Category Archives: Nezařazené

Bulletin 48 – Advent 2019

Dear readers,

in the summer edition of our Bulletin, I mentioned the fact that our church has lately been celebrating one anniversary after another. This autumn, we have yet another important reason to celebrate. Not necessarily a church-related one, but definitely one that concerns Christians in a fundamental way: the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, which took place thirty years ago, is an anniversary that celebrates freedom. In 1989, the citizens of Czechoslovakia won their freedom, and living in freedom is certainly something we, as Christians, should always be striving for.

And what about today? Do we still have enough reasons to be happy? What has been lost and where has it disappeared during those thirty years? Such doubts and questions are only proof of the fact that the struggle for freedom never ends.

I am not going to go into detail describing the articles you can find in this issue, but there is one event we have reported about that I would like to bring to your attention: the new Protestant school called Filipka (the last issue of the Bulletin provided an interview with its director) opened its doors in September and its students as well as the staff are happy and satisfied with how things are going. Let’s hope it stays this way! And, I might add, let us also hope there are many other articles that you will find interesting in this edition of the Bulletin.

Advent is near, we are looking forward to celebrating Christmas, the birth of God’s Holy Son, who came to stay in our midst, to be with us and comfort us, to keep our heads above the water, and most of all, to be with us and above us as the vision of the things to come.

Jana_PliskovaWishing you the Lord’s peace

On behalf of the Editorial Board Jana Plíšková

Bulletin – Summer 2019

Dear readers,

Between 2015 and 2018, our church celebrated numerous important anniversaries, and we are nowhere near finished with many more coming. This year in June, the ECCB’s Diaconia is celebrating 30 years of its existence. This non-profit organisation, which focuses on social services and was established, quite surprisingly, just before the Velvet Revolution and the fall of the communist regime, has managed to go a very long way during these 30 years. It has gained quite a renown and achieved many successes, including the foundation of its centre for humanitarian help, which brings aid to countries where people are suffering from hunger, floods, and other catastrophes. Its presence is also firmly established in refugee camps far, far away from Central Europe. It should also be noted that Diaconia is the second largest organisation of its kind in the Czech Republic, following Catholic Charity. We will certainly bring reports from this anniversary in the next issue of the Bulletin; in this issue, however, you can look forward to finding out about how Diaconia has managed to renovate five schools for little students in Burma, which is a delightful read.

Bulletin PDF

The Evangelical Academy is another organisation our church can be proud of. The scope of its activities does not go beyond Central Europe this time, but that does not make it any less important. It runs seven schools within the Czech Republic – you can learn more about the newly established one in Brno, called Filipka, in the interview with its director.

The Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren notices and takes care of those around the world who are persecuted because of their religious or other beliefs. We do not have the abilities or power to actively intervene; what we can do, however, is drew attention to these issues, organise debates and protest gatherings. We have brought another report covering this topic – definitely not the first or the last article of the sort. Let us believe there will come a time when there will be no need for such protests. If not here and now, then in God’ Kingdom. Let us hold on to this promise.

Wishing you a peaceful summer, and, if possible, also a refreshing one.

On behalf of the Editorial Board,

Jana PlíškováJana_Pliskova

 

Bulletin 46 – Easter 2019

Dear readers,

it is a pleasure to be able to present the new Easter issue of our Bulletin.

Apart from the latest news, we will also be looking back on two events that happened some time ago but that are very important to us.

We have brought information about our church’s 100th anniversary in previous issues, however the main celebration took place at the same venue and, almost precisely to the day, on the date of our church’s founding in 1918, which is why we are only providing a report with photos and videos now.

 Jan Palach. In January 1969, this name went down in Czech history as a unique phenomenon. Nearly half a year after Czechoslovakia was occupied by the Soviet-led armies of the Warsaw Pact, the student set himself on fire at the top of Wenceslas Square to protest against the atmosphere of resignation that had taken hold of Czech society. Following the funeral service at the Carolinum of the Charles University, where the academic community, along with hundreds of thousands of Czech people, said goodbye to Jan Palach, he was buried by Jakub S. Trojan, professor of the Protestant Theological Faculty, at the Olšany cemetery. You will find an interview with Jakub S. Trojan, in which he reflects on the 1969 events, in this issue of the Bulletin. The events that were organised in January this year, in front of the National Museum, to commemorate Palach’s death, were dignified, in good taste. Our Synodal Senior, Daniel Ženatý, as well as other representatives of the Ecumenical Council of Churches spoke during these events.

Dear friends, may the hope, peace and joy granted by our Lord during Easter not forsake you in the days to come!

Jana_PliskovaJana Plíšková

Bulletin 45 – Advent 2018

Dear Readers,

Years ending in eights have often marked significant events, not only in the European, but also in the global context. However, especially the Czech Republic has many anniversaries ending in eights, anniversaries that are of great importance to our history. This also applies to 2018.

50 years have passed since 1968, the year that began with the promising “Prague Spring” and ended in total despair after the occupation of the Soviet army and the armies of the Warsaw Pact.

There is another 50-year anniversary we would like to draw attention to. It does not have an eight at the end, but it is closely related to 1968: in January 1969, Jan Palach, a university student, set himself on fire in front of the National Museum, at the top of Wenceslas Square. His act was an act of protest against the peoples’ lack of will and gradual adaptation to the situation, the lethargy that set in in the months following the occupation.

I would like to finish this editorial with a more encouraging piece of history to commemorate: 100 years have passed since the end of WWI, and also since the founding of Czechoslovakia with our first President, T.G. Masaryk; it has also been 100 years since the founding of our Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren, which is certainly a reason to celebrate! You’ll find an article about the ECCB’s centenary at the very beginning of our Bulletin.

We should, however, keep in mind what our Synodal Senior said at the ECCB’s centenary celebrations in Pardubice: “What’s a hundred years from a higher perspective?” Well put, right? Advent is coming. May the Christmas message bring us hope and support. In the busy weeks before Christmas, let us not forget the utmost source of joy and encouragement, true peace that surpasses our understanding.

Jana_PliskovaWith best wishes

Jana Plíšková

Bulletin 44 – Summer 2018

The Editorial

Dear Readers,

There’s no need to write too much about the lack of freedom in the economically prosperous People’s Republic of China. It is no wonder the local Christians flee the country if they get a chance. Their lives are in danger.

It should surprise us no less that they are also fleeing to the Czech Republic, a democratic country, where one would expect to find understanding and a welcoming attitude. However, the situation in this country is not very friendly towards migrants and the Chinese Christians will not be granted asylum, as they had hoped. Our country’s leaders are justifying their fear of immigrants with “Christian values”, but it is obvious this term has lost any meaning, it is just an empty phrase.

In this issue of the Bulletin, you will find out about the stance that the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren has taken on the topic.

We have also been reporting about the Cubans’ resistance against the regime in their country for quite some time now, and in this issue you will find an article on how the ECCB welcomed Cuban dissidents again this year.  We hope they enjoyed the programme we prepared for them in the Václav Havel Library.

We wish you all a joyful summer. Let the articles you might read here serve as a reminder that we need to cherish our freedom and value the fact that we do not have to fight for it. Freedom is a precious estate and we need to take good care of it.

Jana_PliskovaWith best wishes

 On behalf of the Editorial Board

Jana Plíšková

Bulletin 43 – Easter 2018 The Editorial

Dear Readers,

In the previous issues of our Bulletin, we have been reporting about the important anniversaries that our church has celebrated in the past few years. However, the most important anniversary for the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren is still ahead of us: in the autumn of this year, 100 years will have passed since the ECCB was founded. This will certainly be the most demanding event in terms of the necessary preparations that are already under way. The dignity of the celebration, we believe, should correspond with the importance of this historic milestone. The founding of our church is important not only for us, Protestants, but also for our fellow citizens, despite the fact that they may not be aware of it. They come across our activities and hear about us in the media when we draw attention to injustice and lies, they accept our help – from chaplains, teachers, pastors at weddings…

Bulletin 43 – Easter ENG

This issue of the Ecumenical Bulletin comes just before Easter – intentionally. It gives us an opportunity to show that important anniversaries do not need to be celebrated once in a hundred or five hundred years, but that we have a reason to celebrate every year. The remembering of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross and the celebration of his resurrection brings reassurance and peace into our hearts. This “anniversary” is definitely worth commemorating every year.

Plíšková2It is our hope, dear friends, that you will find at least some of the texts we are bringing you interesting and enriching.

We wish you peace and joy with the upcoming Easter holidays.

“Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. (Revelation 1:17–18)

On behalf of the Editorial Board

Jana Plíšková

Bulletin 43 – Easter ENG

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)