It was around 10 years ago, during Jaap van der Sar’s presidency, when I, then still Treasurer, travelled with him to Berlin to the EAD, the Association of Protestant Academies in Germany. We were able to sign an agreement which stipulated that the EAD would make Rüdiger Noll available to us as Executive Secretary for Oikosnet Europe with a workload of 30 per cent. This was a real stroke of luck, as Rüdiger Noll is extremely familiar with the European church landscape and also with the ecumenically grown church education landscape in Europe.
Oikosnet has benefited from his extensive network of contacts and his expertise over many years, from his project work, particularly in the context of civil society, and also from the fact that he maintained relationships with the members of Oikosnet Europe and was in contact with them in the name of and on behalf of the Board.
Rüdiger Noll will retire from his current position at the EEAS for reasons of age and will also leave the position of Executive Secretary. We bid him an official farewell at the GA in Basel. It has been announced that I, as President of Oikosnet, will meet with him in Zurich in the new year because we are still very interested in Rüdiger Noll’s expertise and would like to have him among us as a volunteer. Then there will also be an opportunity to personally express the heartfelt thanks that I am now expressing to Rüdiger.
In Basel, I was also able to inform that the Protestant Academy in Berlin has decided to make Heinz-Joachim Lohmann, Deputy Director and Director of Studies for Democratic Culture and the Church in Rural Areas, available as Executive Secretary of Oikosnet with a workload of 20 per cent. This was received with great gratitude by the General Assembly. Heinz-Joachim Lohmann will initially hold this office for the two years during which we want to implement the Action Plan and also clarify the different roles within Oikosnet. I am very much looking forward to this collaboration!
Walter Lüssi, President of Oikosnet Europe