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Who will roll the stone away?

by Hope S. Antone

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” [read on]

The Right of Every Bud

Biblical Reflections on Mark 9:14-28

by Rev. Vinod Victor

The Setting: The transfiguration experience was an extra-ordinary encounter for the three disciples. After marveling at the revelation of the glory of Jesus they opted to stay up in the mountain. However Jesus was clear that his mission had a journey ahead, that too a difficult one. He embarked on a walk down the hill and there saw his disciples in a jiffy with a crowd. A burdened father had brought his son to Jesus to be healed of a possession and since Jesus was up in the mountain he had asked his disciples for help. But they could do nothing. [read on]

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Bible Studies on Ecological Justice
"Renewing the Earth: Climate Justice and Equity"

by Dr. Hope S. Antone, Joint Executive Secretary
for Faith, Mission and Unity, Christian Conference of Asia

Your theme “Renewing the Earth: Climate Justice and Equity” reflects how WSCF AP is trying to address urgent issues of our day. However, I want to say that I prefer “ecological justice” to climate justice because climate change and global warming are mere symptoms of the deeper problem of ecological injustice which human beings have inflicted on creation. So for me it is not so much the climate [which general refers to weather conditions] that is in need of justice but the ecology [the totality of relations between organisms and their environment] itself.

I was asked to do two Bible studies with your Regional Women’s Committee on eco-feminism. I congratulate you for your interest in this movement. So, to begin with, what is Ecofeminism? [read on]

Martha & Mary
“Diakonia” Discipleship of Equals
A Critical Feminist Reading of Luke 10:38-42

A hermeneutics of suspicion and evaluation of the text raise many questions: why a “division” between Martha and Mary is being created, opposing and playing against each other—the listener is the silenced one while the doer is silencedby Yong Ting Jin, Out-going Coordinator,
Asian Women Resource Center (AWRC)

More than thirty years ago I believed sincerely the “Mary and Martha” story sermonized from the pulpit several times. From my teens through seminary student years and as a pastor [unordained] I heard the same storyline preached by other seminarians and church pastors. They had one common message and interpretation. [read on]

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The Holy Spirit Cries among the Groaning of Creation

by Rev. Park Sung Yong

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. [read on]

An Asian Focus on the Social Cultural
and Political Implications of Sexuality

by HyeRan Kim-Cragg

A Korean mother and her child went to a butcher shop to get some meat. The curious child was asking many questions and looking at interesting things. The owner asked this child, “How old are you?” “I am four,” said the child. Then, “what is your sex?” The child could not understand the question and so the owner changed the question, “Do you have a GoChoo?” [read on]

Today’s Sarah and Hagar in Dialogue

by Liza B. Lamis, consultant for communication
in the Christian Conference of Asia

I have twenty-two cousins in my paternal side, and fifteen of them are abroad working as nurses, engineers, domestic helps and others are doing odd jobs. My brother who has two small kids will leave soon for the Middle East. So far, none of my relatives came home in a coffin or deranged. I hear stories of hard work and taking on two or three jobs at one time. I am wondering what will become of my family and our little piece of farmland we have in my hometown. [read on]

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Biblical Reflection on Human Rights

by Rev. Rannieh B. Mercado,
Philippines

The term “Human Rights” is not literally found in the Holy Bible. As Christians, we are committed to uphold and defend human rights, not for any reason but as an imperative of faith. Our giving value to human rights is deeply spiritual. It is rooted in our basic faith affirmation that human beings are God’s creatures. [read on]

The Day of the Lord Is the Day of Reconciliation
Bible Study and Meditation

by Rose WuThe Day of the Lord Is the Day of Reconciliation

Nothing is known with certainty about the prophet Joel. Because the cultic element in the book is pronounced, such as the solemn assembly at the Temple, invoking of the fast, and frequent mention of priests and sacrifices, some Biblical scholars regard the Book of Joel as a collection of temple liturgies and Joel as a Jerusalem priest. They also suggest that the date of Joel’s prophecy is likely between 609 to 586 B.C.E.—a late pre-exilic date. The audience for the book is the southern nation of Judah. [read on]

Enlivening the Faith:
My Journey with Women Living with HIV/AIDS

by Anshi (Sheila) Zachariah

HIV/AIDS is a pandemic that has spread over the world within a short span of time. It has shaken the socio-economic political and cultural foundations of nations like India and South Africa. Currently, nearly 40 million are living with HIV/AIDS all over the world. According to a 2006 UNAIDS statistics about 5.7 million people were living in India with HIV/AIDS. That means India has the largest number of people living with HIV/AIDS than any other country in the world. [read on]

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WSCF AP Human Rights Liturgy
December 10, 2007

The members of WSCF AP Human Rights Committee ask that you share this liturgy with members of your movements. This liturgy is designed for us to focus on the recent events happening in Myanmar (Burma), Pakistan, and Philippines but also to encourage us to look at the Human Rights Issues happening in our own country. We hope you can use this liturgy as a resource and starting point for your own worship.) [read on]

Jesus Christ: Asylum Seeker, Refugee and a Migrant

by Dr. Bahagt Saman, Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt

The New Testament begins with a migration story, and perhaps the only documented, recorded “alien” story. Alien is a term that is offensive to many, as it brings to mind a vision of someone from outer space. Looking at it in that manner, one might say that perhaps Jesus was truly an “alien”. He came from heaven (the outer limits of space—although he did tell us the kingdom is within) and took the form of a human being to become for us the Refugee Christ. [read on]

A Life-and-Death Erotic Love in the Song of Songs

by Christina Wong Wai Yin

When I discussed 2006 sermon arrangements with the Blessed Christian Minority Fellowship, I knew that I would have to study a particular book from the Bible in each month. As I work for Hong Kong Women Christian Council and have an interest in feminist theology, I hope to provide a feminist interpretation of the Bible. Therefore, I have chosen to talk about Song of Songs. However, when I try to think about what message to share with the congregation, I have found it very difficult. I have never heard of a pastor using Song of Songs as a sermon. [read on]

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The Jubilee Year: Economic Rights and Justice in the Bible

by Rev. Letirio PanjiatanRev. Letirio Panjiatan

The Bible has far more to say about God’s will for economic life than most of us realize. And those teaching are presented as “spiritual” issues, not just “material” concerns. We know of course that God liberated the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt and brought them to the Promised Land, so that they might be God’s people and live according to God’s commandments. [read on]

Responding to the Empire: Becoming Signs of God’s Reign

by Dr. Wati LongcharDr. Wati Longchar presenting his biblical reflection on Empire at the WSCF RCM.

In my key note presentation, we have already discussed the reality and challenges posed by the global empire in our times. The importance of discerning the reality of our times and prophetic voice and action is the need of the hour. I have chosen two texts Genesis 47:13-22 and Mark 8:27-9:50 for our reflection to see how the people of God contribute in construction and deconstruction, legitimization and de-legitimization of the empire. There is no historical relationship between the two texts, but both texts speak about the empire. [read on]

The Bible on Homosexuality

by Hope Antone

Objectives: For the women to see what the Bible says or does not say about homosexuality; For the women to understand that there is a variety of sexual identities but the bottom line is how relationships can be just and loving no matter what the sexual identity may be. [read on]

To reflect once again who is the Church walking with
A message for Social Concern Sunday, 5 March 2007

A Faith Reflection by Davy WongArt by Vincente Manansala

“On earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:5) that is one of the Christian’s mission we believe and to put the reign of God into practice here and now is the mission of Christians. In the parable as told in Matthew 25:1-13, how do the ten virgins inspire our reflection? They all did not know the day or the hour when the bridegroom will arrive, but the wise ones prepared oil in the jars to prevent their “lamps” from extinguishing, and the foolish did not prepare. [read on]

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Beware of Pressures for Globalizing Paradigm Shifts

by Rev. Dr. Roger GaikwadPhoto by Kim Bo Kyung

You and I are a “cross century” generation. We have moved from the twenty-first century. This is not merely a chronological movement, it is a crossing over into a period of radical global changes. From the industrial revolution we have moved into information technology revolution, from modernism we are venturing into post-modernism, from classical capitalism we are drawn into globalization, from nominal religiosity we are being led into either fundamentalism and communalism or atheistic secularisms. [read on]

Woman and Christianity

by Mother Mary John Mananzan, OSB

The roots of women’s oppression in religions were recognized in an ecumenical consultation of Church women held in Manila in November 1985 and attended by participants from seven Asian countries. They wrote in their composite statement. [read on]

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Shalom! A Bible Study on the Theme of Peace

by Dr. Roger Gaikwad

There should be a chief coordinator for this study. Each person must be asked to draw a picture of peace. It is ideal that the Coordinator does not give any clue to the people. The Coordinator should tell them, “Simply draw whatever idea or picture which comes to your mind when you think of the word ‘peace’.” The participants should be encouraged to be original and creative in their thinking. The emphasis should not be on the artistic skill of the people. Rather it should be on the thought or idea of peace which each person seeks to communicate through his/her picture or symbol, etc. A fixed period of time must be given to the participants for drawing their idea or picture of peace. [read on]

Talitha Cum! Arising to Life in Abundance!
How Have you Been Reading Mark 5:21-43?

by Musa Dube

Since the opening of the assembly, it became clear that WSCF has been struggling to find itself in the story of Talitha Cum and to interpret the theme for itself/themselves. I have looked around to see the visual interpretations of the theme, Talitha Cum. The assembly outer cover is resolute that the girl is up, alive, laughing and happy. The WSCF Africa poster features a girl who is rising. It is not clear if WSCF is represented by the little girl who is rising or the masculine woman who is extending her hand to lift her up, or both. Whatever the case, life is evident in their poster. She is rising into life in abundance. [read on]

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Guide our Feet into the Way of Peace

by Lilith M. Usog

To talk about peace when we are faced with conflict situations seems to be an ambitious task. But strengthened by our Christian ideals and resources from the Oriental religion we are still convinced that PEACE will not be a remote possibility. Surely, it will not come in a silver platter but through hard-earned efforts of peace making. We are challenged to make peace our mantra (prayer word) so we can contribute in sending positive energies into our war-torn and divided world at the same time we can make peace as a way of life. [read on]

Suggested Prayers and Litanies

Contributed by Jane Ella Montenegro and Lydia Niguidula

This is extracted from “Suggested Liturgy Guide for the International Women’s Day Celebration 2003” organised by the Ecumenical Women’s Forum. This guide is prepared by the Women’s Desk, Ecumenical Education and Nurture, National Council of Churches in the Philippines. [read on]

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Creative Methods of Conducting Bible Studies

by Dr. Kathleen Rushton

The Scriptures which we inherit are the outcome of generations of meaning-making and story-telling about God, the universe and human persons. This session offers some background and practical ways to continue this task of meaning making as women doing theology in our contexts. We shall explore ways of nourishing our personal lives and gaining skills for our task as women leaders. [read on]