Photo: Albin Hillert/CEC
Press Release No: 16/23
16 June 2023
Peace, reconciliation and theologically inspired engagement with European institutions have emerged as significant parts of the work for the Conference of European Churches (CEC). The CEC President Rev. Christian Krieger and CEC General Secretary Dr Jørgen Skov Sørensen shared this analysis of CEC’s activities in the last five years at the plenary of the 2023 CEC General Assembly.
The assembly is being held in Tallin, Estonia from 14-20 June, addressing the theme “Under God’s blessing – shaping the future”.
The CEC president elaborated on the organisations’ journey from its 2018 assembly in Novi Sad to the present assembly in Tallinn, sharing how Europe has changed politically, culturally and socially. He pointed out the two paradigm shifts: the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
He stressed the crucial need for just peace, especially in developing a Christian response to conflict. He said that “the Governing Board, by positioning the Pathways to Peace initiative at the heart of CEC’s programmatic work, is responding to this perspective.”
Krieger shared about various aspects of the transformation of the organisation in the past five years, reflecting on challenges and accomplishments for CEC. He specially highlighted the sharpening of CEC’s profile, which now comprises theological reflection on society and targeted advocacy.
As an outgoing president, Krieger expressed his gratitude to CEC Member Churches, board members and staff for their support in steering the organisation amid challenges, especially the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his report, CEC General Secretary Sørensen also spoke about the war in Ukraine and the importance of CEC initiative Pathways to Peace. “As an ecumenical fellowship of churches, we are mourning, praying for the lost, and always - always - with a theologically grounded hope for a just, peaceful future in Ukraine.”
He went on to say that “during the week to come, we will explore what it means to be under God’s blessing. We will determine how that blessing enables us in mutual solidarity to shape the future of Europe through the fellowship we cherish under the name ‘Conference of European Churches’.”
“We are gathered to discern and debate how we as a fellowship of churches, in the best possible way, shape the future of a Europe that is torn by a brutal war, a war raging beyond the immediate battle fields. A war on European soil that evokes memories, transcending their actual time and place.”
Sørensen prayed, “may our Christian voice become ever stronger throughout the assembly, as we come to better know one another, ourselves and Christ who lives and reigns in our midst.”
The CEC General Assembly has gathered over 300 representatives of the CEC Member Churches from across Europe in Tallinn. The event is an opportunity to reflect, dialogue and pray together.
For more information or an interview, please contact:
Conference of European Churches
Rue Joseph II, 174 B-1000 Brussels
Tel. +32 486 75 82 36
YouTube: Conference of European Churches
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