Dear Friends, dear Readers,
In the Easter edition of my editorial, I was unable to avoid mentioning the topic of COVID-19. In the spring months, the statistics, in our country at least, were not looking good at all. Since then, however, the situation has improved significantly and from the information I’ve had access to, this seems to be the case in most of Europe. We have never experienced a „plague“ of this sort before, so let us hope we have also learned a thing or two from this unusual situation. And we may only hope that last year’s scenario will not repeat itself after the summer vacation.
But what about the other „plague“ – the one that is taking place in Belarus? Nothing has changed there since Easter and the scenario remains one and the same. There is hardly anything we can do to help these people.
We deal with both of these topics in this edition of the Bulletin: you can read about a moment of silence held for the victims of COVID-19, and also learn about two church services dedicated to the people of Belarus.
I would also like to draw your attention to the articles concerning the LGBT community. Our church cares about the community and has so far organised three discussions, which sparked quite a lot of interest.
Good things are happening. Let us hold on to the Hope provided by our Lord and may His peace be with us all.
Wishing you all the best on behalf of the whole Editorial Board
On the 21st of May 2021, the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren elected its new leaders during the session of the Synod in Prague. The new Synodal Council will consist of ministers Pavel Pokorný (the Synodal Senior), Ondřej Titěra and Roman Mazur. The laymen in the council will comprise Jiří Schneider (the Synodal Curator), Jana Šarounová and Simona Kopecká. Their term in office begins on the 22nd of November 2021.
A story is told: Thirty years ago, when Diaconia resumed its activities, new schools and centres were created as if out of nowhere, thanks to the decisions and enthusiasm of the members of the Evangelical Church. It is different today, though not quite. Even in the 21st century, new Diaconia centres are being created out of scratch. Continue reading From criticism to deeds. Why they decided to found Diaconia in Svitavy and build a dignified home for the elderly
The international meeting of biblical scholars, which grew out of household seminars in the 1980s and has been held at the ETF for almost thirty years every week after Easter, had to be postponed due to a pandemic last year. This year’s meeting – XXVIII. colloquium biblicum (7–8 April 2021) – has been adapted to be held as a videoconference; the program was shortened to one and a half days. Continue reading Biblical colloquium in the form of a videoconference
The symposium named „The Church on the Road: Visions and Perspectives for Journey through the 21st Century”, which took place on 13 April 2021 at the Charles University ETF, commemorated two important Czech practical theologians, Josef Smolík (1922–2009) and Pavel Filipi (1936–2015). The Department of Practical Theology of the ETF UK in cooperation with the Prague Seniorate of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren invited their pupils and theologians from abroad and conceived the memory as the development of Smolík’s and Filipi’s ideas about the church in the current context. Continue reading Visions and perspectives of churches in the 21st century
It is no secret that the adverse times of the last year significantly paralyzed Czech education. Universities remain inaccessible to the public for more than a year. For this reason, in addition to full-time teaching, we had to limit all the extra accompanying activities at the Evangelical Theological Faculty. Even such a traditional event (and I dare say even crucial for the presentation of all universities) as „Open Day“ has been moved to a virtual environment in an effort to comply with all epidemiological measures. Continue reading Becoming a student for a week
The Protestant Theological Faculty is one of three theological faculties that are part of the Charles University in Prague. In 2019, the faculty celebrated its first century of existence. We talked to the Vice-Dean for Academic Affairs, practical theologian and minister, Ladislav Beneš, about the faculty’s current position, about what it’s like to study there and how new students could be attracted. Continue reading Studying theology can shake one’s personal faith. An interview with the Vice-Dean of the Protestant Theological Faculty, Ladislav Beneš
The commission for the preparation of the dialogue with the LGBTQ+ community prepared three online discussions in the form of a moderated panel interview. They had a relatively clear goal: to open a debate within our church about attitudes to marriage for all. The number of viewers shows that there is certain interest in the topic among evangelicals. Continue reading The debate on marriage for all: late, but still
In early 2021, the ECCB’s Synodal Council called for a show of support for those that are facing oppression in Belarus:
„It is with utmost concern that we have been watching the grave situation in Belarus. The protests against the dictatorship-like regime of President Lukashenko have been going on for many months. Although the results of the presidential election that took place last August were clearly falsified, the regime is not willing to give in. The protesters face never-ending oppression: there are credible eyewitnesses to hundreds of cases of assaults, torture and rape. Continue reading Support for Those Facing Oppression in Belarus
On Thursday, 4 March, the Synodal Council of the ECCB sent the following message to hospitals and social service facilities across the Czech Republic:
To doctors, nurses, social workers, carers, medical orderlies and other healthcare and social service facility employees.
Continue reading A Moment of Silence