Build a new world!

Do you know Avaaz? Avaaz – meaning “voice” in several European, Middle Eastern and Asian languages – is a global web movement to bring people-powered politics to decision-making everywhere. Avaaz empowers people from all walks of life to take action on pressing global, regional and national issues, from corruption and poverty to conflict and climate change.

Some of you readers may have received the same message I did today. Here is an extract and my thoughts about it.

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Der Klimawandel geht uns allen an!

Eindrücke aus der #StopArmut Konferenz über #Klimagerechtigkeit vom 17. November 2018

Wir in den hochentwickelten Ländern – mit unseren Heizungen, Klimaanlagen, Individualverkehr, Fleischkonsum usw. –  tragen am meisten zu den CO2-Emissionen bei, die für die Klimaerwärmung hauptsächlich verantwortlich sind. Und, obwohl wir im Westen das Jahr ausserordentliche Hitzewellen, Überschwemmungen und verheerende Waldbrände erlebt haben, sind es in erster Linie die Menschen in den ärmeren Ländern, die unter den Folgen leiden: Dürre, Stürme, Ernteausfälle.

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The Road to Nowhere by Catherine M. Byrne

 Isa and her young family emigrate from the tiny Orkney island of Raumsey to Alberta, where her parents are already living. An unfortunate young English girl, Sarah, happens to arrive at the same time, destined to marry a friend of her father’s, who is much older than she. The vastness of the prairie environment and the harsh climate prove enormously challenging for the newcomers. Hard work, tight finances and cruel weather strain Isa and Davie’s marriage and he spends months up north working on the paddle steamers.

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Die Schweiz sprach

Im Rahmen des von verschiedenen Schweizer Medien organisierten Projekt “Die Schweiz spricht”, das Begegnungen mit politisch Andersdenkenden fördern wollte, habe ich mich heute mit JP zum Austausch getroffen.

JP und ich haben uns 2,5 Stunden lang bei einer schönen Reusswanderung unterhalten. Die Begegnung war sehr offen und gegenseitig respektvoll. Hier einige unserer Gesprächsthemen:

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Deep convictions under fire. Flame in the Night by Heather Munn

Flame in the Night by Heather Munn is a captivating drama about the resistance movement in occupied France during WWII. Teenage scouts conceal Jewish children from the Gestapo in remote farms, attics, treetops and caves, while everyday life continues as usual: cultivating vegetables, going to school, shovelling snow, attending church.

An informer, working for the compromising Vichy government, takes up residence in the village. Injured German soldiers from the Eastern front are sent there to recuperate. The pastor and his assistant encourage the faithful to practise nonviolent resistance, and they establish a network of helpers, which enables many Jewish children from Poland or Germany, whose parents have been deported to concentration camps, to go into hiding or to take on new identities and mingle with the locals. However, some lads join the underground armed Maquis. And so the agonising questions of conscience keep surfacing. Read more

Battling Prejudice

They invited me to their house-warming party, though I’d never met them. They aren’t even married.

Loud rock music greeted me before I entered the garden. Other guests clustered around beer cans. The hostess was smoking, her bare arms boasting brazen tattoos. She introduced me to her partner – equally tattooed, equally smoking. In his free time he’s a DJ at a seedy nightclub. He was offering guests Red Bulls with vodka. I helped myself to tiramisu and found a seat. At the end of the table sat a person of undefined gender, equipped with a massive German Shepherd dog. A seven-year-old girl with a coy look revealed her underwear as she pranced around and fluttered seductive eyelashes at the menfolk. Read more

Does God care about nations?

Each morning, I read the Daily Moravian Bible Texts – first in German (Losungen), then in English. Both today’s Old Testament and New Testament readings refer (in German) to the Nations (Völker). This made me stop and think.

Tut kund seine Herrlichkeit unter den Nationen, unter allen Völkern seine Wunder. Psalm 96,3

Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. Psalm 96:3 (NIV)

Paulus und Barnabas berichteten, was Gott alles durch sie getan und dass er allen Völkern die Tür zum Glauben aufgetan habe. Apostelgeschichte 14,27

On arriving there, Paul and Barnabas gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. Acts 14:27 (NIV) Read more