But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? Luke 10, 27

 

 

Dear friend,

at the last General Assembly last October we decided to continue with EYCE. We have decided to fight together. A new Executive Committee was elected to take the EYCE forward. As such, we turn to you today to break the silence. With all the wind blowing into the sails of the EYCE and all the busy everyday life, we hope that you can hear us: we are here and the boat is starting to sail!

We are very much looking forward to the journey with you and have got the boat ready to go. 

Yours in Christ,

Maria, Anne, Nora, Julia, Katherine and Hannah

EYCE Executive Committee

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Lent reflection: Love in the time of the Corona virus

We Christians started our 40-day-long lent a few weeks ago. I think no one could have guessed how major of a change would happen in people’s daily lives all over Europe in just a few days or weeks. The corona virus has certainly changed my life - so fast that it feels almost surreal.

It’s inevitable that all of this is reflected on our way of fasting. Suddenly the question of how to live as Christians during the state of emergency, lockdown or in quarantine, has become an important and essential question for us.

When I started my lent in the end of February, I wanted to fast by giving up the social media and meat products. Well, I must admit that social media is the main way for me to follow recent news and keep in contact with my friends at this moment. All my “great” thoughts and plans for this year’s lent have changed.

However, I think our lent has started to mean something more remarkable than just giving up some of our daily luxuries. When so many of those daily luxuries have been taken away without our decision, the most essential things have started to mean more. When will I see my loved ones again? What if one of them will get ill? When will I get to go outside and enjoy the nature again?

Actually, the most important commandment for Christians – to love God and your neighbor as you love yourself – has become quite simple to fulfil. Now the best way to love, is to protect yourself and others from the virus the best you can. Love by washing your hands. Love by staying home. Love by calling your friends and loved ones – especially those, who are at risk and scared for the future. Love by concentrating on essential things. I think that will be the lent that matters.

We can also love by reminding others of hope. The 40 days before Easter are to remind us of the suffering of our Lord. Now there are people all over the world, who suffer from illness, fear, and loneliness. I believe that Jesus faced those same feelings before his crucifixion. We can tell people, that they are not alone. We can reassure them, that there’s hope that is bigger than any fear. This hope will last also in those moments when we feel that there is no hope at all. I’m glad that in less than a month we will have a celebration of hope. This hope has lasted for 2000 years, and it will still last in the future.

With love, Anne

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EYCE Online-Worship March 22nd 2020

Borders are closing and worship services are being suspended all over Europe because of the developing CoVid19 situation. That doesn’t mean that we can’t connect across borders and worship together.

Join us for our Web Worship this coming Sunday, at 4.30 pm on zoom.

It is a non-traditional, interactive worship service that you can participate in from your living room while protecting your neighbors by being in isolation.

You can add your own ideas for topics, bible verses, or discussions here in the (actually) empty form - when you write in the white box, a button for “senden” will appear – this is where you need to click.

For questions, contact katherine.jolly@eyce.org.

See you there!

Photo by Rosie Fraser

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Workcamp July 11th – 25th 2020, Wünsdorf

We are very much looking forward to welcoming you in summer on our next event in person! From July 11th to 25th we would like to organize the workcamp "Cycle up!" in Wünsdorf near Berlin (Germany) with our partner - the Ecumenical Youth Services (EYS). The venue will be the educational hostel there, which needs some renovation work. In addition to the physical activity, we want to use different methods to deal with the topic of upcycling within the framework of our campaign for transformation.

There is a registration fee of 50,00 € for participation. The trip has to be organized independently. In the current situation, there are only limited financial means available to reimburse travel expenses, so we would like to kindly ask our member organisations to help by financing the participants from their own ranks or by contributing to the EYCE solidarity fund.

For further planning, we would like to know how strong the interest is and would therefore like to ask you to pre-register by 15 April 2020 via E-Mail to general.secretary@eyce.org. The registration will be opened on May 1, 2020 via the website - further details as well as the invitation will be published in April.

Photo by duong chung

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ECEN Assembly August 29th – September 1st 2020, Bad Herrenalb

The European Christian Environmental Network (ECEN) has worked since 1998 with churches in Europe, the Conference of European Churches (CEC) and the Council of Catholic Bishop’s Conferences in Europe (CCEE) to support churches’ work on care for creation. Every 2nd year ECEN organises the Assembly to strengthen and support this work and to offer a space to share experiences.

An essential aspect of the ECEN Assembly 2020 will be to demonstrate the work of European churches in ecology and care for creation in preparation for the 2021 Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Karlsruhe. The WCC Assembly in Europe, the first for more than 5 decades, offers a unique opportunity to show the joint efforts of churches in Europe and around the world to care for creation and to promote ecological justice. The ECEN Assembly will highlight relevance of themes related to ecological justice, impacts of climate change and loss of biodiversity on the way to the WCC Assembly 2021.

The Assembly will open with a liturgy for the Season of Creation 2020 and will highlight ecumenical cooperation between churches in their care for creation. We are particularly keen to involve young people and to reflect young people’s concerns for a more sustainable future. Close cooperation with Ecumenical Youth Council of Europe and World Student Christian Federation – Europe is an essential part of the preparatory process.

The theme of the Assembly will be: ‘Reconciled with creation: a call for urgent action on climate and biodiversity.’ The Assembly will highlight church action to promote a more sustainable future, and an opportunity to reflect European and global action on climate change and nature protection.

We have the opportunity to send 20 young delegates together as EYCE with WSCF-E to this year's ECEN Assembly. Preparations are in full swing and EYCE and WSCF-E will soon publish the joint announcement. We are looking forward to receiving many applications and would be very happy if you would forward this information already.

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Meeting of EYCEs National Correspondents October 7th – 11th 2020, Romania

Together with our Romanian member organisation, Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Romania - Youth, we are planning our next membership meeting, which will take place next fall in Romania, if we can travel by then.

We would like to announce this date early for your planning and hope that many of our members will be able to attend with the National Correspondent.  

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Transformation?! - Join the Programme Coordination Committee!

The focus of the content work will be on the major topic of transformation. Here we are not only concerned with socially ecological but also with social and personal questions of transformation. If you are interested in planning seminars and workshops, enjoy producing content for social media channels and feel comfortable working in a strong team, the Programme Coordination Committee is looking forward to your application to general.secretary@eyce.org!

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Meeting of EYCEs Executive Committee in Brussels, February 28th – March 1st 2020

One thing that our chairperson Hannah had told us so much about ever since we had our first Skype Call is… Belgian fries. She spoke of them with such a passion that the rest of us, or at least I, thought one of these three had to be true:

  1. Belgian fries are not “just” fries, but something from another world.
  2. Hannah is a person who really likes fries.
  3. Fries are an extremely underrated food item that has been devalued by its common use in the cheap fast food industry.

At our ExCo meeting in Brussels, I found out that 2 and 3 are definitely true, and I would argue that part of 1 is also – though I will let you guess which one.

But we only ate fries for like thirty minutes and we got a lot of work done the rest of the time. Our meeting started after breakfast and ended at 11.59 pm. The biggest aspect of this meeting was how to connect or reconnect with our member organisations. We met our Belgian member, SPJ, and talked about possibilities of mutual support in our work and emerged from that conversations with some ideas on how to better engage our member organisations. You might see the result of that soon!

Another larger item on the agenda was the Work Camp that we will be teaming up with Ecumenical Youth Services (EYS) for, this coming summer- provided the Corona situation allows for it to happen. Smaller items included a more efficient way to do our bookkeeping, discussions about our online presence and the question of to efficiently keep in touch with our EYCE alumni.

In general, we decided that when we meet in person, the time would be used for discussion and planning, whereas anything that had a more informational nature would be dealt with via e-mail or during our Skype calls twice a month. The base of our work is the relationships we have with each other and with our member organisations. Sometimes those seas are deep and the waves are high, but with our joint effort and our member organisations support and work, the boat can keep sailing into the sun. 

All the best, Katherine

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EYCE at COP25

Last December the EYCE was asked to join the World Council of Churches as observers at the COP25, or more commonly known as the UN Climate Conference. The ExCo asked around and as it happened, I was the lucky one to go all the way to Madrid to participate in the Conference.

The COP is an interesting universe in itself, consisting of many people who have participated many times or are completely new and are very passionate about anything related to the world climate.

When I was there I had the great honor to join the ACTAlliance, an ecumenical workforce, consisting of representatives of many different Christian charities, dedicated to lobbying within the system of the COP for climate justice. The work they are doing is really impressive and I am really happy to have gained a tiny glimpse into the world of climate diplomacy and advocacy. I highly recommend following them on Facebook or Twitter and sharing and supporting their work, as they try to help save God’s creating through the means of democracy.

If you want to read a few diverse thoughts I personally took away from the COP, I recommend you read up on the blog post I wrote for the WWC. During the COP I have also posted a few times on the EYCE’s Facebook and Instagram page. You are more than welcome to check them out.

The EYCE will continue to be involved in climate justice in the upcoming events such as the "European Christian Environmental Network" of the Conference of European Churches.

Yours, Maria

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 Questions and Office

We currently have no one who can support the Executive Committee from the office. The volunteers do their best to keep the daily operations running. If you have any questions or ideas, please contact us via general.secretary@eyce.org or via social media - the channels are checked daily. As we currently have no possibilities to travel to Brussels, we cannot open our mail at the moment. We therefore ask for electronic communication and hope for understanding. 

In the moment the ExCo is working on applications of EYF to get some funding for activities next year. Every helping hand is welcome! Thank you very much!

Photo by Erik Mclean

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Your Support: Follow EYCE 

You can follow the work of EYCE also on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter - check out and like Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe or follow Ecumenical Youth. This will help us to build more visibility for our work, as well as more credibility with the donors supporting us. 

At any time you can support EYCE's work here. Every small donation helps...

Thank you!