Tag Archives: World Council of Churches

Churches across the world invited to pray for Korean reunification

The international ecumenical community has invited churches and individuals to join in prayer for the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula on August 13. People of any faith or no faith may join.
  Churches across the world invited to pray for Korean reunification

Photo:WCC

24 July 2017

On 13 August, churches across the world are invited to show solidarity with Korean churches by joining a “Sunday of Prayer for the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula.”

The theme for the prayer is based on Romans 14:19: “Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.” The day of prayer occurs two days before Liberation Day in Korea (15 August), during which people celebrate Korea’s liberation from Japanese colonization.

The joint prayer was prepared by the Korean Christian Federation (KCF) from North Korea and the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK) from South Korea.

In a letter of invitation to member churches, World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit and World Communion of Reformed Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Chris Ferguson invited parishes and individuals across the world to pray for the reconciliation and healing of the divided Korean Peninsula.

“The prayer is an important part of our growing movement to overcome the antagonism that divides the Korean Peninsula and continue to open interaction between communities, churches and people,” the letter reads. “We believe churches across the world can, through prayer, help foster an environment in which peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula can flourish.”

Links:

Material Global Prayer Day on 13 August, 2017

Letter to member churches WCC and WCRC

WCC Member churches in Korea

WCRC statement on the Korean peninsula 7 July, 2017

WCC statement on the Korean peninsula 11 June, 2017

Mutuality and cooperation focus at Korean peace meeting in Leipzig (WCC press release 14 July, 2017)

See you along the Trail.

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Global Day of Prayer to End Famine

From the World Council of Churches:

“Food is more than a human right; it is a divine gift that cannot be impeded. As people of faith on a Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, we are called to respond to the hunger crisis through prayer, and we encourage communities of all faiths to organize themselves around the issue of access to food.”

South-Sudan-map1As more people face famine today than any time in modern history, the World Council of Churches (WCC) together with the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) and a range of faith-based partners and networks invite a Global Day of Prayer to End Famine on 21 May 2017, in response to the hunger crisis.

To encourage people of faith and good will around the world to observe the global day of prayer on 21 May, the WCC is making available a collection of liturgical resources, prayers, photos and suggested songs to be used in faith congregations worldwide.

Join the Global Day of Prayer to End Famine, 21 May 2017

Resources

1. A Call for a Global Day of Prayer to End Famine – Letter from WCC and AACC general secretaries (pdf)

2. Global Day of Prayer to End Famine – Main messages with bible verses and reflections (pdf)

3. Fact sheet – Global Day of Prayer to End Famine (pdf)

4. Order of worship – Global Day of Prayer to End Famine 21 May 2017 (pdf)

5. Short version – Order of worship – Global Day of Prayer to End Famine 21 May 2017 (pdf)

6. Song proposals for Global Day of Prayer to End famine 2017 (pdf)

7. Ten Commandments of Food – Advocacy kit for congregations (pdf)

8. Call to Action to End Famine

Photo slideshow

Download Powerpoint (pptx)

See you in prayer and action along the Trail.

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Reflections on the World Council of Churches General Assembly

The World Council of Churches recently concluded their 10th Assembly. The Assembly met in Busan, Republic of Korea.

When I traveled to Korea this spring, I had the privilege to address the Busan WCC Preparatory Committee.

I did not return for the Assembly. Part of me wishes I had. A large group of Presbyterians attended, including colleagues and friends. Hearing of their experiences reminded me of my Korean connections.

In addition to the news accounts from the WCC and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), many of the participants wrote and blogged about the Assembly. Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly, wrote several reflections

For analysis of the Assembly through the lens of gender and racial justice, check out the blog of my friend Laura Mariko Cheifetz. Here are her current postings along with some teasers.

I know, I should really appreciate everyone’s voices being shared. I should make sure that any decision-making process allows for all voices. But consensus is just as complicated a process as is Robert’s Rules/parliamentary procedure, and the process combined with limited time allowed for discussion really can quash serious disagreement and discussion (unless you’re a dude, according to this meeting).

We have theological and Biblical reasons for our long-standing ecumenical activity. Succumbing to our desire to hoard our diminishing resources and the influence of the isolationist/conservative element in the PC(USA) would be a theological statement – that we believe we do not have enough. We believe in scarcity. We believe that our own institutional preservation is of greater theological value and import than our commitment to being part of the larger Christian family.

There is a line between tokenizing and fetishizing young people’s voices, and genuinely holding up their leadership. Let’s be clear, the church is usually behind other social institutions in giving young people real responsibilities and taking them seriously.

And a highlight of my day, besides the mens’ statement, was going to the steps outside the convention center with hundreds of other participants in the pre-assembly for a group picture, with women from all over the world singing “We Shall Overcome.” This, from women who had just been discussing trafficking of women and children, and sexual violence. There is plenty of hope here. I can’t wait for tomorrow, for the beginning of the assembly.

A woman selling food by the beach gave me a look when I said I was American. I took that to mean that she didn’t quite believe me because of my looks (this is a frequent problem I have when traveling in other countries – I don’t look white, don’t have blond hair or blue eyes, and I like spicy food, so I do not seem very American to some). I said my mother’s family was Japanese, and she walked away. I know that just because my family wasn’t in Japan, and spent a few years locked up in concentration camps in the U.S. for being Japanese, does not make much of a difference to a people who were systematically terrorized by a brutal and dehumanizing regime.

Like many with privilege, I want to squeeze myself into a corner and not take up too much space out of an awareness of that privilege. Of course, as an under-40 woman of color, there is another part of me that knows disappearing is not the answer. Making myself small and withholding my contributions to the work is just another way to exercise privilege, or to allow those from my denomination and country with more personal privilege to dominate. So I will participate. In fact, I think I’ll be working my ass off, dancing between contributing the appropriate amount and making sure my contributions are not dominant over the contributions of others with less economic and social power in this religious world. At least I’m aware that I should not dominate the conversation.

Laura also posts a number of photo blogs:

If you want to learn more about the WCC General Assembly, check out Laura’s work. She says more will follow.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Antiracism, Current Events, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

WCC Assemby in Korea to Urge Pursuit of Peace, Justice

My friend Grace Ji-Sun Kim recently went to a planning meeting for the World Council of Churches Assembly that will take place in Korea in October. I wish I were going to the Assembly – I have fond memories of Korea.

Grace Ji-Sun Kim

This is my latest post for Ethicsdaily.com.  It is a reflection of my recent participation at a World Council of Churches Meeting in Geneva.

Many mainline denominational churches, such as the Lutherans, Presbyterians, Episcopalians and Methodists, are struggling to survive in North America.

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26 March 2013, Republic of Korea

Another late start, 10:00 AM, allowed me to take pictures of the guesthouse where I am spending three nights.

The Rev. Dr. Hyunju Bae picked me up and we drove to Busan Presbyterian University where she teaches. BPU functions as one of the seminaries in the Presbyterian Church of Korea. We had a great conversation with the Rev. Dr. Moo Youl Choi, president of the university.

I preached at the chapel service for the university. Master of Divinity students attended this particular service. Lunch followed in one of the university dining areas.

Hyunju and MarkAfter a quick cup of tea, the Rev. Dr. Bae and I headed off to a meeting of the Busan WCC Preparatory Committee. My presentation to them focused on ecumenism. I shared my experiences as well as some of the ways the Presbyterian Church works ecumenically.

The Rev. Dr. Bae and I then had dinner before I returned to the guesthouse. A good day.

See you along the Trail.

The photo shows the Rev. Dr. Hyunju Bae and I speaking to the Busan WCC Preparatory Committee.

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