The Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren has new leaders

DSC_0561During a festive service in Brno on Saturday, November 20, 2021, a new synodal council of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren was inaugurated. The assembly was held under emergency measures due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. That’s why the ceremony was broadcast live online.

The Synod Council is the highest, six-member governing body of our church. It is led by a synodal senior (clergyman) and a synodal curator (layman). The members of the council – three clergy and three lay people – are elected by the synod once every six years.

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The newly appointed members of the Synod Council take over as the church goes through the process of transition to self-financing. The state financing of churches, a reality of the past now, has led to preserving the historic locations of the congregations. These, however, no longer correspond with the current demographic situation and require restructuring. At the same time, however, it also offers a great opportunity to rethink things and look for new approaches and new solutions and thus, to learn about the regained freedom and responsibility. This task will also lie on the shoulders of this Synod Council for the next six years.

Half of the six-member Synod Council has been replaced. Pastors Pavel Pokorný, Ondřej Titěra and layman Jiří Schneider were already active in the previous one. New faces were added for the upcoming term: pastor Roman Mazur, who had previously worked as senior of the Prague seniorate, and two lay people – Jana Šarounová, who studied special education and is the curator of the Prague-Vinohrady church, and Simona Kopecká, lawyer and assistant preacher from Silesia.

New composition of the Synod Council for the period 2021 to 2027

DSC_0607Pavel Pokorný, Synod Senior

Pavel Pokorný (1960) was the pastor of the church in Prague-Střešovice from 2000 to 2021. His previous place of work was Trutnov (1987–1999), where he started after his studies and basic military service. During his one-year stay in the United States, he focused on pastoral care. He also worked as a hospital chaplain for the mobile home hospice Cesta domů. He is married and has four children.

Jiří Schneider, Synod Curator

Jiří Schneider (1963) is the former director of the Aspen Institute in Prague. He previously worked in Czech diplomacy. He studied geodesy and cartography at CTU and religion studies at the University of Cambridge. He is married and has three children.

Ondřej Titěra, 1st Deputy Synod Senior

Ondřej Titěra (1964) has been the pastor of the church in Jablonec nad Nisou since 2014. Prior to that, he worked as a pastor in Miroslav (1998–2014) and in Vilémov at Golčův Jeníkov (1989–1998). He is married and has four children.

Simona Kopecká, 1st Deputy Synod Curator

Simona Kopecká (1969) graduated from the School of Justice in Kroměříž and the Evangelical Theological Faculty of Charles University in Prague, majoring in evangelical theology. She works as an assistant lawyer in a law firm in Ostrava and before that she worked as a senior court clerk. She is the vice-curator of the ECCB parish church in Opava and an assistant preacher. She is a widow and has two adult children.

Roman Mazur, 2nd Deputy Synod Senior

Roman Mazur (1974) worked as a pastor in Ostrava (1996–2006) and since 2006 he has been a pastor in Prague-Libeň. For the years 2009–2021, he was twice elected a senior of the Prague Seniorate. He is married and has three children.

Jana Šarounová, 2nd Deputy Synod Curator

Jana Šarounová (1964) works as a special pedagogue-speech therapist and deputy director in a school counselling facility for children and young people with speech defects. She has been the curator of the congregation in Prague-Vinohrady since 2004 and has also served in the church’s pastoral council. She is married and has two adult children.

Jiří Hofman