Around one hundred delegates, advisors and guests from all around the Czech Republic have come together in the Castle Hill area in the town of Litomyšl in order to discuss the life, maintenance and future of their church.
The approval to build two new school buildings in Prague can be considered as a ground-breaking decision. The buildings will be situated in the areas of Holešovice and Modřany.
This decision is an expression of the good reputation of the schooling system of our church. At the same time, it expresses our determination to invest a part of the restitution finances in socially profitable projects. The elementary Brother School in Prague 7 has also had the ambition of becoming a high school for a long time. It has a great name among the parents and the town representatives. It provides a family atmosphere, top-class teachers and values, all of which the school considers to be its priority. Thus its capacity has been hopelessly exhausted for the nearly thirty years of its existence and it has the reputation of being one of the best schools children can attend. And we are not only talking about those from Prague 7. The Evangelical Academy in Prague-Modřany is in a similar situation. They will now both have brand new buildings, allowing them to extend their services. All that will be the continuation of the long and prestigious tradition of the evangelical schooling system. It will also be attached to the already well functioning Diaconia of the ECCB, an institution that is profitable for the whole society. Besides schools Diaconia also provides various social, medical and humanitarian services.
The Church Maintenance and the Questions of Faith
The Synod participants have cancelled an unfortunate order, according to which the chaplains (all those serving in the military, prisons and hospitals) were not allowed to conduct weddings ). This authority has now been given back to them. Apart from that, the position of ministers and presbyters (the lay workers) has been discussed. The Synod made an appeal to the congregations’ councils of elders that they think of their ministers in their prayers, that they take their time to talk with them and listen to them, and that they provide them space for their education, for their family and for rest.
Guests from the Czech and Foreign Ecumena
The three days long Synod meeting was also attended by numerous guests from the local and foreign ecumena. We were visited by representatives of the Waldensian Church in Italy, the Lutheran Church in Poland, the Reformed Christian Church in Slovakia, the Presbyterian Church of Korea, the Lutheran Church in Hungary, the Reformed Church in Poland, the Church of Scotland, the Protestant Church in the Netherlands, the United Protestant Church of France, the Silesian Evangelical Church A.C., the Brethren Church and also the Czechoslovak Hussite Church.
At Saturday lunch, the board of the Evangelical Church of the Czech Brethren was greeted by brother Bruno Gabrielli, minister of the Waldensian Church in Italy:
“I thank you for the renewal of the old historical partnership, the one dated all the way back to the 15th century. We share the position of small minority churches, facing a final downfall after centuries of persecution, discrimination and exile, and yet we don’t panic and we try to please God, following His narrow path between secularism, religious fanaticism and the so called “zealous atheism”. We don’t want the people who were forced to leave their motherland because of war, dictatorship or famine to be persecuted, discriminated and oppressed. I thank you for your support and for your effort to persuade your government to share Italy’s burden of its numerous immigrants. It is a challenge for the Europe’s conscience. This matter must be given priority to by all the churches; they should involve it in their preaching and teachings.