To inspire responses and concrete actions for water justice, the Ecumenical Water Network (EWN) of the World Council of Churches (WCC) has launched an online compilation of biblical reflections and resources on water for use during Lent.
These Seven Weeks for Water, as the series is called, are a way of raising awareness around World Water Day on 22 March 2013.
Renowned theologians and ecumenists have written more than forty reflections for the Seven Weeks for Water since 2008.
This year’s resources are comprised of seven selected reflections from the past that give a taste of the regional, confessional and gender diversity of the contributors. The biblical reflections are complemented with new ideas for study, reflection and action.
In a foreword to the resources, the Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, the WCC General Secretary, writes: “It is my hope that as Christians around the world use these reflections, not only will they engage more fully in just use of water, but that their faith in the One who identifies himself as ‘living water’ will be deepened and refreshed.”
A reflection by the Rev Jane Stranz for the first week focuses on Micah 6:8, exploring relations between water, spirituality and justice.
“Achieving water justice for the more than one billion people on our planet who do not have access to clean drinking water will not come about over night. It will be a long process linking advocacy, campaigning and direct action,” said Stranz.
“It demands not only our intellectual and political commitment, it also needs a spirituality of persistence which sustains us as we follow Jesus and try to be water wearing away at the mountains of injustice,” she added.
Stranz works on ecumenical relations, inter-religious dialogue and intercultural ministry with the French Protestant Federation in Paris, France.
The EWN coordinator Dinesh Suna called the Seven Weeks for Water a pertinent initiative to raise awareness of justice issues connected to water.
He said, “We have got a tremendous response from our members across the world, who look forward to receiving these Lenten reflections and engaging their congregations in study, reflection and action on water issues.”
The reflections will be unveiled on EWN website week by week, along with ideas for study, reflection and action through which churches and people can formulate their responses to water justice in their local communities.
A booklet containing all seven reflections, as well as two orders of worship, is already available for download.
Themes in the biblical reflections include the economy of water, water conflict in the Holy Land, water and baptism, and relations between water, peace and spirituality.
Among the authors of the resources are the Rev Dr Konrad Raiser, Anne Louise Mahoney, Fr Afrayem Elorshalimy, Bishop Dom Tomás Balduino, the Rev Lucy Wambui Waweru and the Rev Dr Anderson Jeremiah.
* Seven Weeks for Water can be found here: http://water.oikoumene.org/en/whatwedo/seven-weeks-for-water/2013/2013