News

  1. “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 »

  2. 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 »

  3. 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 »

  4. 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 »

  5. 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 »

  6. Report: Senior Friends Gathering 2016 in Budapest

    Senior Friends Gathering Report

    13-15 May 2016

    Hungary, Budapest

     

    Senior Friends of WSCF-Europe flew from various countries in Europe to meet in May 2016 with their fellows and catch up with the life of the organization they used to be involved in all kinds of ways in the past. WSCF-Europe was happy to facilitate this meeting and to organize it conjunction with a student conference. This was with our intention to bring both students and former members together in shared spaces.

    Budapest

    Photo by Lyell Clark

    The meeting itself has a history in WSCF-Europe and the previous one happened in Austria, in 2009. WSCF-Europe wants to renew and establish a tradition of Senior Friends gathering and this meeting was the very start of it or rather the continuation of it. The planning committee was composed of the current Chair (Zuzana Babicova) and former Chair (Sofie Eriksen), former Treasurer (Markus Ojakoski) and other former Europe region committee members- Vera Papp and David Cleary who were helping to prepare this event.

    Who met?

    Collage final portraits SF Gathering 2016

    We were a group of 20 people- Zuzana Babicova (SVK), Sofie Bonde Eriksen (DE), Markus Ojakoski (FIN), David Cleary (IRE), Vera Papp (HUN), Daniel Bonniot de Ruisselet (FR), Pip Sides (IRE), Agnes Pagyanszky (HUN), Hannah & Katharina Satlow (AT & DE), David & Clare Wilkins (UK), Ee Chia Chuah (Malaysia, studying in Budapest), Hans Hommens (DE) and current and former WSCF- Europe staff members Maria Kozhinova, Natia Tsintsadze and Pawel Pustelnik. Our meeting was also joined by the current ERC members Krista Autio, Pawel Cecha and Pavlina Manavska who were participating at the parallel happening WSCF-Europe conference.

    What did we do?

    The meeting for 2, 5 days was a rather informal gathering. Our first day was opened by a morning prayer led by Agnes Pagyanszky who lives and works in Budapest as a Student Christian Chaplain. It was really great to have Agnes at least for the morning with us as we could go back with her to the times from 10-15 years ago when our movement in Hungary in its former shape was being born in Budapest. After that we spent our morning sharing by what WSCF-Europe meant for each of us -as we all came and made plans to reconnect after a few years.

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    A lot of our experiences were connected with Friendships, Learning, Fun and Spiritual experience. Later in the afternoon, we continued…

    Colours divider

    Read more – download full report here.

     

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on June 9th, 2016 4:51 pm / Continue Reading »

  7. Call for articles

    Call for articles

    “Let´s Talk about Sexuality – The Explosive Power of Taboo Subjects”

    Sexuality, in some sense, created the very world we live in. It has relevance to the identity and life of every person on the planet, and is a driving force in Western culture.  And yet, as a topic of discussion it is either swept under the rug or used as a shibboleth in culture wars. For this issue of Mozaik, we aim to create a space for dialogue on this vital topic, and learn from different perspectives and experiences.

    We aim to answer certain questions, following on from our May study session in Budapest:

    What circumstances are needed for young people to discover their sexual identity? What is needed for a safe environment in which one feels able to express oneself?

    Why do young people need to discover their own identity? How do we analyse the consequences of sexuality being a taboo topic in Europe? How do we detect the mechanisms of discrimination and respond to the need for a safe environment?

    How can the society be changed? To know how to create a safe environment a for others to express themselves.

    What is the teaching of organized religion on this subject? Are the teachings of the Churches incompatible with principles of equality?

    Who do I contact?
    We are accepting contributions of articles up to 2,000 words, with a deadline of 15 June 2016. For more information, contact Editor-in-Chief James Jackson at .

    We look forward to receiving your contributions.

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on June 6th, 2016 4:21 pm / Continue Reading »

  8. SCM Chile works on Chilean constitution change

    FUMEC ALC WSCF LAC

    This year, Chile has begun an historical process: for first time in its history, the current government has made a call to prepare a new constitution, with the participation of the people. One of the legacies of the Pinochet’s dictatorship was a constitution written by a small group of chosen persons who wanted to preserve political ideas linked to the rightwing thinking, and, of course, the authoritarian regime. For over thirty years, the country has been ruled by this constitution that, among other things has strongly supported neo-liberal economic model, therefore reinforcing social disparities.

    SCM Chile has attended the call to this process because they see that as a Christian youth movement they have something to say about it. Which is why on April 21, 2016 SCM Chile organized an event inviting young Christian people to discuss this constitutional change, becoming the first Christian youth group in Chile doing this. Members of SCM Chile will be an active part of different upcoming popular assemblies and discussions, organized by ecumenical groups and churches. Members of SCM Chile believe that this is a very important process for their country, and they not only want to be part of it, but also encourage other Christians who are want to make Chilean society a better one, to participate in the process.

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on June 3rd, 2016 2:06 pm / Continue Reading »

  9. Call for Candidates for the position of “WSCF Europe Fundraising Coordinator”

    for the term 2015-2017

    12669567_1031741976895244_6988290566731930892_n (2)

    Would you find it interesting to work with donors and funds?

    Are you interested in having professional contacts all around Europe?

    This is a great chance to build your professional and inter-personal skills and experience!

    The World Student Christian Federation – Europe (WSCF-E) is a part of a global fellowship of Christian students committed to dialogue, ecumenism, social justice and peace. Now we are seeking a Fundraising Coordinator for our leadership team, the European Regional Committee (ERC).

    As many European youth organisations, especially Christian ones, we are facing major challenges to sustain our financial balance. But where there are challenges, there are also opportunities and so this position is full of exciting potential!

    The main goal of this Coordinator will be to

    • represent WSCF Europe to different (potential) donors;
    • expand our network of national and European contacts to churches, foundations and official institutions;
    • help in developing a regular donation system for Friends of WSCF-E;
    • explore new sources of funding, including crowd-sourcing and online fundraising;
    • frame our work, our goals and visions in a way that is accessible to our both donors and our members alike;

    The role also entails taking a share in the general leadership work of WSCF Europe. This includes the attendance of two in-person meetings of the European Regional Committee per year as well as regular Skype meetings.

    The Coordinator will be supported by the WSCF-E staff in the Regional Office, as well as our Senior Friends network and the WSCF Centennial Fund.

    Participation in WSCF-E events is encouraged and will be fully funded.

    What we are looking for in an ideal candidate:

    • previous experiences in fundraising and donor outreach (whether through your studies or voluntary work)
    • passion for ecumenical dialogue and community-building among young Christians
    • interest in both Christian social justice advocacy and theological reflection and exchange
    • confidence to engage new challenges and find creative solutions
    • reliability and commitment for the position over a term of two years
    • very good English skills
    • desired: personal link to and endorsement by one of our member movements

    If you are interested, please send a presentation outlining your motivation and the skills that you bring to the task of Fundraising Coordinator to the ERC Chair .

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on May 30th, 2016 5:32 pm / Continue Reading »

  10. SCM Aotearoa serves the needs of students in their studies & spiritual life

    SCM Aotearoa is the SCM working in New Zealand local movements in Universities of Canterbury, Otago, Victoria and Waikato.

    SCM’s have a presence in the Universities daily life and students work through the various activities and services each local movement offers.

    SCM Otago organized its 86th annual textbook exchange, which aimed to provide the opportunity for students to sell their old books and new students to buy course books relatively cheaper than they would get from book shops.The event was successful and enabled students to get their compulsory study materials nearly half of the price. Through this event the SCM made its presence at the University’s Orientation week.

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    SCM Victoria has offered a working space for Christian Postgraduate Students since October. In Victoria University many students are lacking places to study, since the University no longer provides them. This development has led to to stress and loneliness of Postgraduate study. The Cabin is a shared place for studying and worship. Students using the Cabin also invites friends along and that way spreads the story of the SCM through their networks.

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    The highlight of prayer life of SCM Otago has been the Prayer Night. The Prayer Night was organized at Long Beach, where the student built a Christian Labyrinth to the sand using tealight candles. Each member spent time reflecting and praying through the Labyrinth.

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    SCM’s has their future schedule planned including worships, guest lectures on Refugee crisis, movie night and volunteering.

     

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on May 6th, 2016 2:47 pm / Continue Reading »

World Student Christian Federation – Europe
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Disclaimer

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.