During a pilgrimage to Colombia for justice and peace organized by the World Council of Churches (WCC) in February 2018, Christians witnessed the need for peace and justice in the midst of the troubled peace process.

For more than 60 years, civil war has afflicted Colombia. Since colonial times, the key issue has been land ownership. About 80 percent of land in Colombia is in the hands of just 14 percent of the population. In the past decade, governments and guerrilla fighters have worked toward resolution of the long-standing conflict.

The WCC pilgrimage to Colombia included opportunities to speak with former fighters, people displaced by war, senior politicians, and those whose social identity—Indigenous, Afro-Colombian, LGBTQ Two-Spirit—make them especially vulnerable. The visits amplified the call for peace from Colombian churches, which all too often are drowned out by voices opposed to land reform, or those who make a profit from war.

The WCC is a Mission & Service partner. As a member of the WCC, The United Church of Canada is a part of the council’s focus on supporting justice and peace efforts through pilgrimage. These are not just physical pilgrimages. How could all of us participate in a spiritual or advocacy journey toward peace in places like the Korean peninsula, Myanmar, the Middle East, and Congo?

Through the WCC Pilgrimage for Justice and Peace, all United Church people are invited to pray, study, reflect theologically and biblically, have courageous conversations, take action, offer a pledge of commitment, and hold public liturgies for peace. Be part of the pilgrimage—learn more at www.united-church.ca.

If Mission & Service giving is already a regular part of your life, thank you so much! If you have not given, please join me in making Mission & Service giving a regular part of your life of faith. Loving our neighbour is at the heart of our Mission & Service.

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