Once upon a time… So starts every fairy tale and the plot is often situated in an enchanted castle. The protestant academy of the Bavarian Lutheran church is situated in a castle, the surroundings are enchanted, and the lake of Starnberg is open to the marvellous scenery of the Bavarian Alps. But that was not the reason why the new board held its first meeting in this place. This strategic meeting allowed us to have a first contact with the new vice-director Judith Stumptner of the Evangelische Akademie Tutzing and to present our European network.
This meeting showed that the Bavarian Academy is not only situated in a beautiful landscape but is as well an important place for seminaries and conferences concerning Church and society issues. (www.ev-akademie-tutzing.de). It would be a great asset if the academy of Tutzing would joint our network in the near future.
Our board meeting took place in a very friendly and efficient atmosphere. Additionally to the board members, Walter Lüssi (president), Sören Lenz (vice-president), Nicola Murray (treasurer), Konstantinos Zormpas and Julia Gerlach, the director of the Sigtuna foundation Alf Linderman and Karin Sallander representing our secretariat, take part in our first board meeting after the AC in Flehingen. Following issues were discussed:
- Evaluation of the AC in Flehingen
The number and the content of the returned evaluation sheets were encouraging. Maybe we could give more time to discussions and looking for more interactive forms of conferences.
- The Gender and Justice Network
In the last years we realized difficulties to organise the preconference of the Gender and Justice Network when there is no person who coordinates the whole. Julia Gerlach from the Academy of Meissen proposed to draft a mission statement on this issue. She will as well work on a proposal how to implement gender and justice issues in OIKOSNET ACs in behalf of the annual theme. The board acknowledges the work of the Gender and Justice network over the last years and we are glad that Julia wants to continue working on the gender and justice topics with a broader approach concerning all sorts of diversity in our society.
- Priorities of OIKOSNET
During the last years the mission and vision of OIKOSNET was a main issue in our ACs . We are aware that the outcome is important for our members. During the discussion in the board about aims and priorities of OIKOSNET, the idea emerged that the board could set a theme for a year and invite academies to contribute or to join in. The board could collect ideas and priorities of academies and try to find a common topic for the AC. That could be a first step to foster new common projects among our members.
Besides the awareness of the actual political situation in Europe, which concerns especially OIKOSNET as an European network we need bearing in mind the spiritual dimension of our ecumenical organisation.
After one day intense but fruitful work the agenda for the next year was fixed. We, the five board members and the staff of the OIKOSNET secretariat in Sigtuna? will meet again in march in Strasbourg to work on the details of the next Annual conference in the Orthodox academy Crete in September.
The enchanted atmosphere of Tutzing at the lake of Starnberg showed us that we need places which are enchanted and which propose the right distance to everyday life and to widen the horizon in many ways. The view on the distant mountains across the lake were a good reminder that there is a life beyond the walls of our own academies or better castles. Therefore, we need the exchange and the personal contact in our network? We do need OIKOSNET.