of us who read this today!

Prayer for unity in many voices

Indeed, the end is another beginning. The end of Bossey students’ itinerary, not only in Rome but also in their community life at the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Institute at Bossey, somehow coincided with the beginning of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which we celebrated at the Basilica of St Paul’s Outside-the-Walls. For the twenty-eight Bossey students coming from various nations, racial-ethnic groups, Christian denominations, geo-cultural locations, the study visit to Vatican and Rome was also marking the very last stage of their brief yet intense community life at Bossey.

Ahead of Holocaust Remembrance Day, 27 January

‘We call upon all the churches we represent to denounce antisemitism, no matter what its origin, as absolutely irreconcilable with the profession and practice of the Christian faith. Antisemitism is sin against God and man.’ This unambiguous WCC declaration in 1948 has been regularly re-stated over the last 70 years. In the same spirit, the annual commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day is an opportunity to be welcomed. It focuses a widespread commitment not to forget the Holocaust of the Jewish people (while not excluding remembrance of other genocides) and to help prevent such atrocities in the future.

Experiences on the pilgrimage for climate justice

For decades I have been trying – together with social movements – to raise awareness in our churches and politics that we in the rich North, particularly in Germany, are living at the expense of people and nature in the global South, and that we offload the consequences to other parts of the earth. My focus is on the subject of justice. I believe that there cannot be solutions to the climate crisis if the issues of resource and social justice are not addressed. Peace in the world also heavily depends on this.

Taking a visible stand against gender-based violence in Uganda

Before I was born and as I grew up, there were many gender stereotypes that negatively affected women and girls. These included beating wives and not appreciating baby girls. In my culture, girls were deprived of education, because taking them to school was considered a waste of resources. Parents and the general communities looked at girls as sources of dowry (bride price) and so they were married off at an age of 14 -18 years.

Free as butterflies

I am a woman and I thank God for that every day of my life. But being a woman means living every day to meet the demands that society, family and our work places (even the church) impose on us. Because I am a woman, I am expected to be perfect, and this is where I see one of the faces of violence: “forgetting who I am in order to become the superstar everyone expects me to be”.

It is time to stop the ‘Curse’

I am a 51 year old pastor who grew up in a Caribbean family which was punctuated with fights and beatings between my grandparents, my aunts and their husbands or boyfriends, my mother and my father, and my mother and my sister’s father. All on my mother’s side of the family. I made up my mind that that would not be me!

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.

Phenomenal woman

Without peace, there is no justice. Too often, we pursue justice at the expense of peace, and peace at the expense of justice. To conceive peace apart from justice is to compromise the hope that “justice and peace shall embrace” (Ps 85:10). When justice and peace are lacking, or set in opposition, we need to reform our ways. Let us rise, therefore, and work together for peace and justice.

Children on the Move

"It is discouraging to see people flee because of war and persecution, and it is even more disheartening that children—the most vulnerable—are part of that terrible experience." Lidia Lebang shares her impressions from the World Children’s Day celebration held by the World Council of Churches and UNICEF at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva last week, and the differences big and small that Christians can make in the lives of individuals and of the community.

Disclaimer

The impressions, hopes and ideas expressed in this blog are the contributions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or policies of the World Council of Churches.

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