Member Church News: Peace, Prayers, Pentecostals

24 February marks two years since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Nearly 30,000 lives have been lost and millions displaced. As this sombre anniversary approaches, Canadian Christian leaders have joined voices, urging support for refugees and for peace. Their message? Pray, advocate for diplomacy, aid refugees, remember the invasion’s impact, and hope for reconciliation..

Calling for a stop to the destruction of Gaza: Last week, Bronwen Boswell, stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church (USA), joined other church heads of communion in the nation’s capital to call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. The leaders also pressed U.S. government officials to renew funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and to work for the release of all hostages in Gaza in exchange for Palestinian prisoners in Israel.

Churches in New England and Poland Inspire One Another to Help Civilians in Ukraine and Gaza: After Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022 thousands of UCC churches nationwide rallied to support refugees from Ukraine fleeing to surrounding countries.

“We had no voice, but they didn’t count on our resilience and our determination to be who we are with our connection to land and country.” Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress Chair, Mark Kickett, answered questions from Uniting Church in Australia Assembly President Sharon Hollis on the subject of “doing ministry on stolen land.”

Iglesia Presbiteriana de Chile celebrates its 60th anniversary with a worship service.

The first Friday in March every year is the “World Day of Prayer”. The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan’s Women’s Ministry Committee joins the millions of people who have participated in this important event.

Christian music licensing service CCLI releases a top 100 songs list twice a year. The Christian Reformed Church in North America recently vetted those songs from a Reformed lens—and they published their notes.

Former WCC president reflects on a lifetime dedicated to the common good: Ninety-six-year-old Lois Wilson, a former World Council of Churches president and the first female moderator of the United Church of Canada, is at the centre of a book, For the Sake of the Common Good: Essays in Honour of Lois Wilson, written by people who worked with her.

World Council of Churches General Secretary Jerry Pillay meets Israeli president, calls for ceasefire, freedom of religion, and humanitarian care.

Lutherans and Pentecostals: A beautiful story of mutual learning: Jean-Daniel Plüss, co-chair of the first Lutheran-Pentecostal dialogue, shares insights on the road to Christian unity.

Christian values to influence European elections: The significance of Christian values for Europe’s future, especially in consideration of the upcoming European elections in June 2024, was highlighted by the representatives of the European churches, European Union (EU) officials, ecumenical organizations, and Catholic NGOs working with the EU.

Image: Sharon Hollis and Mark Kickett during their discussion on “doing ministry on stolen land” (courtesy of Crosslight).

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