Ecumenical Water Network

The EWN is a network of churches and Christian organizations promoting people's access to water around the world

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Seven Weeks for Water 2016

The WCC’s Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace will have a regional focus on the Middle East in 2016. Accordingly, the Seven Weeks for Water in 2016 will take us on a pilgrimage of water justice in the Middle East, with specific reference to Palestine. The Biblico-theological reflections and resources for the seven weeks will be based on the water crisis in Middle East region and take into consideration issues of justice and peace.
Seven Weeks for Water 2016

Children in Gaza fetching water. © EWN, 2014.

According to the Christian tradition, Lent is a time to prepare for the celebration of the death and resurrection of Christ. During this period many people engage in fasting and practise moderation or self-denial in order to focus on repentance and consecrating oneself to God. While water has a strong spiritual significance in the Christian tradition as a gift of God,  this scarce resource is threatened and denied to millions around the world.

The EWN invites you to use this season of Lent to reflect on water. Since 2008, the EWN has been providing weekly theological reflections and other resources on water for the seven weeks of Lent and for World Water Day on 22 March.

Thirst for Justice

"Jerusalem is a most significant destination for the pilgrimages by people of all three faiths of the book, and a place where they live side by side. And yet, in this holy place, we have confronted a most unholy reality: the terrible suffering of the Palestinian people from lack of clean water and adequate sanitation. And what is lacking in Palestine is not water; what is lacking is justice. The Palestinian people thirst for water justice."
(EWN Jerusalem statement, June 2014)

The WCC’s Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace will have a regional focus on the Middle East in 2016. Accordingly, the Seven Weeks for Water in 2016 will take us on a pilgrimage of water justice in the Middle East, with specific reference to Palestine. The Biblico-theological reflections and resources for the seven weeks will be based on the water crisis in Middle East region and take into consideration issues of justice and peace.

During Lent 2016, various activities around the Seven Weeks for Water will take place in the Middle East, particularly in Palestine, starting with a launch in Jerusalem on 10 February (Ash Wednesday according to the Western traditions of Christianity):

Order of service for Ash Wednesday and launching of Seven Weeks for Water


Leaders of the WCC, the Middle East Council of Churches and local churches will participate in the launch ceremony.

Reflections, liturgies and other resources will be uploaded to the EWN website every week, starting from 8 February:

1st reflection: And we are still thirsty for water! Bishop Munib Younan, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land

2nd reflection: The water of life - not in Palestine. A Kairos perspective. Hind Khoury, Kairos Palestine

3rd reflection: Pilgrimage of Justice through the Beatitudes of Matthew (5:3-12). Ani Ghazaryan Drissi, World Council of Churches

4th reflection: Water: from a spiritual feature to a factor of discrimination in the Holy Land. Michel Jalakh, Middle East Council of Churches

5th reflection: When Israel uses water as a tool of coercion, churches must act decisively. Ranjan Solomon, Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum

6th reflection: Palestinians deprived of clean water, an essential human right. Simona Abderhalden, Emergency, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (EWASH) group

7th reflection: A Rabbinic commentary on water-sharing between Israel and Palestine. By Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp

More readings: Order of Service World Water Day 2015 and Reflections on Morning Prayers 23 March 2015.

You can also download and make free use of EWN resources found under Documents on water and sanitation.

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