The president of Oikosnet Europe Walter Lüssi attended to EAD Member Assembly earlier this year. At the meeting he gave a presentation of the work of Oikosnet Europe with an emphasis on the relevance of the European Dimension and the significance of civil society. The EAD have the tradition of inviting the president of Oikosnet Europe to their yearly Member Assembly. The meeting this year took place in Baden.
In the days last days of November, the Evangelische Bildungstätte, Schwanenwerder in cooperation with Oikosnet Europe arranged a workshop on the topic Ernergiewende and citizen participation. At the laity center just outside Berlin, participants from Germany, Sweden and the Czech Republic gathered for a trinational dialogue focusing on the role of civil society in this very complex question. The 21 participants started the the dialogue with a list of 100 questions on climate change. Many of the questions we will surely come back to in many dialogues and conferences ahead.
The Conference of European Churches (CEC) regards Oikosnet Europe as an “organisation in partnership”. Earlier this year, CEC presented a draft of a strategic work plan to all its member churches and partner organisations for commenting. The strategic plan is to guide CEC’s work for the years to come and also to determine as to where CEC wants to make a difference in bringing a faith-based voice to the European institutions. Oikosnet Europe took the challenge seriously and, after discussions in the Board, responded to CEC’s plans and offered its comments and resources with regard to strategic issues as well as in view of the many topics which CEC sees as part of its work plan.
In follow-up of this consultation process and a meetings of CEC’s Governing Board, CEC now issued a letter with three overarching aims for its future work and announcing six working groups to be established. These working groups will work until the next CEC Assembly in about 2023. The frequency of meetings is usually two to three times a year. The six broad themes around which the working groups are to convene are:
– ecclesiology and mission
– diversity, pluralism and education for democracy
– economic and ecological justice and sustainable future
– science, bioethics and technology
– human rights education and advocacy
– social justice.
As Oikosnet Europe is an organisation in partnership, we are also eligible to suggest members for these working groups from among our constituency. Therefore, Oikosnet members are invited to suggest potential candidates with adequate expertise, to the Oikosnet Executive Secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org) until 1.September 2019. The next Annual Conference of Oikosnet Europe (11-15 September) will then discuss the matter and take a decision about names to be forwarded to CEC. The final selection of working group members will remain entirely in the hand of CEC.
The letter from CEC (and its appendices) to its member churches and organisations in partnership can be found on the Oikosnet website under: www.oikosnet.eu/partnerships
With a recent bill by the Greek Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, passed by the Greek Parliament on 23 April 2019, the Orthodox Academy of Crete (OAC) was included in the Law 4310/2014 (A´ 258) concerning “Research, Technological Advancement and Innovation“ and is, thus, officially one of the State-acknowledged Research Centres (Government Gazette 4610/7-5-2019, Art. 255).
This fact constitutes a very important development for the OAC and recognition of the responsible work that is being done for more than 50 consecutive years (1968-2018), and is expected to be a landmark for its future course and academic progress on a local, a national as well as an international level.
The Foundation will now be able to respond to the “signs of the times” and continue to offer its diaconal work to the Church, but also to the well-being of our Society and our Education.
Those Members of OIKOSNET EUROPE who would like to cooperate with the OAC with regard to this new property, please contact email@example.com (Dr Antonios Kalogerakis).
International conference, Moscow December 2019
St Andrew´s Biblical Theological Institute invites all members of Oikosnet Europe to the international conference Religion and Liberalism in Moscow Russia 11 – 14 december 2019.
Those who wish to present a paper should send a summary of 400 – 500 words by October 1, 2019 to firstname.lastname@example.org
The presentation is expected to be about 20 minutes.
You find more information about the conference at the website www.standrews.ru
Invitation and call for papers as PDF
International Conference, Bose Italy October 2019
St Andrew´s Biblical Theological Institute, Russia, invites all members of Oikosnet Europe to the international conference Theology of Freedom in Bose Italy 22 – 26 October 2019. The Conference will be held in The Monastery of Bose, a well known spiritual and academic centre.
Call for papers
Those who wish to present a paper should send a summary ( 400 – 500 words) to St Andrews institute email@example.com by 15 August 2019.
(The presentation is expected to be about 20 minutes.)
You will find more information about the conference at www.standrews.ru
Conference program as PDf
Cairo 14 – 18 October 2019
As an member of Oikosnet Europe we are delighted to invite you to participate in the upcoming Arab-Europe Citizens’ Dialogue Conference under the theme: Peaceful Coexistence – How can people of different faiths live peacefully together?
The primary objective of the Arab-European dialogue in the coming year is creating spaces for understanding and implementing changes to increase human rights in both regions. This focus stems from the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services (CEOSS) Forum strategy, which emphasis on coexistence, pluralism and inclusion – not exclusion methodologies in the religious context. The other objective is the interactions between religion, civil society, and politics; integration and participation of refugees; and production of media and images — which follow from an increased focus on human rights. By making human rights the focus of our efforts, the Forum for Intercultural Dialogue aims to bring this ever-important principle to the forefront.
The Arab-Europe Citizens’ Dialogue
The Arab-European Citizens’ Dialogue was established in 2010 at the Orthodox Academy of Crete (OAC) as an expansion of a previous Egyptian-German dialogue. The main counterparts are the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services (CEOSS) in Cairo, Egypt, and Oikosnet Europe, an association of faith-based educational and dialogue institutions in Europe with its office at the Sigtuna Foundation, Sweden. From 2010, there has been a series of consultations in Europe and in the Arab region. The last conference, the 6th from the initiation of this dialogue, was held at the Sigtuna Foundation, Sweden, 1-4 May 2018. We are already also planning for an event in 2020 taking place at OAC. The 2019 event of this initiative, announced in this pre-invitation, will be the 7th Dialogue
Conference, and it will be hosted by CEOSS, in Cairo, Egypt.
Dates and Times
Participants are welcome to arrive during Monday 14 October, and the first thing in the conference agenda will be a Welcome Reception on Monday evening. The formal program will start in the morning of Tuesday 15 October, and the program will end by lunchtime Thursday 17 October. There will be an optional excursion on Thursday afternoon. More information about the conference and a more detailed program will be distributed later.
Registration and Costs
This is a pre-invitation, and a proper invitation with more details on registration and costs will follow. Here, we only want to indicate the conditions for participation.
• The cost for participation, after subsidies by the conference organizers, will be app: USD 260.
• On both the Arab side and the European side, there are furthermore some possibilities for subsidies regarding travel and participation. This is handled separately by the two regions. For questions about financial support, you can contact the following persons respectively:
Arab region: Samira Luka firstname.lastname@example.org
European region: Karin Sallander email@example.com
The Arab-Europe Citizens’ Dialogue Conference on Peaceful Coexistence is organized jointly by the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services (CEOSS), Oikosnet Europe, and the Sigtuna Foundation.
Feel free to contact any of the following persons if you have general questions about theconference and/or about the conference organizers:
Arab region: Samira Luka firstname.lastname@example.org
European region: Alf Linderman email@example.com
The Sigtuna Foundation, Sweden 22 -25 June 2020 – Save the date!
As a member of Oikosnet Europe, we encourage you to save the date for the upcoming conference Receptive Ecumenism in Sigtuna 2020. This conference will be the fifth academic conference following those held in England (2006 and 2009), in the United States (2014) and in Australia (2017).
A third way ecumenism
Those earlier conferences introduced the basic idea of receptive ecumenism, firstly within the Catholic tradition and then more broadly across a wide range of Christian traditions.
Receptive Ecumenism is a fresh ecumenical methodology emphasizing receptivity, learning, and listening. Since its inception, the concept has taken root in many diverse contexts around the globe. It is described as a third way ecumenism focusing on conversion and renewal in the search for unity among the Churches. This conference will continue the ecclesiological reparative, criticalconstructive task of ecumenical ecclesiology.
Cardinal Anders Arborelius OCD, Catholic diocese of Stockholm, Sweden
Rev Dr Sofia Camnerin, Stockholm School of Theology, Sweden
Rev Dr Mathew Chandrankunnel, CMI, Ecumenical Christian Center, Bangalore, India
Rev Anthony Currer, Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Rome
Rev Dr Susan Durber, United Reformed Church UK, Faith and Order Commission, WCC
Dr Sara Gehlin, Helsinki University, Finland
Rev Peter Halldorf, The Pentecostal Alliance of Independent Churches, Sweden
Most Rev Dr Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of the Church of Sweden
Rt Rev Dr Karin Johannesson, Bishop of the Diocese of Uppsala, Church of Sweden
Prof Paul D. Murray, Durham University, UK
Prof Ivana Noble, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
Ms Aikaterini Pekridou, Executive Secretary for Theological Dialogue, CEC
Dr Antonia Pizzey, Australian Catholic University, Brisbane
Prof Cecil M Robeck Jr, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, USA
Prof Risto Saarinen, Helsinki University, Finland
Call for papers
Call for papers will be sent out during the first quarter of 2019.
More information will be distributed later. In the meantime, please contact Olle Kristenson. Director for Ecumenical Theology at the Christian Council of Sweden: firstname.lastname@example.org
Every summer, the Oikosnet member organisation Agape Centro Ecumenico organize threee international summer camps. They are run in four languages (italian english french spanish) an interpretation and translation are provided. Agape Centro Ecumenico is an ecumenical centre situated in a mountain area in Northern Italy, a place of encounter and community life. The Centre was built after the Second World War, as a sign of reconciliation among people, it is an important point of reference in Italian Protestantism, but the aim is to fully encounter the different perspectives of faith. It is a place of education and development, theological exploration, political engagement, of acceptance and validation of differences.
With the scholarship programme Agape offers a Summer School to encourage people coming from around the world to participate to our International Camps. This scholarships can cover food and accommodation but also travel expenses. The application for the summer school in Agape will be open until April 30.
Agape Italy 11 to 15 September 2019
On behalf of the Board of Oikosnet Europe and on behalf of Agape Centro Ecemenico in Italy, it is our pleasure to invite you to the next Annual Conference (AC) of Oikosnet Europe (OE).
The AC is scheduled to take place from 11 – 15 September 2019 in the beautiful settings of Torino in Northern Italy.
“We are looking forward to an exciting Annual Conference,” Walter Lüssi, President of Oikosnet Europe states. “Agape is an exciting learning space. People, especially young people, hardly come back from there unchanged and with new ecumenical inspiration. In 2019, as Oikosnet Europe, we also want to be inspired by the special flair of the place and by the experience of the Agape Center in community building.”
Identities on moving landscapes: an historical view from the Alps
The theme of the 2019 Annual Conference has be chosen accordingly. It deals with identities in a changing world, characterised by migration. The Directors and staff of the Agape Center send their cordial invitation and write: “Waldensian communities are migrating communities – by means of survival, by force and, after civil rights were granted to religious minorities in 1848, by choice. Moving slowly from a clandestine movement, to a Church in a ghetto and ultimately to freedom has brought a change from a closed community to a Church open to everyone. How can identities forged by forced migration change with freedom? Is a crisis needed to form new identities? In the recent migration movements we can see similar processes of forming and changing identities. We will analyse these processes in the light of accessibility and community back then and today, we will give an insight to the political contexts in Italy and it’s position in Europe and we will discover what answers Protestant Churches in Italy and the Italian Civil Society have found to the identitarian challenges of today. ”
Registration and how to get there
Agape lies within the Waldensian Valley in the north of Italy. The closest airport is Turino. And from there it takes some time to drive. For the Oikosnet Annual Conference, Turino will be the starting point of shuttles to Agape. Participants should arrive well before 18h00 on 11 September. More detailed information will be provided to registered participants. For more information on the Agape Center check: https://agapecentroecumenico.org/en
The registration for the conference is open until August 21. We look forward to see you all there!