Last year on the 14th of December, on the occasion of the Day of the Czech Prison Service, 15 new prison chaplains and 19 volunteers were commissioned for service at a ceremonial event. For the first time this was an ecumenical church service held at the church of St Wenceslas in Zderaz, Prague, which used to serve as the New Town penitentiary in the 19th century. The new chaplains took an oath before the general secretary of the Czech Bishops’ Conference, Stanislav Přibyl, and the chairman of the Ecumenical Council of Churches, Daniel Ženatý. Continue reading Prison Chaplains Sent Into Service, Ecumenical Cooperation Contract Signed. A Unique Expression of Cooperation Between Churches
How did the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren cope with the change of its position after the Revolution of 1989 in terms of “reconciliation and forgiveness”, taking into account also the wider framework given by Martin Luther’s teachings, proclaimed five hundred years ago?
Martin Luther was, without a doubt, a conscious member of the Catholic, i.e. universal church. The existence of the universal church was perceived as a given fact also by John Hus. What the church found unacceptable was Luther’s realization that the church was neither the owner nor the mediator of salvation. One may not buy penitence or forgiveness, let alone a fulfilled life. We should keep in mind what Luther said: that we are, or may hope to be, part of the invisible Church, the one church that belongs to God. Why, then, do we fear so much for our Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren? Continue reading The Anniversary of the Reformation and Paths Towards Reconciliation After the Velvet Revolution
It is a bit of a shame that Prague has no permanent exhibition on the topic of the history of the Reformation in the Czech lands. You will find a number of Protestant museums in France or Germany, the same applies to Budapest. Raising awareness of our Reformation-related history is important, especially with regard to the current series of anniversaries we have been commemorating: the publishing of the Kralice Bible, the deaths of Jan Hus and Jerome of Prague, the beginning of the Reformation (Martin Luther), and the meeting of the Czech Protestants at which the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren was established. It is strange that our Protestant history should not be presented more proudly to the public when it has so much to offer: Hus and his predecessors as the heralds of the European Reformation, the years of religious peace with the Unity of the Brethren, the Toleration years, and the unique combination arising from the unification of the two branches of the Protestant tradition. Continue reading The Memorials of the Toleration Period. The Heritage of Our Fathers Has Its Value
Love. Forgive. “However, concerning the Sudeten Germans it is not that simple!” This is the objection that I often hear.
I (born in 1952) have grown up in the Sudetenland, in the German speaking village of Hackelsdorf/Herlíkovice on the upper Elbe in the Giant Mountains. We knew nothing. Nothing about the subdivision of the concentration camp Groß Rosen. We had no idea what the houses were used for before or that there used to be a school, a mill house, a grocery store and pubs. With other children I used to look through the windows into the empty wooden houses on the mountain side and poked with sticks into the graves (what if there is a dead German to find?). The people did not know each other, as every family came from somewhere else they glowered at each other and did not trust one another. There was no past, no community. Maybe nostalgia. Continue reading The Ways to Reconciliation and Forgiveness in the Czech-Sudeten German Relations. A Personal View.
David Sinclair, a pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, will be a significant contribution to the rich relations existing between the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren and churches in English-speaking countries. He has been working in the ECCB’s Central Church Office since the beginning of the year and is to spend the coming four years taking care of foreign visitors, organising their programme, and being available to any congregations wishing to develop partnerships with churches in English-speaking countries. Continue reading Scottish Pastor in Prague. David Sinclair will be responsible for the ECCB’s relations with English-speaking countries
What can we do for the world around us? The period of Lent, lasting forty days before Easter, which began on 14 February this year, should serve as a time of reflection. This may also lead to a deeper consideration of environmental issues. The ECCB offers people several interesting ways to spend this time. Continue reading What Can We Do for the World Around Us? Lent As a Time for Reflection
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