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Newsletter from Oikosnet Europe, December 2019

Dear friends and members of Oikosnet Europe,

For many of us, the past fall has been an intensive period in our lives and for our institutions. Behind all of what we do in our various local contexts, there is an awareness that we are facing many challenges in our present European societies and in the world. Now, as we are closing in on the Holiday Season, let us take some time to reflect upon our lives, both our lives as individuals but also the lives of our institutions.

Alf Linderman
Head of the Oikosnet Europe Secretariat
Executive Director of the Sigtuna Foundation

office@oikosnet.eu


“And when I was born, I drew in the common air, and fell upon the earth, which is of like nature, and the first voice which I uttered was crying, as all others do. I was nursed in swaddling clothes, and that with cares. For there is no king that had any other beginning of birth.”

Wisdom of Solomon 7:3-5

Dear Colleagues, dear Members of Oikosnet Europe

At the Annual Conference in the Agape Centro Ecumenico in September, Jörg Hübner, director of the Evangelische Akademie Bad Boll, Germany, was elected to the Board as a new member. After an excellent conference in Italy, the board met from December 15th to 17th in the house of the new Board member in Bad Boll.

On this occasion, the Board has set up two working groups to clarify and guarantee transparent processes in the future, both in the area of finance and in relation to the various functions in the Board, including the Office in Sigtuna and the Executive Secretary. These tasks are initially internal, but the results will also have a positive impact on Business Meetings in the AC.

Vice President Gunleiksrud Raaum took on a special responsibility to include the Gender and Justice dimension in the program of the next Annual Conference.

The range of topics of the Board also included topics that should strengthen the role of our network with each other and also externally.

Annual Conference 2020 in Bad Boll: In the last years Oikosnet Europe started to deal with Europe and its current problems during the study days. Next year the Annual Conference will be held from September 9 till September 13 in Bad Boll. “European Green Deal”, a suggestion made by the European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen to make Europe climate-neutral by 2050, and which is particularly important in the German context, was chosen as the working title for the study day.

Job Shadowing/Staff Exchange: the Board recognized that exchange among member academies in various forms among members is very stimulating and important. The Board has taken on this issue for further elaboration and will present a proposal at the AC.

Furthermore the Board pointed to the importance of an improved website and the significance of social media. Developing these areas of communication will be part of our effort to clarify the relevance of the association to its existing and potential new members and for a wider public.

WCC Assembly 2021 in Karlsruhe and Ecumenical German Kirchentag 2021 in Frankfurt: The Board started a discussion and will have this item on the agenda again to be able to evaluate to what degree Oikosnet Europe should take on a responsibility to engage in any of these events, or to encourage people within our association to take part in these events.

This is a considerable work programme, but we will not start again until after the turn of the year.

Now it is my concern to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year: “And when I was born, I drew in the common air …”

Rev. Walter Lüssi, President of Oikosnet Europe


Glimpses from the Annual Conference in Agape

In September  many of our members had some enjoyable days at the Agape Centro Ecumenico in Italy.  Our hosts, Malte Dahme and Sara Marta Rostagno, had prepared an excellent program on the theme Identities on moving landscapes: an historical view from the Alps, where the Waldensian valley and its history became an inspiring resource for recflection on the question of migration in general. 

Welcoming of new members

During the Business meeting we had the pleasure to welcome a new member of Oikosnet Europe, The Orthodox Grodno Laity Center in Belarus. We all look forward to hear more about the center and their work. 

Jörg Hübner, director at the Academy of Bad Boll, Germany, was elected as new member of the board. Many of you have probably met him at earlier Annual Conferences and you will  definetely have the possibility to make the acquaintance at the Annual Conference next year as it will take place in Bad Boll.

Ideas become projects
One of the most appreciated part of the Annual Conferences are the exchange of ideas between members. On the last day of the conferene Malte Dahme facilitated a very fruitful workshop where members could partner up aruound common projects. It was very inspiring to see so many good ideas become more concrete during the session and the board are already working on how to  develop some of them in to concrete projects. 

A more detailed information from the Business meeting is presented in the minutes and we yet again want to thank Sara Marta Rostagno, Malte Dahme and all your staff for your wonderful hospitality during the Annual Conference of 2019. 

Minutes from the Business Meeting


Save the Date: Annual Conference in Bad Boll 2020

As already mentioned, the board has this week had its last board meeting for 2019. To look back and remember our Annual Conference hosted by Agape was obviously an important point in the Agenda. Some other items were also thoroughly discussed at the Bad Boll board meeting, but most if this is covered above. One of the main items however was to initiate the planning of next year’s Annual Conference in Bad Boll. We hope to see many of you in Bad Boll in September 2020. Therefore, we suggest that you save the date already now. We are all needed if we want to realize the potential of our network and our association.

Oikosnet Europe Annual Conference
9-13
September 2020
Bad Boll, Germany

100 questions on climate change...

Schwanenwerder, Germany November 25 - 27

In the days last days of November, the Evangelische Bildungstätte Schwanenwerder, in cooperation with Oikosnet Europe arranged a workshop on the topic Energiewende and citizen participation. At the center just outside Berlin participants from Germany, Sweden and the Czech Republic gathered for a trinational dialogue focusing on the role of civil society in this very complex challenge . The 21 participants started the the first day listing 100 important questions on climate change. Many of them we will surely come back to in dialogues, projects and conferences ahead. 


The Arab Europe Citizens Dialogue

Cairo 14 – 18 October 2019

In October this year, the 7th Dialogue Consultation was conducted in Cairo, and the Coptic Organization for Social Services (CEOSS) were our local hosts. In the world of today, there are a multitude of perceptions when it comes to religion, politics, social development, leadership, and democracy. Most of these perceptions are formed in specific cultural contexts, but they are also challenged by and developed in larger social and cultural contexts. For many reasons, there are good reasons for Europe to learn from the experiences in the Arab region, and likewise good reasons for the Arab region to learn from the European experience. Thus, this dialogue is indeed needed.

The Cairo event was very successful. Not that all problems were solved, but we took one more step in defining them. We now look forward to the next consultation which will take place at the Orthodox Academy of Crete in October 2020. More information will be distributed early next year.


Oikosnet Europe at the EAD Members Assembly

The president of Oikosnet Europe Walter Lüssi attended to EAD Member Assembly earlier this year. At the meeting he gave a presentation of the work of Oikosnet Europe with an emphasis on the relevance of the European dimension and the significance of civil society. The EAD have the tradition of inviting the president of Oikosnet Europe to their yearly Member Assembly. The meeting this year took place in Baden.



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