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Reflections of the Seven Weeks for Water 2018

The World Council of Churches Ecumenical Water Network (WCC-EWN) invites you to use the season of Lent to reflect on water. Since 2008, 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. The WCC’s Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace will have a regional focus on Latin America and Caribbean region in 2018. Accordingly, the Seven Weeks for Water in 2018 will take us on a pilgrimage of water justice in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region. The Biblio-theological reflections and resources for the seven weeks will be based on the water crisis in the LAC region and take into consideration issues of justice and peace. During Lent 2018, various activities around the Seven Weeks for Water will take place in LAC region, starting with the launch of the Lenten Campaign on Water Justice in Bogota, Colombia on 14 February, Ash Wednesday (according to the Western traditions of Christianity). Leaders of the WCC, members of Reference Group of the Pilgrimage for Justice and Peace, Latin American Council of Churches, and local churches will participate in the launching ceremony. Reflections, liturgies and other resources will be uploaded to the EWN website every week, starting from the 1st week of February. This year the reflections are written by theologians and environmentalists from Latin America with a LAC perspective. Incidentally, the World Water Forum is also taking place in Brazil during the Lenten period, 18-23 March 2018.
Water - Gift and Source of Life
The first Reflection of the “Seven Weeks for Water” of World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Water Network is by Ivo Poletto, a philosopher, theologian and social scientist from Brazil. He is also national advisor to the Climate Change and Social Justice Forum in Brazil. In the following reflection, he analyses the water cycle of Brazil, the “flying rivers” of the Amazon but also laments on fast depleting forests which are breaking the water cycle and making clouds as well as aquifers disappear. He insists that water is one of the common goods that require special care, as there is no life without water.
Is there fullness of life without water?
The second reflection of the “Seven Weeks for Water”, of World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Water Network, is by Rev. Gloria Ulloa, an ordained priest of the Presbyterian Church of Colombia and the president of the World Council of Churches, Latin American region. In the following reflection she relates her own experiences of growing up in her village by the riverside. She laments the current situation of water in the Latin Ameri-can region and challenges the churches to address this water crisis to usher fullness of life among us.
Sweet water
The third reflection of the "Seven Weeks for Water", of World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Water Network, is by Rev. Dr Dario Barolin, a pastor of the Waldensian Church in Uruguay. He is also the executive secretary of AIPRAL, the Alliance of Presbyterian and Reformed Churches in Latin America. In the following reflection he recalls an encounter with two youths of his church who are trying to revive a creek which has lost its freshness due to water pollution by industries. He then draws a parallel to the story of Exodus where Moses turns the bitter water of Marah into sweet, fresh water with the help of a plant, thereby implying plantation being key to watershed.
Water: a calling to the blessing of caring!
The seventh reflection of the of the "Seven Weeks for Water", of World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Water Network, is by Sr. Raquel de Fátima Colet, a consecrated Catholic member of the Company of the Daughters of Charity of the Province of Curitiba/Paraná/Brasil. She is a member of the Ecumenical Movement of Curitiba (MOVEC). In the following reflection she relates the beatitudes in the context of respecting and protecting our waters. She says, “The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12) present us with a path to follow Jesus, in the commitment to his Kingdom of love, justice and peace. From Latin America, from its exuberant nature and the lives of our peoples, today we want to proclaim the beatitudes of caring, translated into our prophetic participation in the promotion of a fair and equal access to water a universal gift and right”.
Good living: the Road Map to Hope - an Ecuadorian perspective!
The fifth reflection of the of the "Seven Weeks for Water", of World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Water Network, is by Veronica Flachier, a journalist and theologian from Ecuador. In the following reflection she turns a leaf from the Ecuadorian Constitution and its national plan for gender equality and poverty eradication, which puts drinking water and sanitation at its center. She further adds that Ecuador recognises Good Living or Sumak Kawsay as an alternative to the so-called “development” and promotes living in harmony and in balance with the cycles of Mother Earth and “mother water”.
The open taps in Latin America
The sixth reflection of the of the "Seven Weeks for Water", of World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Water Network, is by Prof. Dr Jerónimo Granados, an ordained pastor of the Evangelical Church of Río de La Plata. The following reflection recognises the promise of living water, the water that quenches the thirst of the world for Jesus Christ. However, he underscores the importance of the clean water to run through taps of people of Latin America which is vital for a dignified life. He also draws inspiration from the “Pachamama” of the native people of this region to respect and protect our waters.
The Daily Struggle for Water, Especially for Women
The fourth reflection of the of the "Seven Weeks for Water", of World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Water Network, is by Rev. Adelaida Jiménez Cortes, a pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Colombia. She has a master’s degree in Theological Studies and currently she is a doctoral candidate in Education with a specialty in Pedagogical Mediation. In the following reflection she draws a parallel between the situation of Hagar, who had the challenge to survive and keep her son Ishmael alive in a desert without water, to a village in the northern region of Colombia where women have the socially entrusted “responsibility” to fetch water for their families amidst water scarcity.