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Dear friend,

Greetings from the Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe!
This newsletter is to inform you on the latest work of EYCE – the first meeting of newly elected ExCo, which took place two weeks ago in Brussels, Belgium, as well as of the outcomes and discussions of the EYCE training course “Democracy and Migration – enhancing the participation of young people from minority background”, which took place last week in Prague, Czech Republic.

With sunny greetings,
Kristine Jansone
EYCE acting General Secretary

Latest News :

http://www.eyce.org/index.php?name=PagEd&page_id=859 ” EYCE Press Release: EYCE ExCo meeting in Brussels, Belgium The newly elected Executive Committee (ExCo) of the Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe (EYCE) met for their first meeting from 11th – 14th of June at the EYCE office in Brussels, Belgium. http://www.eyce.org/index.php?name=PagEd&page_id=859  

http://www.eyce.org/index.php?name=PagEd&page_id=858  ” Young people from four continents gather to discuss democracy and migration A campaign to reduce gang violence in Dublin and a program to help early school leavers return to the education system are among the projects a group of young people from across Europe plan to implement in the coming months following a training course on democracy and migration held in Prague last week. http://www.eyce.org/index.php?name=PagEd&page_id=858  

http://www.eyce.org/index.php?name=PagEd&page_id=857 ” Young delegates to CEC Assembly develop visions for the future of ecumenism From 29 May to 2 June 2009, young delegates to the 13th Assembly of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) gathered in Lyon, France, to prepare for the Assembly itself, which will be held in the Congress Centre of Lyon from 15-21 July. CEC staff members and representatives of the European ecumenical youth organisations were also present. http://www.eyce.org/index.php?name=PagEd&page_id=857  

http://www.eyce.org/index.php?name=PagEd&page_id=855 ” Member Organisations’ Update
During the National Corespondents’ meeting in October 2008 in Rome as well as during the 37th General Meeting of EYCE in Latvia, the role of EYCE’s Member Organisations was stressed greatly. EYCE and its Member Organisations are symbiotic link, which cannot exist without each other – if Member Organsiations are strong and structured, the work done by EYCE will be fruitful and meaningful, bringing the change also to the Member Organisations through the feedback of the participants in EYCE activities.  http://www.eyce.org/index.php?name=PagEd&page_id=855  

http://www.eyce.org/index.php?name=PagEd&page_id=842 ” Press release: Is Economic Justice a Human Right?
In the first week of spring, 35 young people gathered in the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg to explore the links between economic justice and human rights. The aim of the study session was to promote social cohesion among young people through developing a concept of Human Rights which takes the perspective of Economic Justice into consideration, and thereby raising their awareness and promote action based on linking youth participation, social inclusion and Economic Justice.  http://www.eyce.org/index.php?name=PagEd&page_id=842

Thanks to 86 members of Ecumenics in Facebook site

Prévert: Remember Barbara

Il_pleut_christophe_mendes_flickr

Remember Barbara
It was raining nonstop in Brest that day
and you walked smiling
artless delighted dripping wet
in the rain
Remember Barbara
It was raining nonstop in Brest
and I saw you on rue de Siam
You were smiling
and I smiled too
Remember Barbara
You whom I did not know
You who did not know me
Remember
Remember that day all the same
Don’t forget
A man was sheltering under a porch
and he called your name
Barbara
and you ran toward him in the rain
Dripping water delighted artless
and you threw yourself in his arms
Remember that Barbara
and don’t be angry if I talk to you
I talk to all those I love
even if I’ve seen them only once
I talk to all those who love
even if I don’t know them
Remember Barbara
Don’t forget
that wise happy rain
on  your happy face
in that happy town
That rain on the sea
on the arsenal
on the boat from Ouessant
Oh Barbara
What an idiot war
What has happened to you now
In this rain of iron
of fire of steel of blood
and the one who held you tight in his arms
lovingly
is he dead vanished or maybe still alive
Oh Barbara
It is raining nonstop in Brest
as it rained before
But it’s not the same and everything is ruined
It’s a rain of mourning terrible and desolate
It’s not even a storm any more
of iron of steel of blood
Just simply clouds
that die like dogs
Dogs that disappear
along the water in Brest
and are going to rot far away
far far away from Brest
where there is nothing left.

         —Jacques Prévert (1900-1977). The Breton city of Brest, France, where the poet saw Barbara, was the main German submarine base for the Atlantic during World War II. Brest was totally destroyed by bombing raids by the end of the war. Only three buildings were left standing

Faith leaders tell G8 nations that economy needs ‘moral principles’

Rome (ENI). Global faith leaders meeting in Italy in advance of a July summit of the Group of Eight industrial nations have called for a “new financial pact” that acknowledges basic moral principles to address the global economic predicament. “The current financial and economic crisis weights most heavily upon the poor,” said the 130 religious leaders drawn from Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Parsi and Shinto faiths in a joint statement at the end of their meeting in Rome. “Africa is already hard hit by the world financial crisis and it runs the risk of being seriously damaged in its efforts against poverty with a negative impact on the economic growth of its countries,” they warned in their statement addressed to the G8 leaders, who are to meet in Italy in July.

Posted June 15 at  h. 20.35

In Support of The Struggle of The Iranian People Against Election Suppression and Fraud “Multiple Voices for Change”

 

Three days after upholding an election that saw tens of millions of Iranian citizens participate in an unprecedented display of hope for “change” in the social, economical, cultural and political aspects of the society, the cities of Iran have become scenes of violent crackdown against people by police and intelligence forces. A large number of people, political activists and journalists have been detained; cellular phone services have been disconnected, access to the Internet has been made virtually impossible, and almost all of the newspapers and publications reflecting reformist or other critical perspectives have been shut down Despite the overwhelming participation of the supporters of the two candidates running against Ahmadinejad in this election, and the widespread proliferation of the slogans of “Hope, Reform, and Change”, the ministry of state, only hours after the voting deadline, announced Ahmadinejad as the outright winner amid a wave of shock and disbelief; an announcement that was very quickly acknowledged and officially supported by the supreme leader of Iran What the supporters of the two reformist candidates and the opposition against Ahmadinejad are correctly calling “wizardry” and “coup d’état” against the will and choice of the people, is a virtual martial law in the streets and universities aimed at a severe crackdown and bloody suppression of the protesting voices Overwhelming evidence supports the case that there has been an unprecedented rigging of the results of the tenth presidential elections, evidence that is not only supported by the voters and the representatives of the people at voting stations, but is also acknowledged by the staff of the ministry of state and an established group of well-known clergy. “Majmaae Rohanyoone Mobarez”, which has the former reformist president Mohammad Khatami as a member, has declared the elections “rigged” and called for cancellation or recount of the ballots Opposing the true will of the people and their struggle for reform and change, by resorting to organized governmental fraud and the bloody crackdown of the masses, is a clear cut demonstration of severe violation of human rights in a large county where millions of citizens have resorted to their most basic legal right, to arrive at freedom, justice, civic rights, and a friendly relationship with the rest of the world in accordance with international laws and human rights codes “Multiple Voices for Change”, representing a number of Canadian-Iranian citizens, condemns the harsh crackdown on the Iranian people by the Ahmadinejad government, and calls for human rights organizations and the government of Canada to support the movement of the Iranian people in the name of getting their vote and rightful president back. Crackdown on the Iranian citizens, going against humanity and human rights, and governmental fraud, will not remain contained within the boarders of Iran We ask those whose voices echo with us all around the world, regardless of their particular positions in relation to the election, not to leave the Iranian people alone in this uneven fight. Please contact your governments and ask them to support Iranian people and DO NOT indorse the Iran election result.

Confession of Faith of the Baptist Churches adhering to UCEBI in Italy

 

Preamble
The Churches, that in Italy were born trough the preaching of Baptist preachers soon after the achievement of the political unity of Italy and those that in the course of time have established bonds of fraternity with them, are now parts of the fellowship of the Evangelical Baptist Union of Italy (UCEBI). Historically they link themselves in the tradition that goes back to the Apostles and that in the course of time has stressed the primitive faith as it is expressed in the Scriptures, in the terms of the renewal of the Spirit (Middle Ages), of the Reformation (XVI and XVII centuries) and the missionary effort (XVIII and XIX centuries). They today declare to undertake Christ’s discipleship, in the clarity of their identity of faith and in the ethical awareness of witness, and therefore they affirm to be willing to express this bound in the practical cooperation and in the following declarations of faith.

Art. 1
– Sola Gratia God accomplishes the work of creation, of judgement and of salvation of the world and every single person only by His grace.

Art. 2
– Solus Cristus God the Father accomplishes his work through His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, Word made man who died on the cross for the sin of mankind, who rose for the justification of every believer, and who is Lord and Saviour of the world.

Art. 3 Sola Scriptura
– The Bible is the unique authentic witness of the work of God through Jesus Christ. In so far as the Holy Spirit makes it the Word of God, it must be studied, honoured and obeyed.

Art. 4 Human nature
– Humanity, alienated from God and divided within itself can not work or even hope for its own salvation: only God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit accomplishes by grace the salvation of humanity and of the world.

Art. 5 Sola Fide
– The word of God, incarnated in Jesus Christ, witnessed in the Bible and proclaimed through the preaching of the Gospel can be accepted only by faith. Men and women, being sinners obtain justification and reconciliation through faith and repentance.

Art. 6 The Holy Spirit
– The Holy Spirit, who inspired the prophets and who witnesses the truth and sanctifies, gives the believers certainty of God’s faithfulness and manifest Himself in various gifts and in vocations to serve the Lord in the Church and in the whole world.

Art. 7 Christian Discipleship
– Whoever hears and accepts the word of Christ has to follow the Lord as a disciple. This discipleship implies to bear for love’s sake, serious responsibilities, never exempt from contradictions and dangers of compromises, yet always animated by the hope of the kingdom of God.

Art. 8 The Church
– The Church of Christ is wherever believers are gathered together by the word or the Gospel to listen to it again and again, to share in the Lord’s Supper, to strengthen the bond of love, to make disciples through the teaching and baptism, because Christ is in their midst. Each Church so gathered, organises itself in places and given times according to the word of the Gospel and under the authority of Christ alone. Each Church has equal dignity in front of the Lord, each receives from the Spirit ministries, able to answer effectively to their calling and each is required to favour the unity of the Spirit with the bond of peace. We believe that the Church of the Lord, thus characterised during history, is one in Christ, holy in the Spirit, apostolic in derivation and mission, universal in its horizon according to the Gospel that gives her life and that she proclaims.

Art. 9 Baptism
– Baptism in water of those who confess their faith is the first act of obedience of each Christian person. It is administered by the Church in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. By virtue of the baptism in the Spirit, which makes effective the baptism in water, believers are born to new life and are united in the body of Christ.

Art. 10 Lord’s Supper
– The Lord’s Supper that we, united in the unique body of Christ, celebrate sharing bread and wine, is memory of the work accomplished by the Lord for our salvation and it is preaching of His death for us until the day in which the risen Lord comes. The Lord invites us to eat bread and drink wine to affirm again in the present the commitment that unites us and the promise of the time when He will gather his own in the banquet of new Heaven and new Earth.

Art. 11 Universal priesthood of all believers
– Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and mankind. Every disciple has access to God only through Christ. The mandate, entrusted to them by the Lord, to share the Gospel with their fellow men and women, constitutes them authoritative messengers of the word under the exclusive authority of Christ and by the effective working of the Holy Spirit.

Art. 12 The ministries
– In order to equip the Church with the essential gifts to make it living body of Christ, the Holy Spirit calls different believers to fulfil different ministries. We recognise that today, in the first place, they are ministries for the proclamation of the word, for Bible and theological teaching, for the ruling of the Church and for the service of the Church in the world: we are also ready to recognise any other gift that the Spirit awakes in the Church. The relationship among the ministries is not hierarchical, but organic; every one, and each for his or her part, cooperates in the life of the Church.

Art. 13 The mission of the Church
– The Church is called to fulfil the mandate of Christ. Therefore, she has to preach the Gospel of the coming kingdom, to engage in healing of the sick and in the emancipation of the oppressed. The witness that the Church as a body will offer to the love of God for all the world becomes credible when implies practical love, shown in mutual help, in reconciliation and in peace.

Art. 14 Ethics
– Ethical decisions that qualify Christian discipleship have to be taken by virtue of the strength of the love shown in Christ and with a sense of responsibility towards God, towards every person and towards creation. Such decisions are inspired and oriented by the word of God and become practical actions that may be in line with commonly recognised values, but may also become modernising and revolutionary actions.

Art. 15 Reconciliation
– Baptist Churches engage in promoting reconciliation with God and among human beings. We feel called to engage in promoting justice, peace, freedom and respect for the rights of mankind and the entire creation.

Art. 16 Church and State
– We believe that the authority established by God is ordained to enable peaceful, free and just living of every single person and all peoples. We acknowledge that the modern democratic State, even with all the contradictions proper in any human society, shows clear signs of the redeeming work of God in history. The role of the Church of Christ, distinct from the one of the State, consists in realising her own mission in coordination with State policy, but if it is the case, even in denouncing those degenerating actions that restrict freedom and corrupt justice.

Art. 17 Ecumenism
– The Church is one in Christ. The Lord calls us to realise such unity in a visible way. We are, therefore, called to work in order to abolish, in a spirit of prayer, in the common listening to the word of the Lord and in brotherly dialogue, the existing divisions among the Churches. We trust that the ecumenical engagement realised among similar Evangelical Churches, far from excluding more problematic relationships with other Churches, leads the way to full reciprocal recognition among Churches in such a way that it is both safeguard of each Church’s specificity and a step towards the day when God will be all in all.

Art. 18 Religion and religions
– Religion is the human activity universal and manifold, meant to cultivate the relationship with what one believes that transcends worldly reality in all its dimensions. Religion, as human work, is under God’s judgement. Therefore, while we realise our calling in proclaiming the Gospel of the grace of God in Christ, it is not our duty to judge, but we are called to respect each person’s freedom rights.

Art. 19 Christian hope
– The Lord Jesus Christ, according to his promise, will return to gather his Church, to judge the world, to defeat death through the resurrection of the dead and to establish his kingdom. New Heaven and new Earth await the redeemed.

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Dietrich Bonhoeffer

We must act and dare the appropiateness and not whatever comes to our mind not floating in the likelihood but grasp the reality as brave as we can be freedom lies in action not in the absence of mind obedience knows the essence of good and satisfies it, freedom dares to act and returns God the ultimate judgment of what is right and what is wrong, Obedience performs blindly but Freedom is wide awake Freedom wants to know why, Obedience has its hands tied, Freedom is inventive obedient man respects God’s commands and by virtu of his Freedom, he creats new commands. Both Obedience and Freedom come true in responsability (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

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