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Bulletin 42 – Advent 2017 The Editorial

Dear Readers,

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

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)

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-Reininghaus 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.

Jana_PliskovaOn behalf of the Editorial Board,

Jana Plíšková

Editorial

Dear Readers,

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

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.

jáWe wish you a blessed Easter!

On behalf of the Editorial Board,

Jana Plíšková

Editorial

Dear readers, dear friends,

foto hvězda k úvoduYou 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 on the first Sunday of Advent, at a new beginning, with new hope.

Bulletin 39 advent 2016 ENG (PDF)

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.

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

jáJana Plíšková

 

 

 

“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)

 Bulletin 39 advent 2016 ENG (PDF)

Bulletin 39 – Advent 2016

Dear readers, dear friends,

foto hvězda k úvoduYou 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 on the first Sunday of Advent, at a new beginning, with new hope.

Bulletin 39 advent 2016 ENG (PDF)

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.

Continue reading Bulletin 39 – Advent 2016