WCC Pilgrimage Blog

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Preaching in Toronto about the Pope’s visit to Geneva

When I was asked to preach recently, it seemed obvious that I would speak about the visit of Pope Francis to Geneva in June at the invitation of the World Council of Churches. This would give me the opportunity to talk about ecumenism with people who might not be familiar with either the word or the concept. It would also be the chance to draw attention to the 70-year quest by the WCC for practical ecumenism, that is to say an ecumenism that is about Christians working together to love their neighbour and care for creation.

Wadi Qana and the politics of nature

Although the Israeli authorities declared Wadi Qana as a nature reserve as far back as 1983, the decision to turn it into an Israeli leisure and recreation area was only taken in 2006. This did not fail to impact Palestinian landowners. who are not allowed to dig new wells to water the fields or to repair existing facilities, whereas the Israeli settlements on the hilltops get their water from deep wells on the valley floor, with water pumped uphill through thick pipes.

Wadi Qana: Occupation's impact on a peaceful land

Although idyllic Wadi Qana is barely 50 km from the metropolitan area of Tel Aviv as the crow flies, the gap is great. Rizeq, our local contact in the nearby village of Deir Istiya, leases grazing land there. Together with three friends, he owns a small herd of goats. The herd sleeps in a large cave that serves as a shed, with an entrance enclosed by walls and gates. Rizeq and his partners built a small hut nearby out of field stones for storing tools and spending the night.

The Resistance of Biblical women and the leadership of Mrs. Winnie Nomzamo Madikizela Mandela

When I was a young adult I visited the home of Mrs. Winnie Nomzamo Madikizela Mandela. I was blessed to meet her and a few of her family members. I also heard her speak at a program in Soweto. Since this time, I have come to a deeper understanding about her and the spouses of celebrated leaders. Too often their leadership is not only overlooked but not considered.

April 4, 2018 - 50 years after the assassination of Rev. Dr Martin Luther King Jr

One of the most well known and remarkable personalities in the history of the ecumenical movement is Rev. Dr Martin Luther King Jr. His name is forever carved into world history and into the history of the churches’ witness in the world. Today, 50 years after his assassination, he is honoured, and he is inspiring the churches worldwide to continue the work he was leading. His message should be both guiding us and disturbing us.

Different but one in Christ

From the face value, the above African proverb “A single stick may smoke, but it will not burn,” means that it actually takes a collection of sticks to have a burning fire since a single stick can only produce a thread of wispy smoke. The same is actually true with regards to our life. It is common to hear statements like ‘let us keep the fire burning’ when initiatives are started, but, most times it is just that, statements because individualism often supersedes collectivism. Little is done to fan the fire and add wood to it to ensure that it actually keeps burning.