This year, the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren (ECCB) is commemorating the 100th anniversary since its founding through the union of the Reformed and Lutheran churches in the Czech lands. The ECCB took over the teachings of both of these traditions, and also proudly acknowledged the Czech Reformation of the 15th century, as well as the “old Union of the Brethren”, as the foundations on which it builds. We are grateful that the ECCB has been the herald of joyous Biblical news of God’s kingdom which is for this world and which gives us hope that transcends our lives. We are grateful that as Protestants, we have been able to contribute significantly to spreading the Gospel in a comprehensible way, for example through our work on the new Czech ecumenical translation of the Bible, among other things. Continue reading We Confess and We Are Grateful. Declaration of the Synodal Council at the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren
We are happy and grateful for the year of celebrations that we could experience together. All the meetings, worship, film screenings and discussions in the Vaclav Havel Library, numerous publications, concerts, interviews, prayers… All culminated in a four-day festival in Pardubice, where church representatives from all over the country met. At the end of the year, we would like to thank to all those who have responded to the call to become the parish ministers and curators of the church. This happened symbolically on December 16th at the Municipal House in Prague, a place where one hundred years ago the General Assembly decided to join Czech parishes of two evangelical churches (Lutheran and Reformed) into one single Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren. Continue reading The festive gathering in the Municipal House in Prague concluded the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the existence of the Evangelical Church of the Czech Brethren
Jakub S. Trojan, theologian and minister of the ECCB, former dean of the Protestant Theological Faculty of the Charles University. On 25 January 1969, at the Olšany cemetery, he led the funeral of Jan Palach, a student of the Charles University who set himself on fire to protest against the growing indifference of the Czech people following our country’s occupation by the Soviet-led army in August 1968. This January, fifty years have passed since the event. Continue reading Faith Does Not Demand Definitive Answers. Interview with Jakub S. Trojan
In the autumn of last year, readers of the Český bratr magazine already had an opportunity to read an interview with Benjamin Klinecký, who, together with his wife Olga, has been renting and taking care of the “Mountain Home” resort in the Krkonoše mountains for the second year now. Much has changed for the better since they have been in charge and the numbers of guests choosing the “Mountain Home” as their holiday destination have increased significantly. There is another building that belongs to the resort, called the “Kunzárna”, which, however, was closed almost thirty years ago and has been falling into disrepair ever since.
Since 2010, a group of people who call themselves the “Friends of Herlíkovice” have been trying to renovate this timbered cottage with elements of the traditional Krkonoše architecture. They would like to see the cottage in operation again within three years, providing simple and stylish mountain accommodation as well as a small exhibition about the Czech and German history of the village. It is possible that the building will be declared a cultural monument this year, which would increase the chances of receiving a subsidy for its renovation.
A light in the Sudetenland: let’s light up the dark cottage
The Friends of Herlíkovice association organises regular volunteering jobs and Czech-German workcamps in cooperation with ASF-Servitus (a German organisation that has, for 60 years now, been sending out volunteers to countries that were once occupied by or fought with Hitler’s Germany). The 2018 summer volunteers started preparing new electricity cabling in the Kunzárna; the plan is to have the cottage lit up by the end of 2019. We would therefore welcome volunteer workers who understand electricity.
The spiritual programme at the summer workcamp (which was not only for young volunteers) was led by Leonardo Teca, a minister of the ECCB who was born in Angola. Some of the workers were preparing wood for the Mountain Home resort; they built a little house for storing wood during the winter. We are planning to spend all of the upcoming summer changing the bottom beams, with the help of a carpenter. We would also like to start building the chimney this year, so that it would be possible to heat the place again after all these years.
Overcoming boundaries, forgotten crafts workcamp
We invite anyone interested in a summer workcamp to come and work with volunteers from ASF Servitus this summer. The workcamp will take place in the last week of June. This time, the event should concentrate on traditional, yet often forgotten, crafts. The necessary skills were lost largely as a result of population changes in the border regions. The seminar part of the workcamp will focus on “Overcoming Boundaries in Society”, in line with the topic of the year determined by the Czech-German Future Fund. These boundaries often no longer divide the Czechs and the Germans, but rather they cut through societies, in various regions. As part of the seminar, we would like, together with interesting guests, to look for the causes of this polarisation, and for possible ways of overcoming them.
As usual, the workcamp will finish with a weekend mountain hike and a Czech-German Sunday service (on 30 June) to commemorate the 115th anniversary of the local church.
Partners and collaborators
Our important partners include the already-mentioned ASF Servitus and the Association of German Natives (the Heitmatkreis Hohenelbe, a compatriotic organisation from the Vrchlabí region). We also cooperate with the ECCB’s youth department, the ECCB’s congregation in Vrchlabí (the Herlíkovice congregation is affiliated to the one in Vrchlabí), and of course with Olga and Benjamin Klinecký, who are running the Mountain Home. We would also like to thank the Czech-German Future Fund and the ECCB’s Grant Fund for supporting the projects, as well as the ECCB’s Synodal Council, who is providing the Kunzárna cottage under a loan agreement.
In the first three months of 2019, the Synodal Council met the leaders of three sister churches from abroad for talks. These bilateral talks are about many current and common topics – and always about mission. Continue reading Direct Talks. The Synodal Council of the ECCB meets church leaders from three countries
Communist deputies have proposed the taxation of financial compensation for property which was unlawfully confiscated by the Communist regime in 1948. At the end of January this year, deputies of the Lower House of the Parliament approved the amendment. Continue reading Additional tax for churches. If the proposal passes, the churches will pay hundreds of millions on the returned property
The international conference about the „eight-year“ took place in Prague at the end of last year. Representatives of the Evangelical Churches in Central Europe met in remembrance of the dynamic changes of the year 1918 which not only transposed the frontiers but also resulted in changes in the organisation and cooperation of the churches. Continue reading The Revolutionary Year of 1918 from the perspective of Central European Churches. Conference in the Senate
Over many years, the ECCB has been involved in partnerships between congregations. These have involved partners in the Netherlands (there was once a great number of these), with Switzerland, with Germany, with Scotland, and with the United States of America. (There may be some I have missed!) Continue reading Partnerships and Partners
Jesus as a fugitive. Migrant Sarah and migrant Abraham. Joseph in the hands of human traffickers. Economic migrant Ruth. The Lord as a guest. And what about those who are on their way, on the run or in a foreign country today? Continue reading God loves foreigners
In the centennial anniversary of the establishment of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren, the Czech state commemorates 100 years since the end of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy and the foundation of the independent republic. Czech Protestants have been associated with the modern history of the country from the very beginning. Evennow, they are known as prominent statesmen, thinkers, human rights defenders, or opponents of communist totalitarianism. Continue reading Film and discussion evenings on „Famous Protestants“