WCC Pilgrimage Blog

Join the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace!

Now is the time for queenly leadership!

Sometime between 486 and 465 BCE, the Bible tells us, a disagreement arose between a husband and wife on the way the wife should be presented at a banquet. The disagreement resulted in the wife losing her title of queen. The wife’s name was Queen Vashti, and her husband was King Ahasuerus of Persia. King Ahasuerus decided to find another wife. Esther, a disguised Israelite teenager, was chosen as the new queen.

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.

Justice and peace in Nigeria and in Sweden

As a youth leader of The Church of the Lord (Prayer Fellowship) Worldwide, I am currently on a journey to Switzerland and Sweden to explore the ecumenical landscape on behalf of our church and also to learn firsthand about the work of the Church of Sweden. Journeying together can be a practical way for churches to engage in the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace which invites member churches of the World Council of Churches and all people of goodwill to speak and act together in our continued search for peace in our troubled world.

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.

Faith in action: for access equity rights now

Why should people of faith get engaged in AIDS2016? - The first time I took part in the International AIDS Conference was in Mexico in 2008. I was overwhelmed and fascinated. I was impressed by the large number of people HIV could mobilize, and yet I knew many people around the world had no idea of the difference between HIV and AIDS, and even worse, many did not want to know about it.

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.

Troubled, but not destroyed: Pan African women in the Caribbean

I am Marjorie Lewis, immediate past President and the first woman to be appointed to the Presidency of the United Theological College of the West Indies (UTCWI) in Jamaica. I am currently on Sabbatical, based at the Atlantic School of Theology in Halifax Canada. Here I am conducting research on approaches to Ministerial Formation and Theological Education, with special focus on spiritual care within multi-faith and LGBTIQ communities.

2 Comments

A sobering retrospective of the Canberra Assembly 25 years ago

The incredibly complex issues that came to the fore in the 1991 WCC Canberra Assembly continue to echo in contemporary ecumenical history. In 1991, I had been in ecumenical work already sixteen years. I began my ecumenical career being in charge of the WCC relationship with the United Nations. But nothing could have prepared me for my Canberra assignment given by General Secretary Emilio Castro on behalf of the Executive Committee: to enable the membership of the China Christian Council by resolving the condition it placed on the WCC.

Thoughts for Interfaith Harmony Week

It has taken me a while to get enthusiastic about Interfaith Harmony Week each February, but I have gradually ‘warmed’ to the idea, and one thing that I like is that it falls shortly after the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (at least in the northern hemisphere). The implicit connection this draws between the need for unity and harmony between Christians, and as a starting point for harmony between religions feels a helpful link.

Interreligious dialogue as a part of the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace

As my year as an intern in the Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation team in the WCC draws to a close, it is time to ponder the changing face of the interfaith movement during the turbulent year of 2015. It is clear that in Europe at least the climate concerning different faiths and Islam in particular took a turn for the worse.

Those who hold seeds

Women are at the heart of agriculture, yet too often their core function is neither recognised nor supported. That message stood out to me in the annual meeting of the Food for Life strategy group that I attended last November. The issues that affect women came up in all discussions, whichever goal of the Food for Life campaign, run by the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (WCC-EAA), was on the agenda.

What could the World Council of Churches do regarding global migration?

It's true: migration is a common phenomenon in human history. People have always been moving from one place to the other either forced by circumstances or by choice. However, in our post-colonial, post-cold-war world of globalization, with increased inequality both with in countries and between countries as well as with increased awareness and enhanced transport, the scale of human migration continues to grow every year.

A dream across the barbed-wire fence

A little girl, barely four years old, crawls underneath a barbed-wire fence at the Serbian-Hungarian border. Her face is straight as she glances ahead, irradiated by sunbeams; her fingers are cramped into the muddy soil. Hundreds of thousands refugees are on the move as I write these lines. A reality, which for so many in Europe these past years had remained remote, suddenly becomes close and subject of fierce controversies.

Boats, borders and Christmas parallels

We did not realize that we would get so close. We had imagined maybe seeing boats from afar, having to remind ourselves that what we saw in the water was people. As we stood on the beach in Molivos, there was no question about the reality of the situation as the boats came in. 45 people on boats designed for no more than ten. Most of them wore life vests, but not all. The entire range of emotions was expressed just after reaching land. As some took selfies and thanked God for reaching safely, others cried out in despair after seeing their own death in front of them on the terrifying journey.

Preaching and practice in stormy times

COP 21. Weather! We have always discussed it, several times a day. What could we expect this day, the next day? At least in my country, Norway, where the weather may change several times per day, it is always a theme for a small-talk. Until some years ago we could not imagine that we had to discuss rain storms and drought, ice and heat because we could make a difference. Or that human behaviour already had made a difference.

Paris Attacks, COP21 and the WCC: Embracing the Other

Friday November 13, 2015's terror attacks in Paris, which followed on attacks in Baghdad and Beirut and preceded the attack in Yola, break my heart. All such attacks do. What makes people want to kill innocent people enjoying their Friday night with friends and family at a concert and in restaurants? Such attacks not only kill the bodies, they deeply wound the spirit.

From London to Paris walking by faith in hope

It has been ten days since the Pilgrimage2Paris set off on their mammoth journey. I remember the excitement as the pilgrims arrived last Friday at St Martins in the Field in London. I was eager to meet each pilgrim and find out who these people were who were willing to give up their time over a fortnight to walk from London to the climate talks in Paris. They have come from all walks of life and from all corners of the country, each sharing a strong commitment to put their faith into action and tackle climate change.