Living Letters - Ecumenical team visits

Living Letters are small ecumenical teams visiting a country to listen, learn, share approaches and challenges in overcoming violence and in peace making, and to pray together for peace in the community and in the world. A team consists of 4 - 6 women and men from around the world who have witnessed violence in its various forms and are engaged in working for just peace. A Living Letters team will be successful when those visited can affirm "we are not alone!" - and when team members feel they have received much from those who they visited to encourage.

"You show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us,
written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not
on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts." 
                                                    (2 Corinthians 3:3,RSV)

The Living Letters

  • demonstrate solidarity among churches and people who live in the context of and respond to particularly painful experiences of violence,
  • share insights and helpful approaches in overcoming violence,
  • deepen ecumenical contacts among the churches, national councils of churches and related organisations and networks,
  • connect congregations, student and youth groups, theological and other church-related institutions in the search for an Ecumenical Declaration of Just Peace.

Living Letters - from the Ecumenical Decade Churches in Solidarity with Women to the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation.

The Living Letters have a history within the World Council of Churches: during the Decade "Churches in Solidarity with Women" 1988 - 1998, some 75 teams visited more than 650 communities. Within the Decade to Overcome Violence (DOV) the Living Letters provide an opportunity for many people to have safe encounters in local contexts around the issues related to violence prevention, peace making, justice and nonviolence. These encounters will provide substance to the consultative process leading up to the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation (IEPC) and the Ecumenical Declaration on Just Peace. Several team visits will take place each year from 2008 to 2010.

The Decade to Overcome Violence (DOV)
The DOV - Churches Seeking Reconciliation and Peace 2001 - 2010 is an initiative of the World Council of Churches. It is a global movement that strives to strengthen existing efforts and networks for overcoming violence, as well as inspire the creation of new ones.

The International Ecumenical Peace Convocation (IEPC)
The IEPC aims at witnessing to the Peace of God as a gift and responsibility of the oikumene. It seeks to assess and strengthen the church's position on peace, provide opportunities for networking and deepen our common commitment to processes of reconciliation and peace.