WCC Pilgrimage Blog

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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.

Be anxious for nothing

Worries, like weeds, seem to thrive. The more you feed them, the more they grow. In Matthew 6, Jesus tells us not to worry about food, drink, clothing, or even the next day. He illustrates with magnificent images. The carefree lilies blooming in the field. And then there are the birds that fly about, singing in the trees. You could be jealous, for they worry about nothing. They are carefree, even though their lives are transitory and threatened.

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.

UNICEF and “Halloween” in North America

When first I lived in Europe as a teenager during the 1960s, western culture was less homogenized than it is today. One didn’t see the same high-street boutiques in all airports everywhere. Not only that… Imagine Western Europe without a single McDonald's.

A good work begun - PAWEEN!

Recently I returned to my alma mater, Yale University Divinity School (YDS). In the taxi from the train station to the school, the driver expressed his interest in my ministry. He wanted to know if I was Presbyterian or not. When I told him I was Baptist and that I felt called to work with all Christians, he expressed his interest in giving me a gift. I was curious. I then realized that he wanted to give me some Biblical wisdom and encouragement. The gift was the following and how apropos given the new work of PAWEEN at this time!

Yes we can: all eat enough, all eat healthy!

The right to food is an inalienable human right. Every man, woman and child has the right to eat a healthy, varied and affordable diet. This concerns not just the quantity, but also the quality of food. The benevolent creator has provided abundance of food to all (Psalms 104: 13-15). In the old testament he leads his people to a good land, a land of abundance, a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey (Deuteronomy 8:7–10).

The World Council of Churches works for environmental justice

Christians have a long tradition of dominating other peoples and other faith traditions and even some variant Christian groups. From the early church times, Christians have taken seriously the mandate to go to the ends of the earth to convert peoples to Christianity. Christian European immigrants came to North America and were complicit in genocide against the indigenous peoples. Mass killing, displacement, and domination of native peoples are a horrific part of American history from which there remains irreversible damage to the Native American people and their culture.

“Is not this the fast that I choose…”

When God created men and all the creatures of the earth, he placed Adam in the Garden of Eden. God planted a garden eastward in Eden and he made it to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food (Genesis 2:8-9). This may be considered as the foundation on which all other paradigms on food justice can be based. After creating Adam and Eve God made provision for their feeding and sustenance.

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).