A European Contribution to the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace.
The World Council of Churches’ 2013 Busan Assembly invited churches to join in a Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace. Participation in the Pilgrimage is a response to God’s will for the world by becoming communities of justice and peace. It celebrates the fellowship of these communities, and works for the healing of a world filled with conflict, injustice, and pain. The Pilgrimage is a response to new challenges, and seeks to meet the needs of those yearning for justice and peace, and seeking signs of hope.
The call to pilgrimage resonated among the churches of Europe, especially in the link between the Pilgrimage and the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in December 2015 in Paris. Churches in Europe are organising pilgrimages along different paths and through a number of local, regional, and national events. The Conference of European Churches supports and accompanies its Member Churches in these efforts.
COP 21 is the culmination of a long process of political negotiations aiming to find a way forward in responding to climate change. It is an opportunity for world political leaders to agree on vital next steps. At this critical juncture, churches throughout the world follow the preparations with keen interest. They are using this occasion to express a special commitment to care of creation and to common and decisive action.
Conference of European Churches contributing to Pilgrimage
The CEC contribution to the Pilgrimage focuses on:
- mapping the European context and identify stakeholders and contributions to the Pilgrimage of justice and peace from European churches
- supporting engagement and activities in minority churches of central Europe, especially in Czech republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland.
- raising awareness of climate change and climate justice in European churches leading to COP 21
- achieving a coherent contribution to the Pilgrimage based on a specific European perspective
A European Contribution to the Pilgrimage for Climate Justice, will take place from 12 to 14 October 2015 at the Evangelical Academy Villigst in Schwerte, Germany.The consultation will highlight the issue of climate justice and be linked to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. It is an opportunity for the churches of Europe to raise their voices and reaffirm that climate justice is a necessary expression of the churches’ concern for the protection of God’s creation.
The aim of the consultation is:
- to take stock of the different pilgrimages that are taking place around the continent in mobilising a Christian voice in responding to the urgency of climate change
- to encourage each other and to contribute to the synergy of the many initiatives taking place at national levels
- to contribute to building a joint vision of European churches on the issue of climate justice in view of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in December 2015
The meeting is organised in cooperation with the Evangelical Church in Westphalia and coordinated arrival of pilgrims from the German and Nordic churches. Participants will include leadership from CEC Member Churches and pilgrims from across Europe and European churches.
For more information, please see the invitation letter from CEC General Secretary Rev. Dr Guy Liagre, which was sent to CEC Member Churches, Organisations in Partnership, and European National Councils of Churches.
Expected outcomes include:
- A united contribution of churches in Europe to the WCC Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace in view of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015
- Sharing of experience and best practices on economic and environmental justice in European churches
- Recommendation for concrete churches’ ecumenical action and discerning way forward for CEC work on ecological justice in the coming period of time
For more information, please contact Peter Pavlovic, CEC Study Secretary.