A Letter from the WSCF Europe Regional Secretary

January 15th, 2013 5:49 pm

Hans Hommens

 

Dear WSCF Europe people!

First of all I want to say how glad I am to be given this opportunity to serve as WSCF Europe’s Regional Secretary. While I am writing this the first two months of work in the Berlin office are now over. Looking back, I am impressed by how fast everything has unfolded for me. My time at work, so far, has been extremely empowering and although I have been involved with ecumenism for a very long time, the practicality of my vision of it has been developing and has been deepened a lot recently. Starting this job as Regional Secretary of WSCF Europe is therefore an amazing opportunity for me to live my hopes and dreams for the ecumenical community in a new way.

I am very convinced of the power and relevance of ecumenical encounters and exchange for Christians living in the world of today. I believe we are called to find new ways of living in and interacting with social environments that are more and more distant from the worldview and the expressions of Christianity as a living reality. Also, I think we as young Christian students need to challenge ourselves in what it means to be Christian and we need to find new understandings of community and solidarity. For all this, I believe, ecumenical encounter is central in that it can be a safe space in which we can go beyond experiences of our own context, meet the Other and discover our common calling.

My main ambition for my time ahead as Regional Secretary is to help WSCF Europe grow stronger roots at the local level. We need to find ways of developing our links to our member movements much more and need to reach more people. This also means that we must develop ways of being present and relevant in the SCM experience and the lives of our members in ways that go beyond the immediate context of two or three big WSCF Europe conferences (which, by their nature, are restricted to a couple of dozen people).

Another goal I have for my work is to strengthen the awareness in WSCF Europe of being part of a global federation and to intensify inter-regional cooperation. I see our global network as an amazing resource and potential for inspiration, in faith as well as in action, which we should draw upon more.

Finally, I hope to be able to find ways to strengthen the spiritual component of WSCF Europe’s work as the basis of our identity in the most fundamental sense of the word. Rightfully is there a strong activist focus in our activities and I think that one of the important implications of God becoming human in Christ is that as Christians we cannot detach ourselves from the world and the injustice we are living in. Salvation needs to be a process that transforms not only spiritual individuals, but societies and finally the world as such. Still, I believe that the foundation of our work and of our life as Christians and the source of our strength is our relationship to God. It is God’s transformative love that allows us to own who we are and become who we are, sometime in strength, sometimes in vulnerability. Sharing our inspiration and our struggles in this regard is, I believe, something that I hope to bring out more in our community.

I feel that working for WSCF Europe is full of potential for growth for me and I am very thankful for that. I am looking forward to meet as many of you as possible!

 

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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.

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