The idea was born in the mind of Jörg Wöltche, a clerical teacher from Bad Kissingen. To create a hymnbook, which could be used to launch an organ accompaniment in a smartphone through printed QR codes. Our cooperation began when we extended the idea to a Czech-German hymnbook of Christmas songs. Continue reading Interactive Christmas songs and carols
“The world is not a good place, it is full of violence and suffering.” These were the words with which Dr Denis Mukwege, a doctor from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, opened his speech to the delegates of this year’s Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation. Continue reading Sexual Violence as a Weapon of War
The Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren commemorated the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. The celebrations took place on September 10 in Ratiboř in Vsetín, in the church and in the region connected with the Lutheran tradition. Continue reading Celebration and New Books Remind Czechs of the Anniversary of the European Reformation
The biggest Bible in the world, the medieval city’s panorama, or a robot instead of a pastor giving blessings these were the attractions at the World Reformation Exhibition, which commemorated the 500th anniversary of the European Reformation the moment when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the door of his local church. Continue reading Czechs Make a Presentation in Wittenberg at the World Reformation Exhibition
In order to choose a new logo for the ECCB, a commission was put together, led by Zdeněk Šorm, a pastor and an artist, who presented the winning draft to the Synodal Council and the Synod. Continue reading The Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren Has a New Logo
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,
The original intention of spending two years in Prague changed a bit as time passed
Gerhard Frey-Reininghaus (*1951) grew up in a family of four children in the Württemberg region in the South of Germany. After graduating from high school, he spent a year in the United States, obtained a Master’s degree in theology and worked as a pastor in Köngen near Stuttgart for eleven years. In 1990, he arrived in Prague, first for a two-year scholarship at the Protestant Theological Faculty, but he received an offer to work for the ECCB’s Central Church Office. He is retiring after more than twenty years of work as Head of the Ecumenical Department and Head of the External Relations Section. Continue reading Working on Ecumenical Activities Broadens Your Horizons. An Interview with Gerhard Frey-Reininghaus
We will soon be facing two difficult elections in the Czech Republic. In the autumn, Czechs will be electing Members of the Parliament, and a President is to be elected in early 2018.
We have been living in political freedom for nearly 30 years now, but there is generally very little trust in political parties and politicians. We believe that striving to improve the administration of public affairs and engaging in civic activities is well worth the trouble. We do not want to give up responsibility for public affairs. As citizens, we should do our best to get to know those who are competing for public offices, familiarise ourselves with their political platforms as well as their previous activities, in order to be able to make a wise decision on whom to trust.
Christianity is not a political platform. The following call is not connected with any political party, it is only based on respect for the basic values of human co-existence. In making an electoral decision, we should support candidates from whom we expect that in their position, they will: Continue reading A Word of the Synod of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren Concerning the Upcoming Elections
The Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren maintains long-term relationships with communities of compatriots who have managed to keep their protestant faith as well as the Czech language (at least to a certain extent) alive despite the distance and the years they have spent abroad. It would be impossible to name all the key personalities of the local congregations, but to mention at least some of the people I am grateful for: the late Mr and Mrs Hájek from Veliko Središte in Serbia and the deceased brother Josef Jančík from Bohemka in Ukraine, who passed on his responsibility for the congregation to Ludmila Sverdlová in his elderly years; Marie Provazníková from Veselynivka in Ukraine, Zdenka Pagáčová from Bjeliševec in Croatia, Karel Pospíšil and Věra Pospíšilová from Zelów in Poland – all these people have been absolutely essential in keeping their congregations alive and running. Continue reading The Tireless Seventy-Year-Old Standing at His Watch. The PRO ECCLESIA Decoration Awarded to Jaroslav Kalousek
For several centuries, churches were dependent on the state budget by decision of the government. The situation lasted even after the fall of the communist regime in 1989. No major change occurred until a few years ago: in 2012, the Church Restitution Act (the Act on Property Settlement with Churches and Religious Societies) was passed and churches entered a new period of gradually gaining financial independence – state contributions decrease every year and will cease altogether in 2030.
The process is outweighed by compensations from the state: the ECCB is to receive a sum of CZK 2.26 billion by 2043 to compensate for the property that the socialist regime took away from the church. Starting in 2017,some of these funds will be distributed to development projects of the Diaconia , based on a grant system. In the following interview, the Synodal Curator, Vladimír Zikmund, describes how things are going at the moment. Continue reading It is Definitely Worth It! On Diaconal and Development Projects with Vladimír Zikmund