Category Archives: Nezařazené

Bulletin 54 – Christmas 2021

Dear Readers,

the tornado that hit Moravia this summer was unprecedented in our country. It was graded EF4, the second strongest on the scale, and the extent of the damages really was quite devastating. There are of course countries in the world where people are used to tornadoes, hurricanes and such natural phenomena and they know how to prepare for them and what to do. Not in the Czech Republic though. Hurricanes probably don’t even exist here and a tornado has occurred before, but not with such force. With the help of Mr Google, I’ve learned that a similar disaster last hit Prague in 1119 (!), as marked in the Czech Chronicle by Cosmas. Luckily enough, such terrors are often accompanied by acts of kindness that are worth remembering. The financial aid sent to the destroyed villages was immediate and its extent was as extraordinary as the strength of the whirlwind itself. I am happy to see that apart from the Adra and Člověk v tísni charity organisations, the ECCB’s Diaconia contributed a major amount. Large-scale, efficient aid was also sent from abroad, especially from German churches. The work of the above-mentioned organisations is of utmost importance, but they would be powerless without the help of civic society. The vast amounts of money that were collected by these organisations were sent by regular people from all around our country, which is something we need to be truly grateful for. Let us simple hope tornadoes do not become a phenomenon that we will have to get used to in the Czech Republic.

I would also like to draw attention to the personality of Svatopluk Karásek. You will find out who he was in the article about him. I would just like to point out that his personality, his activities, and, above all, his songs influenced a truly large amount of people, certainly not just Christians. The communist regime did not break him, as much as it strived to do so.

Summer is long since gone, Christmas is near and with it the joy that cannot be taken away by a tornado or by any other sorrowful events. Let us hold on to this belief.

Wishing you peace on behalf of the Editorial Board,

Jana_PliskovaJana Plíšková

Bulletin 53 – Summer 2021

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.

Jana_PliskovaGood 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

Jana Plíšková

Bulletin 52 – Easter 2021

Dear Readers,

In the previous edition of our Bulletin, issued around Christmas, we wrote about several significant historical anniversaries. This time is different. I can only think of one anniversary, a rather paradoxical one: it has been almost precisely a year since we have been shut, for the most part at least, in our homes, trying to avoid the uninvited guest, COVID-19. Unfortunately, the situation doesn’t seem to be improving, the numbers don’t spark too much hope; sometimes things seem to be looking up, but then there is another step back, it’s a bit like a see-saw…

We try to live a life as „normal“

as possible, but it is not easy. We don’t get to see our loved ones, we fear the passers-by, and meeting a friend for a coffee or a beer seems like a scene from a pleasant dream.

What are the benefits of these times? Surely each bad era has a positive side to it. Life has not come to a halt! Yes, many people are dying and it hurts, but so many of us have recovered and children are being born as if nothing was happening at all! In addition, fortunately enough, good books are being published, so there is always something to read, let us be grateful for that! And not only books, also great films, theatre plays – it is good news that people refuse to give in to the mess created by the virus. It is not all bad.

To mention at least some of what you will read about in the new edition of the Bulletin, I would like to draw your attention to the Pastoral Brothers: two young Protestant ministers that have been active on YouTube, among other places. I am sure the two of them have also refused to give in to the atmosphere of fear. Ministers and actors at the same time, they bring hope, joy and, what’s more, they have managed to get the atheist minority to be able to relate to them! That is really quite something. So take a look at them. And let us all hold on to the hope that comes from above.

Jana_PliskovaOn behalf of the Editorial Board

Jana Plíšková

Bulletin 51 – Christmas 2020

Dear readers,

It is always a good idea to draw attention to anniversaries both great and small. Their meaning is not lost; it is still as valid today as it was several hundred years ago. Anniversaries are to be commemorated.

This time we offer you three and all of them are to a greater or lesser extent connected with the existence of our church, the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren.

The Battle of the White Mountain took place on Sunday, November 8, 1620. It is therefore exactly 400 years ago, and this year the date of November 8 also fell on a Sunday. The anniversary events, which were planned long in advance, had to be severely reduced due to the covid-19 pandemic, but their importance was not diminished! What does the battle itself and the post-White Mountain period, the Thirty Years’ War and the “Dark Ages”, mean to Czechs? Up to half a million people went into exile during the violent re-Catholicization of that time. It is a deep scar that members of the Protestant churches, as well as of the Catholic Church, are aware of, and during the annual “celebration” their representatives try to find common ground. And I think it has been going well in recent years.

The second anniversary follows the first. 350 years ago, Jan Amos Komenský, Bishop of the Unity of Brethren, pedagogue and philosopher, “teacher of nations”, died. He too had been forced to leave our country for good in this “dark age”.

The third anniversary concerns our present, the 1950s, the time of communist Czechoslovakia. Among more than two hundred executed by the regime, there was only one woman, the erudite lawyer Milada Horáková, a member of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren. In June this year we marked 70 years since her murder.

Dear friends, the meaning of Christmas does not change, the coronavirus does not alter it. It can only add to its meaning. Let us hold on to hope in times both of good and evil!

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then it was said among the nations,
‘The Lord has done great things for them.’ (Ps 126: 1-2, NRSV)

On behalf of the Editorial Board

Jana_PliskovaJana Plíšková

Bulletin 50 – Summer 2020

Dear Readers,

Climatic changes, drought among other things, are definitely a threat we are all facing. In the Czech Republic at the moment, however, this does not seem to be the case. It is June, but summer seems to have forgotten to come. The heat that would often start to get quite intense at this time of year is nowhere to be found, not in our country. It just keeps raining, on and on. At least up until now. That is great news for the nature!

The world is still very much focused on the “Chinese virus”, let us hope it is slowly starting to lose its power; we are very grateful that our country managed to cope with the epidemic quite well and wish the same to the people from the countries around us. Let us keep the whole affected world in our prayers.

It is almost hard to believe how the pandemic really brought out the best in our society, people have clung together, started sewing face masks at home and giving them away to anyone who needed them, healthcare workers have been working round the clock, and the same applies to many social workers, nurses in elderly people’s homes and many others.

In this context, I think it is also important to mention priests: the ministers of the ECCB, but also of other churches. Although Sunday services could not take place, ministers actually had more work than the usual: to make sure the word of God reaches out to everyone even when churches are closed, Sunday services were broadcast online. And let’s not forget, this year’s Easter took place in the middle of the pandemic!

Some of the texts in this edition of the Bulletin also deal with the COVID-19 outbreak. I would also like to draw your attention to an article in which one of the ECCB’s ministers describes his ongoing stay with the Church of Scotland, in Lockerbie. The situation isn’t easy for him, either – he, too, has been preparing online Sunday services, dealing with all the technical aspects, preparing the lyrics…

Dear friends, my wish for all of us is that the this pandemic frenzy is over as soon as possible, so we can spend the summer freely and meaningfully.

Peace be with us all.

On behalf of tJana_Pliskovahe Editorial Board

Jana Plíšková

Bulletin 49 – Easter 2020

Dear Readers, our pre-Easter edition of the Ecumenical Bulletin is ready – here it is.

Easter is an invariable – something we can cling to, as Easter happens regardless of the fact that an impertinent virus is spreading all around us. It cannot jeopardise Jesus’s power over our world.

Concerning the texts in this edition of our Bulletin, I would like to draw your attention to the interview with Tomáš Jun, a minister of the ECCB. Tomáš Jun made quite a daring decision to take up the job of minister at the languishing congregation in Ústí nad Labem. The changes that have taken place during the short time he has been in office so far could easily be called a miracle. For Tomáš, this was a real challenge: he did not want to see a congregation in a regional city of approx. 95,000 inhabitants disappear. Have a read about what this 34-year-old minister has achieved so far and what he is planning to do in the future. May his work also encourage us to realise that even seemingly hopeless projects may be meaningful, fruitful and fulfilling.

The other thing I would like to mention, something that is almost hard to believe, are the activities of the group called “A Million Moments for Democracy”. Two young people, the founders of this civic protest, have managed to set in motion our nation’s disapproval with the government, and namely its PM, in a way which almost seems as if taken from another era. The numbers of people attending the protests organised by this group are certainly the highest since the Velvet Revolution in 1989, in fact they are not far from reaching the massive attendance of November 1989!

Dear friends, the virus will not leave our world in ruins. May Easter bring you peace and hope that surpasses our world’s troubles in every way!

Jana_PliskovaOn behalf of the Editorial Board

Jana Plíšková

Crowds Will Come Pouring In. Interview with Tomáš Jun

2.17 (2)A young man, polite, relaxed and easy-going, with a cigarette in his hand, answers the door, followed by a large dog with kind eyes. Tomáš Jun is just beginning his ministry – like many others. However, his decision to serve at the Ústí nad Labem congregation sets him apart. It was a brave and rather risky decision, yet so far, everything proves it was a good one: keeping in mind the events of the past, the current situation looks quite hopeful.  Tomáš Jun is a Protestant Theology graduate. He served his vicariate at the Prague-Libeň congregation and, in 2018, he was assigned to Ústí nad Labem. He moved in with his wife, a graduate of Pastoral and Social Work at the Protestant Theological Faculty of the Charles University, and with two very little boys.  The villa which serves as the protestant manse is an ancient house. The wall of the office is decorated with a couple of old photographs, one of them showing the confirmation of approximately fifty young church members at the beginning of the 1950’s. The congregation had roughly 4000 members altogether at the time! Ten years later, this number had dropped to a tenth of the original. Continue reading Crowds Will Come Pouring In. Interview with Tomáš Jun

Synodal Senior Daniel Ženatý visits the Presbyterian Church in South Korea

btySynodal Senior Daniel Ženatý made a long-planned visit to the Presbyterian Church of Korea (PCK) at the end of October. The Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren has had very friendly contacts with this church. Korean Christians meet regularly in Prague, in our churches in Kobylisy and in Střešovice. Continue reading Synodal Senior Daniel Ženatý visits the Presbyterian Church in South Korea

A Visit from Glasgow to Prague

4 Glasgow1 (1)In the second week of Advent last year we in Dejvice congregation, Prague 6, were visited by six people from the congregation of Wellington Church, Glasgow.  The visit was the first step towards a possible future relationship between our two congregations.  Some time ago our elders had agreed to explore the idea of a link between ourselves and a congregation from another country.  They set up a small group of four volunteers, including our two ministers, our church secretary, and myself, to take this matter forward and, in cooperation with David Sinclair, the Church of Scotland minister working with the ECCB, the idea of contacting Wellington Church arose.  The Advent visit was the first fruit of this contact. Continue reading A Visit from Glasgow to Prague

Professor Petr Pokorný, 1933–2020

9.Petr Pokorný_cb (2)In the early morning of 18 January 2020, Petr Pokorný, Professor of New Testament Studies at the Protestant Theological Faculty of Charles University, died at the age of 86, surrounded by his family. In him the Faculty and the church have lost an outstanding and popular teacher, a perceptive researcher of international renown, and a tireless organiser of academic work, whose profound erudition in biblical studies, theology, philology, and philosophy was combined with the friendly and open certainty of a witness to the Christian faith. Continue reading Professor Petr Pokorný, 1933–2020