Dear Readers, our pre-Easter edition of the Ecumenical Bulletin is ready – here it is.
Easter is an invariable – something we can cling to, as Easter happens regardless of the fact that an impertinent virus is spreading all around us. It cannot jeopardise Jesus’s power over our world.
Concerning the texts in this edition of our Bulletin, I would like to draw your attention to the interview with Tomáš Jun, a minister of the ECCB. Tomáš Jun made quite a daring decision to take up the job of minister at the languishing congregation in Ústí nad Labem. The changes that have taken place during the short time he has been in office so far could easily be called a miracle. For Tomáš, this was a real challenge: he did not want to see a congregation in a regional city of approx. 95,000 inhabitants disappear. Have a read about what this 34-year-old minister has achieved so far and what he is planning to do in the future. May his work also encourage us to realise that even seemingly hopeless projects may be meaningful, fruitful and fulfilling.
The other thing I would like to mention, something that is almost hard to believe, are the activities of the group called “A Million Moments for Democracy”. Two young people, the founders of this civic protest, have managed to set in motion our nation’s disapproval with the government, and namely its PM, in a way which almost seems as if taken from another era. The numbers of people attending the protests organised by this group are certainly the highest since the Velvet Revolution in 1989, in fact they are not far from reaching the massive attendance of November 1989!
Dear friends, the virus will not leave our world in ruins. May Easter bring you peace and hope that surpasses our world’s troubles in every way!
On behalf of the Editorial Board
A young man, polite, relaxed and easy-going, with a cigarette in his hand, answers the door, followed by a large dog with kind eyes. Tomáš Jun is just beginning his ministry – like many others. However, his decision to serve at the Ústí nad Labem congregation sets him apart. It was a brave and rather risky decision, yet so far, everything proves it was a good one: keeping in mind the events of the past, the current situation looks quite hopeful. Tomáš Jun is a Protestant Theology graduate. He served his vicariate at the Prague-Libeň congregation and, in 2018, he was assigned to Ústí nad Labem. He moved in with his wife, a graduate of Pastoral and Social Work at the Protestant Theological Faculty of the Charles University, and with two very little boys. The villa which serves as the protestant manse is an ancient house. The wall of the office is decorated with a couple of old photographs, one of them showing the confirmation of approximately fifty young church members at the beginning of the 1950’s. The congregation had roughly 4000 members altogether at the time! Ten years later, this number had dropped to a tenth of the original. Continue reading Crowds Will Come Pouring In. Interview with Tomáš Jun
Synodal Senior Daniel Ženatý made a long-planned visit to the Presbyterian Church of Korea (PCK) at the end of October. The Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren has had very friendly contacts with this church. Korean Christians meet regularly in Prague, in our churches in Kobylisy and in Střešovice. Continue reading Synodal Senior Daniel Ženatý visits the Presbyterian Church in South Korea
In the second week of Advent last year we in Dejvice congregation, Prague 6, were visited by six people from the congregation of Wellington Church, Glasgow. The visit was the first step towards a possible future relationship between our two congregations. Some time ago our elders had agreed to explore the idea of a link between ourselves and a congregation from another country. They set up a small group of four volunteers, including our two ministers, our church secretary, and myself, to take this matter forward and, in cooperation with David Sinclair, the Church of Scotland minister working with the ECCB, the idea of contacting Wellington Church arose. The Advent visit was the first fruit of this contact. Continue reading A Visit from Glasgow to Prague
In the early morning of 18 January 2020, Petr Pokorný, Professor of New Testament Studies at the Protestant Theological Faculty of Charles University, died at the age of 86, surrounded by his family. In him the Faculty and the church have lost an outstanding and popular teacher, a perceptive researcher of international renown, and a tireless organiser of academic work, whose profound erudition in biblical studies, theology, philology, and philosophy was combined with the friendly and open certainty of a witness to the Christian faith. Continue reading Professor Petr Pokorný, 1933–2020
On the 25th of February 2018, 70 years to the day since the Communists illegitimately took over power in Czechoslovakia, two students of the Protestant Theological Faculty of the Charles University, Mikuláš Minář and Benjamin Roll, founded an organisation with the aim of protecting democracy in the Czech Republic. Both felt that democracy was in jeopardy in our country, primarily because of the Czech Republic’s Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. Continue reading Positive Energy for Society
When the Protestant Theological Faculty was founded in 1919, it was the first opportunity for students to officially study Protestant theology in the Czech lands for centuries. Before the First World War, Bohemia had been part of Catholic Austria, and there had been many restrictions on Protestants. Candidates for the ministry had had to go to Vienna to study. Continue reading A look back over the history of the Prague Theological Faculty, 100 years after its foundation
Immediately after the end of the First World War and the foundation of the new Czechoslovak state, the Lutheran and Reformed Christians in Czechoslovakia united to form the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren. And one of the first things the new church did was to establish a Faculty of Protestant Theology so that its theology students could be trained in Bohemia in the Czech language. 100 years later, the Faculty is still going strong, and in November 2019 it celebrated the 100th anniversary of its foundation with a series of events of different types. Continue reading The Protestant Theological Faculty celebrates its 100th anniversary
Diaconia has decided to tackle its permanent lack of funding from the state by strengthening its fundraising activities. Several pilot-phase events took place in the course of 2019 and they were evaluated as successful and meaningful. They will therefore continue in 2020. Continue reading Diaconia is Grateful for Its Foreign Support. 2019 News at Diaconia
At the end of last year, almost one million Czech crowns were donated by supporters of Czech Diaconia to fund supportservices for families and children. Thanks to that, the following diaconal projects will be better developed in 2020. Continue reading Czech Diaconia supporters help families and children. Briefly about shelters supported by the fundraiser Krabice od bot (shoe box)