Category Archives: Bulletin PDF

Bulletin 44 – Summer 2018

Dear Readers,

There’s no need to write too much about the lack of freedom in the economically prosperous People’s Republic of China. It is no wonder the local Christians flee the country if they get a chance. Their lives are in danger.

It should surprise us no less that they are also fleeing to the Czech Republic, a democratic country, where one would expect to find understanding and a welcoming attitude. However, the situation in this country is not very friendly towards migrants and the Chinese Christians will not be granted asylum, as they had hoped. Our country’s leaders are justifying their fear of immigrants with “Christian values”, but it is obvious this term has lost any meaning, it is just an empty phrase.

In this issue of the Bulletin, you will find out about the stance that the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren has taken on the topic.

Bulletin 44 – Summer 2018

We have also been reporting about the Cubans’ resistance against the regime in their country for quite some time now, and in this issue you will find an article on how the ECCB welcomed Cuban dissidents again this year.  We hope they enjoyed the programme we prepared for them in the Václav Havel Library.

Jana_PliskovaWe wish you all a joyful summer. Let the articles you might read here serve as a reminder that we need to cherish our freedom and value the fact that we do not have to fight for it. Freedom is a precious estate and we need to take good care of it.

With best wishes

On behalf of the Editorial Board

Jana Plíšková

Bulletin 43 – Easter 2018

Dear Readers,

In the previous issues of our Bulletin, we have been reporting about the important anniversaries that our church has celebrated in the past few years. However, the most important anniversary for the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren is still ahead of us: in the autumn of this year, 100 years will have passed since the ECCB was founded. This will certainly be the most demanding event in terms of the necessary preparations that are already under way. The dignity of the celebration, we believe, should correspond with the importance of this historic milestone. The founding of our church is important not only for us, Protestants, but also for our fellow citizens, despite the fact that they may not be aware of it. They come across our activities and hear about us in the media when we draw attention to injustice and lies, they accept our help – from chaplains, teachers, pastors at weddings…

Bulletin 43 – Easter ENG

This issue of the Ecumenical Bulletin comes just before Easter – intentionally. It gives us an opportunity to show that important anniversaries do not need to be celebrated once in a hundred or five hundred years, but that we have a reason to celebrate every year. The remembering of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross and the celebration of his resurrection brings reassurance and peace into our hearts. This “anniversary” is definitely worth commemorating every year.

Plíšková2It is our hope, dear friends, that you will find at least some of the texts we are bringing you interesting and enriching.

We wish you peace and joy with the upcoming Easter holidays.

“Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. (Revelation 1:17–18)

On behalf of the Editorial Board

Jana Plíšková

Bulletin 43 – Easter ENG

Ecumenical Bulletin 42 – Advent 2017

Dear Readers,

The past few years have been marked with several important church anniversaries, many of which concerned the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren.

Bulletin 42 – advent ENG

In 2015, 600 years passed since the brutal and tragic death of John Hus; a year later, we were commemorating the similar execution of Jerome of Prague and this year we are celebrating the 500-year anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation, represented primarily by Martin Luther, who nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the door of the Wittenberg church in 1517.

Our Bulletin brings a review of two of the events that concerned our church in relation to the anniversary of the Reformation.

We are happy to report about these interesting events, yet life also brings dark and sad stories. Reading about people who encounter evil on an everyday basis may provide an insight into living a meaningful life and doing our best to bring light into the dark. Olga Navrátilová, member of the Lutheran World Federation, reports about the brave doctor from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denis Mukwege, in this issue of the Bulletin.

 Advent gives us hope in standing up to the evil whose power often seems to be expanding in our world. Advent brings good news, showing who is Lord and God over all things and who is our salvation. This is the message we must spread, especially now, as Christmas approaches.

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14–16)

Bulletin 42 – advent ENG

On behalf of the Editorial Board,

Jana_PliskovaJana Plíšková

 

Ecumenical Bulletin 41 – Summer 2017

Dear Readers,

Bulletin 41 PDF

one might often ask whether the church should be interested in politics. We believe it definitely should. We must not be indifferent to the injustice and wrong we see happening in the world around us and neither should we ignore who is in charge of governing our country, whether these leaders are behaving morally in their positions, and whether their decisions are based on seeking the good of their country and citizens rather than seeking their own benefit.  Dirty politics, people say, but that is not the way we should approach it (even though it is obviously prone to corruption and other issues). Politics is the administration of public affairs and that is something we certainly shouldn’t stay away from – precisely because we are Christians.

The statement of the ECCB’s Synod concerning the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections in the Czech Republic, which you will find in this edition of the Bulletin, addresses this very issue. It is a general statement which, however, clearly proclaims that our church cares about the way our country is governed and who is to be in charge for the years to come.

I would also like to draw your attention to an extensive interview with a long-standing worker of the ECCB’s Central Church Office that many of you will know personally. Gerhard Frey-Rei ninghaus retired in April, but he is definitely not planning to sit idly in the corner.

Many will be interested in hearing about the latest developments at our Diaconia. You will hopefully be amused and pleased to read our slightly unusual statue story from the Diaconia’s centre in Litoměřice – a story with a good ending.

The next edition of the Bulletin will be published during the Advent. Until then, we wish you peace and hope in all you pursue, may your time be filled with meaningful events and activities.

On behalf of the Editorial Board,

 

Jana_PliskovaJana Plíšková

Ecumenical Bulletin 40 – Easter 2017

Dear Readers,

You have just opened another edition of our ecumenical bulletin – an Easter edition this time.

Bulletin 40 PDF ENG

As always, we have tried to focus on the parts of our church life that our cross-border readers might find interesting, events and stories of a more international significance.

One of the most discussed, complicated issues, not only in the Czech Republic, is currently the topic of refugees from Muslim countries. It is definitely worth the debate, whether at a political level, a civic level, or among us, Christians. However, as Christians, we are deeply concerned about the fact “Christian values” are being used as an argument by people who have nothing to do with Christian faith and who only use these values to guarantee a false feeling of safety and to justify our “Christian” unwillingness to sacrifice a little bit of our comfort. They are often politicians using populist slogans in order to gain votes, which makes the situation even worse, as people are hungry for reassurance, even if it is based on lies. The ECCB’s Synod has issued a statement denouncing such behavior, as you can read in one of our articles.

Martin Luther’s 95 Wittemberg Theses, which marked the beginning of the European Reformation 500 years ago, have been celebrated with various events across Europe and are definitely worth a mention – see more in our Bulletin.

Social services often provide aid to victims of domestic violence. However, it is less common to be working with the actual abusers. If you want to find out how the ECCB’s Diaconia is coping with this task, read more in our Bulletin.

And last but not least, a surprise piece of news concerning our long-term co-worker, the head of the Central Church Office’s Ecumenical Department.

We wish you a blessed Easter!

On behalf of the Editorial Board,

Jana_PliskovaJana Plíšková

Bulletin 40 PDF ENG

Ecumenical Bulletin 39 – Advent 2016

Dear readers, dear friends,

You have just opened the new, Advent edition of our Bulletin. It is not an Advent edition in the sense of the articles’ topics, as they concern events that happened from the summer to the end of the church year. It is an Advent edition because you will be leafing through its pages in Advent, at a new beginning, with new hope.

What should we point out from the Bulletin’s contents?

The interview with Mikuláš Vymětal, ECCB’s pastor for minorities, is certainly worth a read. You will find out about the wide range of activities he engages in; apart from his regular job as a pastor, he also helps minorities such as the Roma people, refugees or Muslims in general. Wherever injustice is taking place, you will usually hear of Mikuláš Vymětal.

It is the duty of every church to counter injustice. We have published another two examples of the ECCB’s attitude (as well as that of the ERC and other churches). These articles focus on Roma holocaust and Christians persecuted in China.

I would also like to draw your attention to a text dealing with chaplaincy. This service only started to develop in our country after 1989, after the fall of the communist regime; today, relatively large groups of chaplains work in hospitals, prisons and in the army. However, you might be surprised to hear that one of our military chaplains is a woman, who is currently on a mission to Afghanistan. Her husband and three children are waiting for her back home. Reading what she has to say is definitely worth the time.

I am convinced you will also find other topics and articles that will capture your attention – see for yourself.

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.”
(Isaiah 9,1.5–6)

 

On behalf of the Editorial Board, wishing you joy and peace in the hopeful time of the Advent and at Christmas,

                                                                                                            Jana Plíšková

 

Bulletin 38 – Summer 2016

Dear readers, dear friends,

ostružinyYou’ve just opened the summer edition of the Czech Protestant News. As always, the articles included concern not only topics related to our church, the ECCB, but also to our Protestant Theological Faculty and the ECCB’s Diaconia. All of these institutions have their new stories to tell, we’ve merely recorded some of them and hope you enjoy the reading.

Bulletin 38 PDF

I’d like to draw your attention to a few picks, but all the articles are worth a read; therefore, let me just provide a brief summary:

After six years, our dear co-worker Karen Moritz, a pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Nebraska, USA, is leaving our church’s headquarters. She’s cooperated with the Ecumenical Department, visited protestant churches in our country, and also worked as a translator, as well as giving English conversation lessons. Read our interview with Karen to find out more.

You definitely shouldn’t miss the interview with the Cuban dissident Rosa María Payá, who came to Prague in March as this year’s guest of the Day for Cuba, organised by the ECCB together with the People in Need humanitarian organisation. Rosa, a brave opponent of the Cuban regime, is following in the footsteps of her father, Oswaldo Payá, who was a fighter for democracy and a friend of Václav Havel.

We have also focused on the personality of the late Pavel Filipi;  Ladislav Beneš, a theologian and Mr Filipi’s colleague, has shared his view on the importance of Filipi’s life, not only for the Protestant Theological Faculty, but also for our church as a whole.

You will also get a brief overview of some of the activities of the EECB’s Diaconia. What this organisation does for handicapped people, elderly people, single mothers and other people in need, is absolutely priceless.

We should also point out the topic of refugees, which is becoming a more and more discussed issue and we will certainly keep coming back to it.

From our Theological Faculty, we are bringing a report from the April colloquium named Returning from the Borders, in which volunteers talked about their help for migrants striving to make their way via the Balkan route.

We hope each of you finds their favourite article! Enjoy the rest of the summer and return safely from your holidays.

PlíškováOn behalf of the Editorial Board,

Jana Plíšková

Bulletin 38 PDF