The spirit of Kappel:
Association „European Christian Convention“ successfully launched
The second international meeting of our initiative was a big success and a large step forward for the ECC. All participants in Kappel were committed to realize our common vision of “a large-scale ecumenical gathering of Christians in Europe and beyond”. We were inspired by common services led by Markus Sahli (Kloster Kappel) and Christina aus der Au, by prayers and the amazing music of Judy Bailey and Patrick Dephul, as well as by the atmosphere of Kloster Kappel.
Our key results were:
We discussed and decided on our constitution and have set up an association under Belgian law.
We named a new interim board.
We discussed next steps towards the actual ECC gathering including criteria for its location.
The discussion on the constitution confirmed the roadmap decided last year at our first international meeting in Bad Boll (you find it in at least 8 different languages here.
In the preamble of our new constitution we formulated our vision for a European Christian Convention:
“Inspired by our Christian faith and the need to strengthen Christian confidence, witness and service, the European Christian Convention (ECC) seeks to make a significant contribution towards greater unity and integration of people in Europe and to mobilise responsibility in the world. Its goal is to organise a large-scale ecumenical gathering of Christians in Europe and beyond. The European Christian Convention (ECC) is a non-profit making organisation and sees itself as a movement committed to mend brokenness and bring healing in our turbulent continent.”
We agreed that organisations and churches are welcome to become members of the association. Individuals can be accepted as well, if they have a strong relationship with the initiative. All members have the same rights. Other individuals who want to support the project without having active and strong relations will be invited to become a “friend of the European Christian Convention” without voting rights later on this year.
This reflects the different realities of Christians, Christian organisations and churches in Europe. Our initiative was founded by lay organisations but we all feel part of our church(es) as well. In some churches and countries a separation between churches and lay organisations makes little sense. Therefore, we strive to gather lay organisations and churches on an equal basis with one single objective: to organize the European Christian Convention. All who want such a truly open, respectful and common celebration of faith in Europe are welcome. Those organisations and churches who want to make our vision come true shall all together be the organizers of the event. In realizing this vision we want to cooperate with as many Christian organisations, churches and their European networks and federations as possible.
The association shall serve as the financial and legal body for the realisation of our vision. We are about to establish it as a Belgian “association internationale sans but lucrative” which is a tailor made legal form for European non-profit organisations. The full constitution of our association, documents and photos from our meeting in Kappel can be found here.
WANTED: Join the founding members
We have decided to invite lay organisations as well as churches to join our initiative as founding members until the end of this year. During the meeting in Kappel a number of organisations and churches have already announced to become founding members: Center for Church Development (Zentrum für Kirchenentwicklung) - University of Zurich (Switzerland), Center Ecumena (Belaruś), Diocese in Europe of the Church of England, Finnish Kirchentag (Kirkkopalvelut), German Protestant Kirchentag (Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchentag), Lutheran Church in Hungary and "Szelrozsa" Youth Jamboree - Project, Oikosnet Europe, Orthodox Academy of Crete (Greece), Reformed Church of Zurich (Switzerland), The Sigtuna Foundation (Sigtunastiftelsen, Sweden), St.Andrew’s Biblical Theological Institute (Russia), World Student Christian Federation - Europe. Many others have declared that they will during the months to come, including several Catholic organisations.
If your organisation, initiative or church wants to become a founding member do not hesitate to contact Silke Lechner who coordinates the founding of our association: firstname.lastname@example.org
Milestones towards the ECC
We also discussed a preliminary timeline for the ECC with the following milestones:
- set size, time of event and format of European Christian Convention
- development of application procedure
- fundraising budget a) preparation b) implementation
- membership development
- development and management of application procedure
- founding committees at the national level
- working groups on thematic areas
- decision about location and time of event
- spreading the idea: public relations roll out (ongoing)
- develope the process of the programme (ongoing) including an open call
- foundation of an interpreters’ network
- regional pre-events
- regional pre-events
- first European Christian Convention
The presentation by Jeannette Behringer & Sven Giegold on the milestones can be found in the dropbox folder.
The new board
The Kappel gathering has named an interim board of our association which will replace the “coordination team” which was established in Bad Boll last year. The new board is in many respects broader and more diverse than the former one. The board has the right to co-opt additional members if needed. The following persons are members of the new board: Peter Annegarn (Belgium, Catholic), Christina aus der Au (Switzerland, Reformed), Jeannette Behringer (Switzerland, Catholic), Alexei Bodrov (Russia, Orthodox), Annika Foltin (Germany, Lutheran), Sven Giegold (Germany, MEP, Lutheran), Sylvie Goulard (France, MEP, Catholic), Rebekka Hojmark-Svenningsen (Denmark, Lutheran), Katerina Karkala-Zorbas (Greece, Orthodox), Silke Lechner (Germany, Lutheran), Balázs Mesterházy (Hungary, Lutheran), Leslie Nathanael (Great Britain, Anglican), Rüdiger Noll (Germany, Reformed), Markus Ojakoski (Finland, Lutheran), Krsto Stanisic (Montenegro, Orthodox), Jérôme Vignon (France, Catholic)
Material from Kappel, photo gallery and drawings by Dzmitry Shyla
All documents and photos we have collected in one dropbox-folder. Please, send us any material and photos you would like to share as well. But, the real highlight are the drwaings of one particiant, Dzmitry Shyla from Belarus/Poland, who documented our meeting in the style of an Amercian court. All what we got so far can be found here.
The splendid opening speech of Anders Wejryd, former Archbishop of the Church of Sweden and now the European President of WCC, is also included in this folder.
If you have any inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact our preliminary secretariat: Ann Katrin Hergert, email@example.com
The interim board