News

  1. SCM Britain: Church leaders fear negative impact of university on students’ faith, new report finds

    Press release Student Christian Movement (UK)

    01/11/2016

    Church leaders fear negative impact of university on students’ faith, new report finds

    There is a significant lack of support for young Christians going to university, with some church leaders holding mixed views about the impact of university on a person’s faith, according to a new study published by the Student Christian Movement (SCM).

    The survey of 118 respondents, from churches of varying sizes and denominations, revealed that many church leaders hold a negative perception of the university experience when it comes to faith. Only 17 percent of respondents felt that it was likely that people leaving their congregation to go to university would find another Christian community. 29 percent of church leaders said they thought the move to university resulted in a negative impact on people’s faith, with 52 percent saying the impact was mixed. Only 19 percent said they expected university to have a positive impact.

    For people who have moved to a different city, their engagement with the Christian faith has dwindled, according to some. “They have become distracted and their faith has taken a back seat or even has been lost,” said one respondent. “Many who did not move away have continued to attend our church, but those who have moved away have found it hard to engage at another church,” said another respondent.

    “This survey highlights the need for a more joined-up approach linking youth work with higher education work,” said Hilary Topp, SCM’s National Coordinator. “With such a negative perception of how university can impact a person’s faith, churches need more innovative and diverse ways to connect their young people with vibrant and active faith communities.”

    Support for young Christians to continue engaging with faith at university is lacking. 45 percent of respondents said an online platform where students could find another local church or Christian community would be the most helpful tool to prepare young adults for faith at university. However, only 4 percent said in reality they directed people to an online listing (or something similar). Only 2 percent of churches said they would give young people in their congregation going to university a resource of any kind, despite 28 percent saying a ‘going to university’ style guide from a Christian perspective would be the most helpful way to prepare them for university. 22 percent of churches said they did ‘nothing’ for people in their congregation leaving for university.

    Other key findings included:

    ·         For churches where there were no higher education students involved in their services, 23 percent said this was because the church was too far from campus. 16 percent said it was because there weren’t many other students or people of a similar age also attending. 45 percent said they did not know why they had no contact with Higher Education students.

    ·         A lack of capacity within churches is not met through university chaplaincies, who have their own priorities and time pressures and are not always able to engage with local churches. Only 15 percent of respondents said they would refer people going to university to the chaplain.

    ·         Only 4 percent of respondents from university-based churches (churches that have at least one campus within 5 miles of the church) said they were happy with their current student outreach work. The majority (85 percent) said they would like to involve more students and improve their ministry to them, but for various reasons (lack of personnel to focus on the work, perceived lack of interest in their church etc), feel they are unable to focus resources and attention on this.

    According to one church leader, student ministry is strengthened when the focus of work is on bridging the gap from school to university. “The stronger the youth work at the home church, the more likely [students] are to at least try to find a base in university. It is good if home youth leaders can keep in touch,” said the respondent.

    In response to declining student church attendances and a lack of support for student outreach, SCM launched the SCM Connect platform in June 2016. “We hope that this survey and the SCM Connect directory can be a starting point for further investigation into why churches might view university as a place where faith diminishes, rather than flourishes, for some young people. Supporting and resourcing this area of work is crucial if we are to help more students deepen their faith during the formative years of university,” added Hilary Topp.

    _____________________________________

    The full report and analysis of the survey, written by researchers from the St Mary’s Centre, can be viewed here. The St Mary’s Centre is a Christian research institute working in the fields of religion and education. For more information, visit www.st-marys-centre.org.uk. 

     

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on November 3rd, 2016 4:56 pm / Continue Reading »

  2. An exciting volunteer opportunity with Reformationsjubiläum

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    Want to initiate something?
    Not afraid to take on a bit of responsibility?
    Looking for something a bit different from school, university or a training programme?


    Then take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and apply now for a voluntary social work gap year or a federal volunteer service with Reformationsjubiläum 2017 e.V.

    What’s waiting for you:

    You will have a fulfilling time here. You will work with others. You will make new friends. You will collect experiences and develop ideas on how to proceed after the event is over. You will try things out and see what suits you and what doesn’t.

    Generally, involvement lasts 12 months, beginning in September, October or November 2016. It is also possible to extend this involvement to 18 months. With your involvement, you will be part of a unique community of volunteers with 300 other people of the same age. Living and working together, you will shape the course of your involvement yourself by planning your own activities and projects.

    It was in Wittenberg in 1517 that Martin Luther’s Reformation first began and where it changed the world.

    Accommodation

    Volunteers will receive company housing free of charge in Wittenberg with three rooms which are you will share with three others in a shared flat. The flats are furnished with beds, tables, chairs and a small kitchenette.

    Services

    Volunteers generally live in shared flats of four. The 3-room flats are provided by r2017 e.V. as company housing. All volunteers will also receive free board, as well as a monthly allowance of €150.00.

    Insurance

    The voluntary service is a service subject to a national insurance contribution. This means that during the year, volunteers are covered by health insurance, pension insurance, unemployment insurance, and accident insurance. Volunteers do not need to pay for this. These contributions are borne 100 per cent by the agency or the places of employment.

    Downloads

    PDF: Fact sheet: Volunteers Generation 17

    PDF: Volunteers placement in all projects of r2017

    Find more information and APPLY HERE

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on October 5th, 2016 9:53 am / Continue Reading »

  3. Press release: Agape 2016 International Political Camp

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    PRALI.
    On August 13-20, Agape Ecumenical Centre in Prali, Italy, has hosted an International Political Camp. 40 participants from all continents came together to tackle the topic “Migration: Breaking down boundaries on a journey towards a common home” through workshops, role plays, panel discussions and storytelling sessions.

    WSCF has been an important partner of the Agape Ecumenical Center since its birth in 1947, which it helped build right after World War II as a symbol of reconciliation among the nations that had been in the conflict. Every summer students from all the regions of the WSCF attend the Agape theological and political international camps. This year’s Political Camp was attended by over a dozen delegates and Senior Friends from all WSCF regions, which met to share the work in their regions. Members of the WSCF Advocacy and Solidarity Committee present at Agape camp met to make additional proposals to strategic plan on WSCF work on migrant justice.

    The success of Agape Political Camps lays in its international dimension: although hosted in Europe, the camp welcomed guests from Africa, Asia and both Americas, bringing their own contexts, ideas, problems and solutions on migration to the table. With this wide range of perspectives, the Agape Political Camp has facilitated deep dialogue and came up with several solutions for the problems causing and caused by migration.

    Materials

    Experiences of Agape participants throughout years

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on September 23rd, 2016 10:03 am / Continue Reading »

  4. Last call to apply for the Global Ecumenical Theological Institute 2017!

    There are still a few places left to apply for the amazing GETI’17 event! Find more details on http://www.geti-17.de/participation/. Apply, if

    • You are a student at a theological faculty in Europe.
    • You are in touch with a local Christian parish.
    • You are willing to attend the two-week scholarly program GETI’17 in Berlin (May 19th to June 1st, 2017) and attain 7,5 ECTS Points (European Credit Transfer System) for it.

    Please let us know on , if you intend to apply.

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on September 13th, 2016 1:34 pm / Continue Reading »

  5. Join the network of Friends of WSCF-Europe

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    Dear Friend,

    We are starting to build a network of what we are calling Friends of WSCF-Europe and we would like to invite you kindly to become a part of this circle of Friends in a more formal way which we are establishing now. WSCF-Europe still needs engaged people for our student work and mission for justice and peace, which we have been able to achieve over many decades.

    As a Friend, we offer you the following:

    • A special quarterly newsletter
    • Invitations to join annual WSCF-Europe Friends’ gathering
    • A communication space to exchange and share with others on our website and closed Facebook group
    • A copy of WSCF-Europe’s journal Mozaik, sent once a year to your home address

    If you would like to join our community of Friends, please take a moment to register with us by filling in a questionnaire.

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    Greetings from WSCF-Europe team!

     

    Current number of registered Friends: 65

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on September 10th, 2016 11:05 am / Continue Reading »

  6. “Have no fear” – The impact of the global refugee crisis in Europe & European churches’ responses

    Yulia 1 Amsterdam

    More than sixty representatives of churches, ecumenical organisations, experts in European affairs and volunteers working with and for refugees gathered in Lunteren, the Netherlands from 14-16 June, 2016 to call for the improved response to the global refugee crisis.
    Themes addressed included, the opportunity and challenge of churches and their engagement with refugees and migrants, trafficking and smuggling of migrants and refugees, fear in society and the role of faith based organizations, as well as policy and legal aspects. The presentations on churches working for refugee protection with the examples of several European churches created a clearer picture what are the needs and gaps in addressing those issues above.
    The solidarity visit to the church near Amsterdam where refugees or asylum seekers are temporary placed for the time when their applications are in the process provided a possibility to first-hand experience of refugees and asylum seekers. We shared a food together prepared by Eritrean refugees and listened to their personal stories about the dangerous journeys they made in search for a safe place for them and their families.

    Yulia 2 Amsterdam

    Sharing food with refugees and asylum seekers

    We attended a commemoration service at the Keizersgracht-Kerk in Amsterdam for persons who have lost their lives at the borders of Europe and lighted candles in memory of lost migrants’ lives.
    Finally, join public appeal was produced to the churches and ecumenical organizations in Europe working for refugees to increase their advocacy efforts. It included calls to develop safe and legal passages, to create safe spaces to meet and talk with refugees to overcome fears out of stereotypes about each other. It also highlights the importance of interfaith cooperation and joint efforts to tackle fear.
    Yulia Bajelidze: “As the representative of youth ecumenical organization I made sure that youth voices are heard in ongoing discussions within the churches and ecumenical organisations. I believe young people have a power of positive influence in this work and should be treated as an equal partner.”

    Yulia 3 Amsterdam

    With the General Secretary of Conference of European Churches CEC, Fr Heikki Huttunen

    In addition, the consultation provided a room for exchanging with the representatives of various organizations in the field to identify opportunities for a possible cooperation on advocacy projects and campaigns. Finally, we reached a verbal agreement and expressed our commitments to remind to both ourselves and refugees in the times of fear or despair the words of God: “Have no fear, for I am with you”.

    Yulia 4 Amsterdam

     

    YuliaYulia Bajelidze is WSCF Advocacy and Solidarity Committee member

     

     

    Additional materials

    ‘Have No Fear”: A Statement from Lunteren Ecumenical Conference

     

     

     

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on July 7th, 2016 1:34 pm / Continue Reading »

  7. ECEN: the answer of CEC to challenges of Eco Justice

    Helsinki. On June 11-15, 2016, WSCF-Europe delegate Maria Kozhinova attended the 11th General Assembly of the European Christian Environmental Network (ECEN). ECEN is the main working instrument of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) in raising awareness on environmental issues and responding to climate change. The aim of the ECEN is to share information, experiences in environmental work among widely varied Christian traditions and to encourage a united witness in caring for God’s Creation.

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    11th ECEN General Assembly in Helsinki. Photo: Erin Green/CEC

    The theme of the 11th Assembly was “Water in a Sustainable Future”. This theme was chosen because water is one of the key mediums in the climate process – we immediately notice changes in water levels, for example lack of drinking water, or excessive floods.

    Liturgy blessing of water

    Blessing of water – aghiasma – at ECEC 11th General Assembly. Photo: Erin Green/CEC

    The Assembly theme was tackled from scientific, policy and theological perspectives, through presentations, panel discussions, and thematic working groups.

    thematic group

    Thematic group. Photo: Erin Green/CEC

    Assembly guest speaker list included high-profile names such as Rev. Graham Usher, Bishop of Dudley (Church of England), Bishop Irja Askola, Bishop of Helsinki (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Finland), Metropolitan Ambrosius of Helsinki (Orthodox Church of Finland), Jukka Uosukainen, Director of the Climate Technology Centre and Network, the operational arm of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

    Dr Pauliina Kainulainen

    Dr Pauliina Kainulainen at ECEN Assembly. Photo: Erin Green/CEC

    A Friend of WSCF-E Dr. Pauliina Kainulainen from University of Eastern Finland held a presentation on  ecological theology of contemplation and justice. For a complete programme and list of speakers, please click here. Maria Kozhinova, one of the few youth delegate of the Assembly, was elected into ECEN Leadership Team as youth representative, and will be involved in preparing the next ECEN Assembly.

    evening nature walk

    Evening nature walk and contemplation. Photo: Erin Green/CEC

    Attending the ECEN Assembly was a very engaging and inspiring experience, which is likely to give many ideas to Region’s work on Eco Justice. We hope that this event will kickstart a new wave of eco-related activities, feed into our work, and also carry the ripples of enthusiasm on Eco Justice work throughout the grassroot movements, as well as soon-to-be-formed WSCF global working group on Eco Justice , coordinated by Latina America region and Marcelo Leites. We hope that at this challenging time for God’s Creation, many of us will unite to promote and achieve Eco Justice.

    ECEN folder

    ECEN 11th General Assembly materials

    Programme and Speakers

    Keynote presentations

    Outcome Statement

    CEC Press Release on the Assembly

    Additional materials

    2015 WSCF-Europe Regional Assembly Policy Paper on Eco Justice (pp. 6-8)

    Green Toolbox by International Young Naturefriends, WSCF-Europe and Homo Ecos

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on June 30th, 2016 10:42 am / Continue Reading »

  8. Be part of something bigger – apply for WSCF global working groups

    Wordclounds.com working groups heart

    Now you have a chance to apply to two of WSCF global working groups, Working group for Identity, Diversity and Dialogue and Commission for Bible and Theological Analysis. WSCF is now in the process to form these two working groups at global level with two representatives per each region. Click on the buttons below to read concept papers for both groups. Do not miss your chance, apply today by writing to .

    Working group on Identity, Diversity and Dialogue

    Commission for Bible and Theological Analysis

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on June 24th, 2016 6:32 pm / Continue Reading »

  9. WSCF-E became a member of the newly founded association European Christian Convention

    On 9th – 11th June 2016 a meeting “On the Way to a European Christian Convention” was held in Kappel am Albis, Switzerland. Already last year in June a meeting was held in Bad Boll, where WSCF-E was represented by Annika Foltin (WSCF Executive Committee member) and who was elected on the Coordination Team. This time WSCF-E was represented by Dzmitry Syla (SCM Belarus) and Annika Foltin.

    ECC_event_09-11June16_sketches_in1_mini

    The European Christian Convention (ECC) is an ecumenical, non-profit making association of different lay and church organisations and Individuals, who are committed to prepare a large-scale ecumenical gathering for Christians in Europe and beyond. The ECC seeks to make a significant contribution towards greater European unity and Europe’s responsibility in the world. It is estimated that the gathering will happen in 2022/23, however time and location are not set yet.

    During the last week’s meeting the association was founded and WSCF-Europe became its member. As a truly ecumenical and European youth organisation we are very keen to be part of this very exciting newly established association. Annika Foltin was re-elected into the new Interim Board to represent WSCF-Europe.

    If you would like to receive the ECC Newsletter sign-up here: https://listen.jpberlin.de/mailman/listinfo/ecc-info

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on June 24th, 2016 10:41 am / Continue Reading »

  10. Letter to WSCF movements regarding upcoming constitutional amendments

    3 June 2016

    Dear SCMers, dear friends,

    Re: WSCF Constitutional Amendments

    As indicated in the last Exco email to you, the 2/3 approval vote needed to organise an online Extra-ordinary General Assembly was reached.

    In December 2015, during the Palermo meeting, The Executive Committee received recommendations of the Transition Team for the transition towards substantial change in the systems and structures of WSCF in order to ensure its sustainability and stability. These recommendations came at the end of a two-year period of review, as a continuation of the work done by the Future of the Federation taskforce.

    The set of amendments developed and proposed by the Transition Team to reform first the Governance Structure was approved by the Executive Committee, which also believe that the proposed amendments should not await the next face to face General Assembly. That is why the request for the approval of an extraordinary online GA was sent to movements.

    A Constitutional Commission composed of Annika Foltin:  (Ex-Co member Europe), Marco Fornerone: (Transition Team member Europe), Mandy Tibbey: (Senior Friend, Barrister and Lawyer Asia-Pacific), Oscar Reiche Salazar:  (Ex-Co member Latin America) and Georgine Kengne Djeutane: (WSCF Chair Africa) was formed and approved by the Exco to prepared the online GA both in term of content and process.

    The Commission is now working on the proposed Constitutional Amendments submitted by the Executive Committee and establishing the on-line platform for voting.

    Any movement who wish to propose any other constitutional amendments is requested to submit them to members of the Constitutional Commission in the next two weeks, deadline is June 20, 2016.  As you know, this is the first time WSCF is organizing an online GA, so the process is very delicate and we are appealing to your sense of responsibility and commitment. If you think your proposed amendments can be better submitted during the next face to face GA, when a fuller opportunity for discussion within the Federation can occur, then please hold them until then, if not kindly send them as soon as possible, by the date set out above. You are also advised to ask another movement of your choice to second your proposed amendments. In a face-to-face Assembly a seconder would be required for the proposed amendment to be put to the movements and a seconder is required for the amendments to be put to the movements in an on-line General Assembly as well.

    Warm regards in Christ

    Georgine Kengne Djeutane on behalf of the Constitution Commission

    Download this letter in PDF.

    Download WSCF Constitution and By-Laws.

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on June 14th, 2016 2:38 pm / Continue Reading »

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The work of WSCF-Europe is financially supported by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union and European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.

This website reflects the views only of the author, and the donors cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.