Member Church News: Scriptural Heroes, Peace Efforts, Celebrations

The good, the bad and the in-between as depicted by Hollywood actors and biblical authors: Once the American Film Institute came out with its list of the 100 most memorable heroes and villains, Mark Bedford did AFI one better: He paired the top good and bad guys and gals Hollywood has to offer with scriptural passages to promote lively discussions during his “Good vs. Evil 2: The Sequel!” class held last month.

The Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu celebrated 78 years of existence this week.

“Could Colombia’s peace process be an inspiration to the rest of the world?” In a keynote address at the International Conference for Reconciliation in Colombia, Kenneth Mtata, World Council of Churches programme director for Public Witness and Diakonia, reflected on “Ecumenical Experiences and Learnings in the Construction of the Peace.”

The 2023 National Indigenous Spiritual Gathering, with the theme “Our Strong Voices,” opened on July 28 and concluded on July 30 and included a youth gathering, a keynote address from United Church of Canada Moderator Carmen Lansdowne, the naming of National Indigenous Council members, remit voting, celebrations, and more.

On the threshold of its 850th anniversary (to be celebrated in 2024) and in anticipation of the visit of the President of the Republic (on 31 August), the Waldensian Church returns to meet at the end of August in the traditional Synod Assembly.

Renowned Asian ecumenical theologian, former general secretary of the Council for World Mission and former associate general secretary of the Christian Conference of Asia, Preman Niles, passed away in London on 3 August. He was 87 years old.

The United Church of Canada to share new national office space with Anglicans and Presbyterians: The office merger at a spot in downtown Toronto doesn’t mean the churches are uniting, says the denomination’s general secretary.

The World Council of Churches is urging a renewal of a Joint Ecumenical Peace Appeal—one that calls for, among other actions toward peace, an immediate formal declaration of the end of the Korean War.

The latest issue of The Ecumenical Review, the quarterly journal of the World Council of Churches, focuses on the 1700th anniversary in 2025 of the first Ecumenical Council at Nicaea, a key moment in the history of Christian faith and for the ecumenical journey today.

The July issue of the Council for World Mission’s INSiGHT focuses on the theme “Education, Formation and Empowerment.” Rev. Dr Amelia Koh-Butler, CWM Mission Secretary for this programme area reflects on de-colonizing theological education and learning from people in the margins, and outlines the theology behind education in the coming years.

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