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This Oikosnet Europe newsletter is filled with information about things that are coming up in our association, but also a note on our tragic loss of Caterina Dupre. You can read more about this below.

Step by step, we are trying to develop the facilities needed to make the administrative OE office in Sigtuna a resourse to our association. If you have feedback on this, please write to office@oikosnet.eu. Also remember that our new website is oikosnet.eu.

We wish all of you a great summer, and hope to see as many as possible in Corrymeela in September.
Alf Linderman, Executive Director of the Sigtuna Foundation


Fear and its antidote...

Invitation to Oikosnet´s Annual Conference in Corrymeela

In his latest book about Europe (Europe-An Unfinished Adventure (2004), Europa – Ein unvollendetes Abenteuer (2015)) the Polish sociologist Zygmunt Baumann identifies fear, justified or artificially produced, as a driving force in worldwide politics as well as in our societies. He speaks, inter alia, of the fear of terrorist attacks, the fear to loose one´s job, the fear of being excluded, the fear of fighting new threats with old methodologies and old equipment.

But it did not need the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 to make fear become the new paradigm. Baumann sees the Mid-70ies of the last century as a turning point when neoliberal economics became dominant and social-welfare states were dismantled. When the institutions, which supported families, societies as well as the state to cope with fears and insecurities, were sidelined, fear determined increasingly many relationships with others, new enemy pictures were established and fear became a resource in the hands of the economically powerful. Instead of a “war against terror” as a false and dangerous antidote, Baumann advocates for hospital and inclusive societies based on democracy (participation) and justice.

The next Annual Conference in Corrymeela

Fear (“Fear and Remembering in the 21st Century”) is also the main theme of the next Annual Conference of Oikosnet Europe in Corrymeela (Northern Ireland), 9-13 September 2015, to which you are cordially invited. The Corrymeela Community and Center has a lot of hands-on experience in non-violent conflict mediation in Northern Ireland as well as in worldwide conflict situations. And it also serves as a renown center for reflecting on those experiences. Through a study day, an excursion, worship life and encounters during the Annual Conference, we want to profit from this experience and expertise at a moment when Corrymeela celebrates its 50th anniversary.

In addition, many crucial items are on the business agenda of the Annual Conference in order to increase the interaction among Oikosnet members and to engage in common projects and initiatives. For the invitation letter and your registration for the Annual Conference click here.

Care – theme for the Gender and Justice Network

“Care”, is the theme for the Gender and Justice Network of Oikosnet Europe, meeting just prior to the Annual Conference in Corrymeela. Care, in the sense of caring for each other, is certainly one of the antidotes providing hospital and inclusive societies. For the invitation letter and registration to the Gender and Justice Network click here.

In order to participate tick the respective box in the online registration for the Annual Conference. The Gender and Justice Network, though looking on issues from a gender perspective, invites women and men alike.

“Dialogue for A Peaceful Change
And finally, making the best use of resources at Corrymeela, Oikosnet Europe and the Corrymeela Center invite together for a DPC-Training in Corrymeela from 5 to 9 September. “DPC” stands for “Dialogue for A Peaceful Change” and is a methodology for non-violent conflict mediation, which was developed by Oikosnet members, including Corrymeela. For the DPC invitation and your registration click here

 

Looking forward to welcoming many of you in Corrymeela in September, the President and the Board of Oikosnet Europe send you their cordial greetings!

Rüdiger Noll


A loss for the Waldensian Church, for Agape, for our association

Caterina Dupre, Waldensian pastor and director of Agape in the Waldensian Valleys, passed away in April.  Her departure is a loss in many ways, to many people.  Our President Jaap Van der Sar wrote a letter to her husband Vito Gardiol, also a pastor, currently serving the Waldensian church in Prali, where Agape is located.  From the times that Caterina was able to participate in our annual assemblies Jaap remembered Caterina as joyful, dedicated, clear of mind and with a good sense of direction.  Having known Caterina for several years, I can certainly confirm as precise the impression Jaap had. 

Agape has been one of the pillars of our association since its early years.  Caterina was ready to accept staying on longer at Agape than was normal for past directors, a welcome thought for us of the association who foresaw her as an excellent candidate to become a member of our board.  First due to the multiple commitments of Agape and then due to her illness, it was not to be.  We also for that reason have cause to mourn her loss.  She would have been a help to us, also in renewing a contact with the South in our association, a contact which has weakened considerably over recent years.

We are thankful for the time, energy and vision Caterina gave her church, Agape, and us.  I shall share this note with our colleges in the Waldensian Valleys, praying that what she brought them can be a blessing and stimulus in their work for a good time to come.      

Paul Krieg, Casa Cares        

                      


Is your organisation ready for the transnational cooperation? Is it ready for Europe?

The transnational cooperation of organisations and institutions within the sector of formal and non-formal education (educational institution and youth organisations) is getting more and more important in a converging Europe. 

Is your organisation ready for the transnational cooperation? Is it ready for Europe? Regarding this crucial question Oikosnet Europe sends you a survey. We would appreciate if you could spend 20 minutes of your time and participate in this survey. Read more


Recall, understand and prevent - how to handle difficult crimes against humanity.

The year of 2015 is full of sad anniversaries. The liberation of the concentration camp in Auschwitz 70 years ago, the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, the genocide in Rwanda 1994 and the massacre at Srebrenica 20 years ago. How could and can these crimes against humanity be possible? In which environment do they grow and who commits such acts?

Conference in Landau The 6th – 8th of November

The 6th – 8th November this year, the Evangelische Akademie of Pfalz arrange a conference in Landau on how to handle difficult crimes against humanity. The theme of the conference is Recall, understand and prevent, focusing on the process of responsibility, redress and reconciliation. If you are interested to take part in this conference, please write to Georg Wentz at the the Evangelische Akademie of Pfalz, georg.wenz@eapfalz.de.

Visions for the Future in Sigtuna May 18th - May 21st

Cultural identity, democracy and peace was the main theme of the confence in Sigtuna two weeks ago, arranged by the Sigtuna Foundation in cooperation with Oikosnet Europe, Riseci, The Swedish Christian Council and the Swedish Muslim Council.

The program started out with a dialogue between Anas Altikriti, Founder and president of the Cordoba Foundation in the UK, Ute Steyer, Rabbi of the Jewish Community in Stockholm, Josep-Maria Carbonell, Dean at the Blanquerna School of Communications and International Relations at Ramon Llull University in Barcelona,  Mia Lövheim, Professor in the Sociology of religion at Uppsala University and Mona Sahlin, National Coordinator against violent extremism and previous leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party.

Coming from different religous backgrounds and different cultural contexts, the talks given really shed some light on the challenge of having an open dialogue – also with others than those who already share your values. read more

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