CEC’s Journey from Novi Sad to Tallinn: 2018-2023
The Conference of European Churches (CEC) released a new report, Churches Shaping Europe’s Future—CEC’s Journey from Novi Sad to Tallinn: 2018-2023, that maps CEC’s accomplishments and challenges as the face of the world—and not least that of Europe—has changed considerably during the past several years.
The report, offered in the lead-up to the CEC General Assembly to be held 14-10 June in Tallinn, Estonia, summarizes with text and photos the ways in which CEC has responded politically, theologically, and spiritually to an era of change.
In the assembly report, CEC President Rev. Christian Krieger reflects on how churches and CEC itself have acted at the heart of European decision-making.
“This report covers a period that is both in keeping with the logic of the long-term future, of the awareness of societal institutions of the churches’ heritage entrusted to them by their history, and in that of paradigmatic breaks when new challenges, or even critical moments, require adaptations,” he writes.
He reflects on two crises that caused profound ruptures in many ways: the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the vulnerability of humanity and our civilisation,” he writes. “Despite scientific and technological progress, our globalised civilisation has rediscovered its fragility.”
CEC has also responded in many ways to the tragic return of war to European soil, Krieger notes. “To be able to exchange on church life challenged by the pandemic, to be able to benefit from the testimonies of Ukrainian church leaders to understand the realities experienced under military aggression, or simply to have a place to talk together about the challenges faced by respective churches in their context, is a precious expression of our fellowship in Christ.”
In the report, CEC General Secretary Dr Jørgen Skov Sørensen reflects on what is carrying us through the grave crises of this generation. As this report is created, the war in Ukraine rages on,” he writes. “Due to our shared past of the 20th century, war on European soil brings about connotations that transcend their actual time and place in history.”
He shares how through CEC’s Pathways to Peace Initiative, established in 2022, CEC intends to be a strong, focused voice promoting Ukrainian on-ground-knowledge related to the European institutions.
Sørensen explains the ways in which the report looks back at the past five years and even beyond to assist Member Churches evaluate what is before them and what there is to come.