Member Church News: Women, Rights, Goals

In the atmosphere of celebrating International Women’s Day on 26 March, the Presbytery of Kigali (Rwanda) organized a daylong workshop to remind women church leaders to continue fighting against the pandemics of COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS.

“The COVID-19 pandemic makes us feel how much we miss a person and what it means to lose someone we love. It rekindles our gratitude for being alive and healthy. Welded in a spirit of solidarity, let us give each other a sign of hope!” The page, an initiative of churches in Switzerland, invites everyone to express their thoughts and prayers.

Yesterday marked the birthday of Corrie Ten Boom, a Dutch watchmaker, writer, and member of the Dutch Reformed Church who, with her family, helped many Jews escape the Nazis by hiding them in her home.

The Presbyterian Church Myanmar is asking for solidarity and prayer as Myanmar’s military uses machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades to attack peaceful protestors.

The United Reformed Church has published the book Constance – Pioneer, Pastor, Preacher on one of the first ordained women in Britain, on behalf of Congregation Federation, the Council for World Mission, and the Ecumenical Forum of European Christian Women. Besides placing Constance Coltman in the spotlight, it also features men and women pioneers of today.

As human rights violations worsen in the Philippines, religious leaders there are urging global solidarity for their increasingly urgent quest for justice. Bishop Reuel Norman O. Marigza, general secretary of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines, said that the human rights situation has gotten worse, even after the UN Human Rights Council approved a resolution on technical assistance and capacity building for the promotion of human rights in the Philippines.

Speaking during a webinar hosted by the United Church of Christ, panelists from the World Council of Churches (WCC) underscored the importance of churches’ involvement in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Ryan Smith, WCC programme executive for the Ecumenical United Nations Office (New York), urged people not to forget the importance of the SDGs even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The SDGs are really shaping the UN agenda,” he said. “Here in New York, they call them the ‘global goals.’”

The Middle East Council of Churches General Secretariat held its annual meeting on 14 April with international and regional partner organizations and institutions online to discuss opinions and share knowledge about developing the role of the council and improve cooperation in future projects.

Photo: Paul Jeffrey/WCC

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