Roundup: Social service delivery, T.S. Eliot, water usage, Philippines
Sustaining Christian identity and mission has been a challenge for church-related social service organisations. While this is being addressed more successfully by some than others, there is no doubt that the challenge will intensify over the next few years with the retirement of a generation of social service leaders who have firm roots in the church.
One of the reasons that Eliot’s poetry of his “Christian” period speaks as strongly to the contemporary world as his earlier nihilistic works – which seem more aligned to its values – is that he never imagines that religious belief, or the behaviour which that belief entails, makes life or the acceptance of oneself, with all its demons, easier. On the contrary, it is a more difficult journey. In Ash-Wednesday, scepticism about faith and lack of faith in the penitent’s own ability to rise to the demands of belief dramatically bedevil him as he makes his painful way through those several weeks to Easter and the mystery of the resurrection.
Water must be used more efficiently and its waste reduced if the world is to meet rising food demand from a fast-expanding population amid the pressures of climate change, experts have said ahead of World Water Day.
“The situation of human rights violations remains worrisome in the Philippines. It ranges from vilification, harassment, torture, evacuation due to military operations and other inhumane treatment of political prisoners,” Marie Hilao-Enriquez told the general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) the Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit and other WCC staff during an encounter in Manila, Philippines on March 21.