Thousands of people are planning to embark on a pilgrimage of climate justice – either on foot or on bicycles – in many parts of the world
Thousands of people are planning to embark on a pilgrimage of climate justice – either on foot or on bicycles – in many parts of the world.
These faithful pilgrims, rooted in their religious beliefs, want to express solidarity with those affected by climate change – urging world leaders to produce a legally binding and universal agreement on the climate at the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris.
These pilgrims, mostly from Europe and Africa, are mobilized by Christian organizations representing members of the World Council of Churches (WCC). Some will end their journey in Paris, uniting their voices with other faith actors at the COP 21 to be held from 30 November to 11 December 2015.
“Paris is a milestone in our pilgrimage of climate justice,” said Dr Guillermo Kerber, WCC programme executive for Care for Creation and Climate Justice. “Yet Paris is not a destination. As people of faith, expected to offer a moral compass to climate dialogue, we need to strategize for 2016 and beyond,” he said.
Kerber was speaking in a COP 21 preparatory meeting for ecumenical organizations held on 22 January in Geneva, Switzerland. The concept “pilgrimage of justice and peace” is a vision promoted by the WCC 10th Assembly, and climate justice is a significant component of this vision.
Following calls for climate justice by religious leaders such as Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church, the WCC is planning to bring strong voices from religious communities demanding a fair, ambitious and legally binding treaty in Paris, said Kerber.
In Africa the “pilgrims of climate justice” are planning to cross borders on foot and bicycles, raising awareness about the impact of climate change. Patriciah Akullo of the ACT Alliance, a partner organization of the WCC, shared information about her organization’s campaign for climate justice, coming into force around COP 21 with a focus on Africa. She said that after crossing borders between South Africa, Uganda and Burundi among other countries, these pilgrims’ final destination will be Nairobi.
Celebrities expected to add their voices to the campaign are Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, with others from the fields of sports, culture and music.
“Pilgrimage to COP 21 is a pilgrimage of justice and peace, for people and for earth,” said Isaiah Toroitich, working for the campaign Act Now for Climate Justice. “As people of faith we hope to speak in one united voice in Paris demonstrating our solidarity with those affected by climate change,” he said.
Thomas Hirsch from Bread for the World said that as people of faith “we are united in our diversity through our efforts and our pleas for climate justice to be heard at COP 21”. The planning of initiatives from the churches, ecumenical organizations and their faith partners were called “motivating” by Hirsch. However, he said the “momentum of these efforts can go down if COP 21 is not able to deliver”.
The following organizations took part in the Geneva preparatory meeting: the ACT Alliance, Conference of European Churches, Norwegian Church Aid, MISEREOR, Green Pilgrimage Network, Bread for the World, The Lutheran World Federation, Christian Aid, Secours Catholique, CIDSE and the CCFD-Terre Solidaire.
In the light of current global realities, representatives of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) and the World Council of Churches (WCC) met from 20 to 21 January at the Chateau of Bossey, Switzerland to explore and discuss possible areas of future cooperation. The meeting featured introductions to the work of the WEA and the WCC, and participants reflected together on current developments in society and churches, and in evangelical and ecumenical movements. They shared current plans and discussed possibilities for closer collaboration. Stressing the significance of being Christian witnesses, the meeting participants also identified various ways of responding together to the needs of communities around the world. Together the participants read the Scriptures and reflected on similar and different understandings of mission and evangelism. They prayed together and shared stories of faith. Recognizing the importance of a joint response to a suffering world, the participants agreed to continue to meet in order to identify further areas of possible cooperation. … Read more »… À suivre »
Visiting a nation torn apart for 30 years by a civil war that pit Buddhists against Hindus and Muslims, with Christians both bystanders and sometimes victims, Pope Francis was expected to have something important to say about interfaith relationships. He delivered that Tuesday in Sri Lanka, telling a cross-section of the country’s religious leaders that harmony among different faiths is critical, but it cannot come at the expense of the distinctive identity of each. Citing the teachings of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), Francis said that the Catholic Church has a “deep and abiding respect for other religions.” … Read more »… À suivre »
The Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order (IASCUFO) has urged the Anglican Church of Canada not to amend its marriage canon (church law) to allow the marriage of same-sex couples, saying such a move would “cause great distress for the Communion as a whole, and for its ecumenical relationships.” The IASCUFO’s statement came in response to a request from the Canadian church’s Commission on the Marriage Canon for an opinion about proposed changes to Canon 21 that would allow for same-sex marriages. Canon Kenneth Kearon, secretary general of the Anglican Communion, decided IASCUFO would be the “most appropriate” body within the Communion to deal with such a question. The Anglican Church of Canada has the prerogative “to address issues appropriate to its context,” the IASCUFO said, but it noted the ramifications of “a change of this magnitude” for the Communion and its ecumenical partners. In a letter addressed to Canon Robert Falby, chair of the marriage canon commission, IASCUFO members said they were unanimous “in urging you not to move beyond your present policy of ‘local option.’ ” They noted that the absence of a General Synod decision about the blessing of same-sex unions or same-sex marriages “has given space for the rebuilding of fragile relationships across the Communion.” … Read more »… À suivre »
Christianity has something to say about human dignity, and “it would be a shame” if differing positions on the sanctity of all human life or on marriage were to increase the divisions among Christian churches and communities, Pope Francis said. “Questions related to the dignity of the human person at the beginning and end of life, as well as those related to the family, marriage and sexuality, cannot be concealed or overlooked just because we do not want to jeopardize the ecumenical consensus already reached,” he said Dec. 18 during a meeting with German Catholics and Lutherans. “Ecumenical dialogue today can no longer be separated from the reality and lives of our churches,” the pope told leaders of the German Lutheran Church and members of the German Catholic bishops’ ecumenical commission. Pope Francis praised the German Catholic-Lutheran dialogue commission for its joint study on “God and human dignity,” a study which is drawing to a close. Different theological understandings of the church and different opinions about what would constitute unity also seem to be moving Christians further from one another, Pope Francis said; but instead of resigning themselves to their divided state, “we must concentrate on the next possible step.” After 50 years of formal dialogue he said, “the notable progress that, with the help of God, has been made is a solid foundation of sincere friendship lived in faith and spirituality.” … Read more »… À suivre »
Rev Cindy Halmarson, the former bishop of Saskatchewan Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, has accepted a position in the Global Mission Unit of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Her new position as Area Program Director for Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (Europe/MENA), based at the Lutheran Center in Chicago, will involve building and maintaining relationships with partner churches in order to strengthen Christ’s mission in the world. Mission accompaniment is focused on churches in Central Eastern Europe, including Siberia, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL) as well as supporting ELCA-sponsored English language ministries in the typically Lutheran areas of Scandinavia, Germany and Western Europe. … Read more »… À suivre »
The Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order met at the Ecumenical Centre, Chateau de Bossey, Switzerland, 3 to 10 December 2014. For the first time an Anglican Communion Commission met in the ecumenical context of the historic city of Geneva. IASCUFO met with staff leadership of the World Council of Churches, The Lutheran World Federation, and students and staff of the Bossey Ecumenical Institute, where the meetings were held. On Sunday the members worshipped in three parishes: Holy Trinity Church (Diocese in Europe); Emmanuel Church (Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe); and St Germain (Swiss Old Catholic Diocese of the Union of Utrecht). They are all in full communion with each other. As always the Commission celebrated daily Eucharist, and prayed the offices. Bible study engaged the First Letter of John. The Commission benefited from hearing stories from the provinces of the Communion represented, and time spent with the students and Director of the Bossey Institute. IASCUFO is grateful to all who showed hospitality to the Commission. The ecumenical context shaped this meeting: we enjoyed hearing first-hand from the Rev. Dr Kaisamari Hintikka and her colleagues in the LWF Department of Theology & Public Witness about their work. This included plans for the commemoration of 2017 (marking the 500th anniversary of the publication of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses). … Read more »… À suivre »
Here is the schedule for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in 2015 in Saskatoon.
Sat, Jan 17, 9:30am-12:30pm
“With One Voice: Prayer, Song and Christian Unity”
Workshop with Dr. Karen Westerfield Tucker
@ St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church
Sun, Jan 18, 3pm – Opening Service
@ Sts-Martyrs Canadiens RC Parish
Preacher: Dr. Karen Westerfield Tucker
Mon, Jan 19
7am – Morning Service @ Mayfair United Church
9:30am-12:30pm – "With One Voice: Baptism and Christian Unity"
Clergy & Lay Ministry Workshop with Dr. Karen Westerfield Tucker
@ Holy Family Cathedral
Tues, Jan 20
7am – Morning Service @ St. George's Anglican Church
7:30pm – "An Ecumenism of Life: Liturgy and Dialogue,"
2015 Annual De Margerie Lecture with Dr. Karen Westerfield Tucker
@ St. Thomas More College Auditorium
Wed, Jan 21
7am – Morning Service @ St. Paul's RC Cathedral
7:30pm – 'Singing Into Unity'
Ecumenical Hymn Sing & Worship Service
@ Augustana–St. Timothy's Lutheran/Anglican Church
Thurs, Jan 22
7am – Morning Service @ St. Paul's United Church
12pm – Worship and Lunch @ Queen's House of Retreats
Fri, Jan 23
7am – Morning Service @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Sun, Jan 25, 3pm – Closing Service @ Ebenezer Baptist Church
Preacher: Bishop Sid Haugen, ELCIC
Contact the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism for further details about the Week of Prayer: firstname.lastname@example.org; 306-653-1633
Week of Prayer resources available at www.weekofprayer.ca and www.ecumenism.net/wpcu
In a time of environmental crisis, how is the Holy Spirit present and at work in the world and how is it calling and empowering us to action?
Those are some of the questions to be explored with the help of Mark Wallace, a theologian who connects Christian faith to the environmental crisis, during St. Andrew's College's Winter Refresher 2015 being held March 5-7.
For more information and a list of workshops download the Winter Refresher brochure and poster.
After three years of dialogue, the Evangelical-Roman Catholic dialogue in Saskatoon has produced a statement of our shred faith. The text is intended for study over the next months in preparation for a decision to affirm the text next spring.
Equip your church to become an invaluable neighbour. Gain practical insights, tools, and resources to understand and engage the needs of your community.
Church leaders: Learn to love local! Guided by urban ministry expert Dr. John Fuder, we'll discover how neighbourhood mapping can reveal unmet needs and untapped resources of your immediate neighbourhood. Discover the six essential steps to mapping and then get ready to implement practical ministry initiatives that will transform both your community and your church.
Dr. John Fuder is author of the new, best-selling Neighbourhood Mapping (2014),Founder/Director of Heart for the City, and for the past 17 years has served as Urban Studies professor at Moody Theological Seminary, Chicago.
As a special bonus, customized city profiles will be provided at each event by World Vision Canada's National Church Ambassador, Rev. Dr. Don Moore. These at-a-glance summaries of each city are an excellent, practical takeaway to enrich your ministry.
At Lakeview Church, Thursday, May 7, 2015, 1:30 to 4:30pm; $25/person
Taizé Prayer originated in the ecumenical monastery of Taizé in France. Come to experience a simple form of meditative prayer with Taizé music, Scripture reading, and a time of silence in a candle-lit atmosphere.