Newsletter with the latest news. Problem viewing? View it in your browser. Unsubscribe? Click here.

Newsletter from Oikosnet Europe September 18

It was great to meet so many of you at the Orthodox Academy of Crete (OAC) earlier in September. There is a report about the Annual Conference below, and Walter Lüssi also in part relate to the Crete meeting. Let me here just add that OAC truly is a beautiful place, well worth a visit.

On the 21:st of November, we will have the first board meeting after the Annual Conference. The board will meet in Warsaw. If you have anything you want to raise with the board, please feel free to write an email to the office (see the address below).

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

Help us rethink Europe together...

By Walter Lüssi
Executive president of Oikosnet Europe

Dear Colleagues, dear Members of Oikosnet Europe

Our Annual Conference took place in the Orthodoxe Academy of Crete which was founded fifty years ago. It was the right place to deal with our theme of the study day: "Europe with different eyes: The case of Greece for example". Here Oikosnet Europe started to engage with Europe and its current problems in a new way. When I'm writing about this I'm very aware that we shall have to learn a lot in the next years. The social and political developments challenge us to make clear statements. But far beyond this: Given the fact that populism has become a new normal in Europe, we have to link our right to exist as a learning community with the question of whether we are able to find common positions based on our expertise and if we can make our voice heard.

Fifty years ago the Orthodox Academy of Crete played a pioneering role and stood from the very beginning for peace and reconciliation among churches and among people of different denominations and cultures. As a gift for the anniversary I was able to present the director of the Academy a special painting. It is a picture which says with colours and forms and with a few words only: Rethink! Rethink Europe. Help us to rethink Europe together – unlimited, making dreams true for us and for strangers. And let us create, as much as we can according to our faith, let us create not new walls, not a "Fortress Europe", but a real community for all.

Crete was an important step towards a greater commitment which will not be one-dimensional but a joint European effort to develop a common democratic vision of our continent and to contribute to a Europe which needs again to become more human. Warmest thanks to all who has helped to make this step possible. We express our thanks to our host, the director and his staff of the Academy, to the invited experts, to the staff of Oikosnet Europe and to all participants.

Next year the Annual Conference will be held from September 11 till September 15 in the Agape Centro Ecumenico, Italy. We will have to deal again with "Europe with different eyes", with the European civil societies and with the European dimension of other important issues like the increasing digitization of all areas of life or the field of artificial intelligence. Welcome to the two new Members of the Board of Okiosnet Europe, Kristin Gunleiksrud Raaum, Norway, as Vice President, and Karolína Silná, Czech Republic, as Treasurer. The renewed Board will involve the members active in the subject area and continue developing and strengthening the network of Oikosnet Europe.

Report from the Annual Conference of Oikosnet Europe

The Orthodox Academy of Crete 5 - 9 September 2018

By Sofia af Geijerstam, the Sigtuna Foundation

The Annual Conference of Oikosnet Europe was this year hosted by the Orthodox Academy of Crete, an academy that also celebrated it´s 50 year anniversary. As always, it was a wonderful mix of new acquaintances and reunion with old friends. 

During the business meeting, two new members were elected to the board. Kristin Gunleiksrud Raaum from the Church Academies in Norway replaced Sören Lenz from Liebfrauenberg, France as new vice President and Karolina Silna from the Ekumenická Akademie Praha in The Czech Republic replaced Nicola Murray from Corrymeela, UK.

Two auditors, were also elected, Sara Marta Rostagno from Agape, Italy and Birgit Weinbrennerfrom the Evangelische Akademie Villigst, Germany. Metropolitan Ioannes Sakellariou from Greece was elected as new memeber of the Nominations Comittee and he will share this responsibility with Aleksei Bodrov, from St Andrews Theological Institute, Russia.

The minutes from the business meeting

A variety of perspectives during the study day

Learning more about the culture and society are for many one the most appreciated part of the Annual Conferences of Oikosnet Europe. The theme this year was Europe with different eyes – The case of Greece for example, a theme that was exemplified by lectures and presentations with different aspects on the situation in Crete and Greece. Dr Kostas Filis, Director of Research at the Institute of International Relations of Panteion University ( Athens), gave a presentation on the topic “Challenges and opportunities for the EU and the role of Greece”, followed up by a presentation by Dr Kostas Melas, Professor of Economics at Panteion University in Athens, on the concept of “creative destruction”.

Give us your feedback

Your impressions from the Annual Conference are most valuable to us, as we always try to improve the event.
A survey will will be sent out within the days to come so please give us your feedback.

Oikosnet Europe welcomes a new member

Oikosnet Europe welcomed a new member at the Annual Conference in Chania, Crete. The new member is The Reformed Conference Centre of Monoszlo, a property of the Reformed (HB) Congregation of Monoszlo, a parish of the Reformed Church of Hungary.

The centre is commited to the education of the new generations in the spirit of mutual tolerance and understanding among all Abrahamic confessions and beyond, through sincere and open minded discussion. With an interdenominational approach it works on deepening social responsibility towards the values of the created world, with a special focus on environmental questions. In its activity it strives for overcoming obstacles laid down by political divisions.

Oikosnet Europe has today 35 member organizations from different parts of Europe. Please get in contact with the secretariat if you are interested to know more about how to become a member.

Member organisations of Oikosnet Europe

39 theses about art and culture in the Church of Norway

By Kristin Gunleiksrud Raaum, The Norwegian Church Academies

In 2004 the Norwegian Church Academies was given the task of develop a strategy for art and culture within the Church of Norway. The result was a comprehensive strategic report, that has had a great impact on how art is being an increasing priority in the Church of Norway.

In April the Synod evaluated this commitment and laid a strategy for the following years. The Norwegian Church Academies once again laid the premises for the decision.

It says that the Church of Norway welcomes a variety of artistic and cultural expressions, traditional as well as modern, and church and art will still be a priority.

The Norwegian Church academies had made 39 theses about art and church. They were hung up on the front door of the Cathedral of Oslo.

You get this newsletter as a member of or partner to Oikosnet Europe. If you would like end your prenumeration please let us know. Use this link to end your prenumeration