At the General Assembly of 2022 in Malaga two new board members were elected; Lucia Leonardi andHeinz Joachim Lohmann. Lucia is the director of Agape Centro Ecumenico in Italy and Heinz Joachim Lohmann is director of studies for democratic culture and church in rural regions at the Protestant Academy of Berlin.
Lucia and Heinz Joachim are replacing Jörg Hübner, director at the Academy of Bad boll and Karolina Silna, director at the academy in Prague.
Photo: Alexei Bodrov ( election committee) Lucia Leonardi, Heinz Joachim Lohmann and Gernot Meier, ( election committee).
It was a great joy to see so many members at the General Assembly of 2022 in Malaga October 5 – 9. After several years affected by the Corona virus we could finally meet one another face to face again.
Our host Gloria Uribe Cifuentes from the Lux Mundi Ecumenical Centre did a wonderful in making us all feel so much at home at the beautiful Casa Diocesana de Espiritualidad in Malaga.
The theme of the conference was The Green Deal from a European Perspective and local perspective. Antonis Kalogerakis from the Orthodox Academy in Crete gave a presentation on the European perspective followed up by a lecture by Dr Felix Lopez Figueroa sharing his inspiring work at the University of Malaga.
To those who would like to follow up the speach given by Antonis Kalogerakis he recommends a report from a recent conference given by CEC. Every part of the creation matters
Due to the situation in Ukraine there was also a session about Peace and Reconciliation, where Colin Craig from Corrymeela and Ruth Harvey from Iona shared some thoughts from their many years of work in this field. It was also very valuable to have the possibility to listen to some voices over zoom giving witness on the situation they live with every day.
We had the pleasure to welcome a new member, the community of Iona. We are really happy to have you with us and look forward to see what this will bring for the future.
Where next years conference will take place has not yet been decided but we look forward to see you all where ever it might be.
Cairo 14 – 17 June 2023 As a member of Oikosnet Europe you are most welcome to participate in the upcoming Arab-Europe Citizens’ Dialogue in Cairo, Egypt 14 – 17 June 2023. 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. From 2010, there has been a series of consultations in Europe and in the Arab region and the focus this year will be the relation between religion and civil society. A more detailed program will be distributed closer to the conference.
Conference Organizers The Arab-Europe Citizens’ Dialogue Conference on Religion and Society is organized jointly by the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services (CEOSS), Oikosnet Europe and the Sigtuna Foundation. On both the Arab side and the European side, there are some possibilities for financial support. This is handled separately by the two regions. Feel free to contact any of the following persons if you have general questions about the conference and/or about the conference organizers:
Corrymeela, Ballycastle Monday 20th – Friday 24th March 2023
Our member organisation Corrymeela will be hosting a Dialogue for Peaceful Change Training in March 2023 at Ballycastle Centre on the north coast of Ireland. Colin Craig, previously the Executive Director of Corrymeela will facilitate the training and as a member of Oikosnet Europe you are most welcome to join.
Cost and Accomodation ( Ensuite bedrooms) Single bedroom £ 680.00 pp Shared bedroom £ 600.00 pp
Financial support from Oikosnet Europe Oikosnet Europe will provide financial support for two participants to join the training. ( You are expected to cover your cost of travel.) Participants with financial support should give a written report about their impressions, and if possible present it at the next General Assembly of Oikosnet Europe. If you are interested to apply for financial support from Oikosnet Europe please contact our treasurer Alf Linderman. alf.linderman@sigtunastiftelsen
A few weeks ago, as President of Plusbildung, I was invited to a conference in Paris. During a visit to the “Institut Protestant de Théologie” I discovered a cartoon by Bernard Stehr (“Theology of hope”). It accompanies me through this Advent. People long for liberation. Also in Europe. In a way undreamed of until recently. What gives them the strength to build on their skills and resources? What makes them trust in their resilience? What encourages them to exercise patience with great confidence?
The path to freedom can only be found together
In recent years, Escape Rooms or Escape Games have become well-known and popular. A team of players searches for clues and solves tricky tasks in order to be able to leave a room in which they are locked in. The challenge is to share knowledge and imagination, experience and intuition, expertise and daring to experiment by all, to combine approaches and agree on a common course of action. The more complex the puzzles and questions to be solved, the more the joint effort and the contribution of all resources is required. Finally, patience and confidence are needed, hope that together we will succeed in what is too much for me as an individual. The path to freedom can only be found together … and yet remains unavailable.
Education contributes to liberation
When I take up the idea of “Escape Rooms”, it seems to me that many aspects come up that I associate with what I understand as good educational work.
Education finds ways out. Education contributes to liberation. Education is a collaborative enterprise. Education encourages collective action, leads to concrete deeds. Education does not deny complexity. But church-based education also reckons with the unavailable, with that which cannot be calculated. It therefore remains patient and at the same time alert for the kairos, the right moment.
I wish that in this way we will remain committed together in Oikosnet Europe and beyond. We feel the responsibility. We feel the necessities of our time. We know the obligation of solidarity. Let us not give up the faith that together and with God’s help we can make a difference for a better Europe and for the many people who live in fear and need.