Ecumenical Water Network invites pilgrimage of water justice in Pacific region

By agency reporter
January 22, 2020

The pre-launch of the Lenten campaign 'Seven Weeks for Water' was held in Suva, Fiji, on 21 January 2020, under the theme 'A Pilgrimage of Water Justice in the Pacific Region'. In 2020, the World Council of Churches (WCC) Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace has a regional focus in the Pacific Region.

Since 2008, the WCC Ecumenical Water Network has invited people worldwide to use the season of Lent to reflect on issues related to water. The campaign has provided weekly theological reflections and other resources on water for the seven weeks of Lent and for World Water Day on 22 March (which always falls during the Lenten period).

In a sermon at the service to pre-launch the Lenten campaign, The Rev Dr Tevita Banivanua, president of the Fiji Council of Churches, emphasised that water’s usefulness and sacredness are being threatened in many ways by (us) humans, “as we are slowly but surely destroying our own livelihood through our own carelessness”, she said.

“People of faith have been aware of the interconnectedness of the environment, health, economics and water, and with this, the issue of ethics of water is very important in Oceania region.”

Reflecting on this year's campaign focus, Dinesh Suna, coordinator of the WCC Ecumenical Water Network, reminded that at 48 per cent for basic water and 31 per cent for basic sanitation, combined coverage levels in the Pacific are lower than in any other region in the world.

“In the wake of severity of the impacts of climate change in the region, these figures are going to get worse”, he said. 'Seven Weeks for Water' is an important strategy to mobilise the member churches and their congregations in the Pacific region to address the issue of access to water.”

The Reference Group of the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace (PJP) and the pilgrimage’s Theological Study Group are meeting at the Pacific Theological College, in Suva, Fiji, 19-22 January, with the goal of reflecting on the situation in the Pacific through the lens of the global thematic focus on climate change and cooperation with churches, national councils of churches, the Pacific Conference of Churches, and others.

* More about the WCC Ecumenical Water Network here

* The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, by the end of 2012 the WCC had 345 member churches representing more than 500 million Christians from Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other traditions in over 110 countries. The WCC works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church.

* World Council of Churches http://www.oikoumene.org/en

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