Blog

  1. A letter from our new Regional Secretary Natia Tsintsadze

     

    Natia

     

    Dear friends,

    I am honoured and privileged to address you for the first time in my new role as Regional Secretary of WSCF Europe. It gives me great pleasure and enormous responsibility to be with you in the WSCF and work alongside you to achieve our common objectives during these challenging times. I believe that my extensive experience in management and development areas in executive positions over the last ten years will help me to successfully

    carry out my responsibilities as Regional Secretary. I strongly believe in living by and applying Christian values and principles to our daily lives. Through my human rights and interfaith work I have been able to combine my professional and personal interests. Working for and with the WSCF-E family will make these informal links even stronger and will allow me to work in the areas I feel so passionate about: building a just and peaceful world for all through our faith and passion During the next two years I will be committed to strengthening the WSCF presence at all levels, with a special focus on achieving more synergy between local movements and regional and global structures. This synergy is particularly important through the current turbulent period of crisis and social changes. We need to share, reconcile and unite to grow and succeed in our vision. I believe the WSCF-E events and initiatives will bring together more national and local movements and will become a platform to exchange and develop our common and individual strategies. These regular meetings and cooperation should be the guarantee and dynamo of moving forward nationally and locally. I am keen to learn lessons from our past and look forward to applying some new approaches and perspectives to future development. I count on the support and enthusiasm of our volunteers in the European Executive Committee and many others across the world and I hope our joint venture will get us closer to achieving our vision. I am excited for the forthcoming opportunities in 2015 to meet many of you personally at our Staff & Officers Meeting in Madrid and the General Assembly in Colombia. On my journey with the WSCF I am open for and welcome your ideas, suggestions and criticism:  “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”, as Helen Keller said. I am grateful to share the blessings of Christmas this year together and may I also take this opportunity and joy to wish you all the best in this celebration of faith and love.

    With love from,

    Natia Tsintzadze

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on January 9th, 2015 8:22 am / Continue Reading »

  2. What Is All The Buzz About General Assembly Of WSCF?

     

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    You all may have heard that WSCF is having its most important   statutory meeting this year in Colombia. Six years  ago I attended the same meeting in Montreal and I would like to tell you what it was like for me.

    At that time WSCF was not something I thought of as a global organization. Before the GA, WSCF was for me only about my national SCM with its activities we used to have with our neighboring countries and that was it.  I did not perceive my SCM as having a global dimension though we did belong to WSCF-E.  I believe that many of you would share this view now. Attending the GA really changed my perspective and I wish it change yours. I want you to see that WSCF is a global organization and the difference you can make in it.

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    Being at the GA in Montreal showed me how immensely diverse Christians can be, as until then I did not have this experience. It is easy to not realize WSCF global in your local SCMs but SCMs shape the Global WSCF and this is something you get to experience at the GA.

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    WSCF is a really interesting gathering of young Christians from all over the world. It was me and others like me from all over the world who were important at that meeting to shape the way WSCF would develop during next the 6 years. There were many different experiences some good and some difficult but all important. I remember difficult experiences of heated discussions on giving space for gender equality in WSCF, talking about financial situations of SCMs at fund-raising workshop where the facilitator had hard time to reconcile our geographical and contextual differences. I attended Coptic Christian Sunday service for the first time and received communion from a different denomination which was not mine at an unfamiliar service. What an experience it was to be at the GA of WSCF! Having been exposed to all this diversity, I have started to realize what my SCM is part of and how difficult yet precious being a member of such a global community can be.

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    The General Assembly of WSCF is really what holds WSCF together as withoese meetings we would probably be just an online community or network of like minded people. However, we want to strive for more and for that we need to meet each other in person. The GA gives us a chance to recognize our similarities and to celebrate our differences and to deliver changes. It is not always easy but it is definitely worth it. Come to the GA and be part of the Global WSCF and make change in your organization.

    (Slovakia) is the Chairperson for WSCF Europe. 

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on March 19th, 2014 3:28 pm / Continue Reading »

  3. NBCC Meeting In Aarhus Opened Doors To Compassionate Prayer

    On the first weekend of March  (Feb 28- Mar 2) I have participated in Nordic-Baltic Cooperation Council’s (NBCC) meeting in Aarhus, Denmark. The NBCC meets twice a year, and hosting of the meeting is rotated between the NBCC members. At last weekend’s meeting in Aarhus, representatives form Swedish KRISS, Danish Okumenisk Ungdom, Finnish OOL and Lithuanian Lutheran Youth were present. The theme of the event was ‘Peaceful religious coexistence in Middle East and Africa: Freedom of religion or persecutions?

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                         The crew. Photo by Evaldas Tytmonas

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    Spending good time together. Photo by Evaldas Svageris

     

    Unfortunately I arrived to Aarhus late, so I couldn’t take part in the first session by Clement Dachet on being a pastor in the conflict zone. When I arrived to the venue – a huge and modern Diakonhøjskolen, I was shown to a cool renovated room in the dormitory, and then take to the common area where the other participants were spending time together with cake and evening tea. The evening passed in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and made me really feel at home.

    On Saturday there were three main sessions. One of the sessions was held by Maria S. Hanses from Open Doors Youth, which is an international NGO. Open Doors works with Christians around the world who are persecuted for their faith. Maria has been working with the Danish branch of the organization for the last 4,5 years, and hears dreadful stories of persecution of Christians every day. Maria said that she thought she would become in some way immune to these testimonials, but this never happened, and she still perceives them in a very emotional way. To her, these stories are at the same time gruesome and encouraging, and had a great impact on strengthening faith.

    Maria shares some facts with the group: Christians are the largest persecuted group of people. Every day more than 100 mln Christians face persecution. However, many of the persecuted Christians do not cease to pray to God, and also pray for their persecutors. Maria shares two quotes from the Scriptures:

    2. Tim 3:12 – In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted

    Matt. 5:44:  – But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you

    Maria also says that in the West where we live, it’s not persecution but persuasion that we’re facing: persuasion to go away from the Church and the faith, and enjoy life without constant prayer.

    Everybody is invited to write a postcard to one of the persecuted women in Nigeria, Deborah, whose testimonials were shared with us by Maria earlier. Every Open Doors movement in different countries has a few letter respondents (Danish list: http://ow.ly/u88Dk). This postcard-writing workshop was a very emotional experience for me, as I was thinking how can I address and encourage a women, whose husband and all children were either killed or taken away by armed men, as a cause of the family being Christians.

    Lithuanian delegates shared about an initiative in Lithuanian Lutheran Church by a bishop, which was executed in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The actives from the Church took in forty refugees from Syria, and operationality of the project is insured by Lithuanian volunteers.

    The second session on Saturday was by Rebecca Hojmark from International Council of Relations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark, on freedom of religion in Middle East and Norther Africa. In her session, Rebecca has referred to an interesting document, the ‘European churches engaging in human rights: Present challenges and training material’ by Church and Society Commission of the Conference of European Churches (CEC). This material, in my opinion, may be used in WSCF-Europe’s campaign on xenophobia and social exclusion that has kicked off last weekend on Staff and Officers’ Meeting in Skopje, Macedonia.

    Rebecca told us what are the three main things that persecuted Christians and Churches ask Western Christians to do. These things are:

    1. share their story

    2. pray for them and let them know that we pray for them (This http://ow.ly/u8927 and this http://ow.ly/u89b6 resource, created by Open Doors, are a very good way to make praying for persecuted Christians around the world a regular habit)

    3. tell the politicians about what happens to those people and communities, because this is the best working way to change the situation.

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    Preparing for praying together. Photo by Evaldas Tytmonas

    I hope that WSCF-Europe will make good use of these wonderful ideas and resources in its current campaign on xenophobia.

    Maria Kozhinova () is WSCF-Europe Links Coordinator.

     

     

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on March 12th, 2014 1:50 pm / Continue Reading »

  4. A Quick Re-cap On The Staff And Officers Meeting In Skopje, Macedonia 2014.

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    Last week the 2014 WSCF-E staff and officers meeting was held in Skojope, Macedonia. This a meeting held once a year to allow dialogue between the WSCFE-E regional offices and National SCMs.  This year there was participants from 10 different countries. Further to the campaign to keep you more informed about WSCF-E Regional Office here a is a quick re-cap of what happened whilst we were there.

    WSCF-E events are all about meeting people from different countries joining together in Christ .  So each day started and ended  with Worship provided by one of the Participants,  through this we were allowed to enjoy speaking the lords prayer in many different languages, to sing Taize chants and to use lithologies from many different denominations.

    Each day was filled with Workshops around topics important to WSCF-E, workshops included: An Introduction To WSCF-E 2014 campaign Against Xenophobia (reaching out to Asylum seekers)  Discussion around how to improve WSCF-E online presences (You want us to talk more)  A talk about the General Assembly of WSCF-E  (This is where all of WSCF Regions meet to make huge decisions about the future of WSCF ) and a Full day of workshops around fundraising. We had a Workshop from SCM Britain about their fundraising techniques ( Diversification is key). A workshop from a fundraising ( fundraising is all about imagination and creating trust relationships) and we were also luck enough to have our friend “Salters”come to talk about fundraising from our senior friends  ( Past members of SCMs and WSCF-E) and how best to do it.

    Woven our time at the meeting we also got to experience Macedonia through our guide Pavlina Manavska who is a member of the local Youth group at her Methodist church. She Showed us the Many sites Skjope and she Pointed out the Best Bars and Cafes.

    The event left all our staff officers feeling informed and motivated  about the current status of WSCF-E and how to improve it.

    I hope you enjoyed this Re-cap , God bless

    Kathryn

     

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on March 3rd, 2014 2:12 pm / Continue Reading »

  5. We made it to Skopje!

    Playing cards at Zurich Airport

    Playing cards at Zurich Airport

    Travelling early has different meanings, but waking up at 2:50 AM definitely gives it a special flavour… As Lizzie (SCM Britian Staff Member) would put it: we did not feel quite humane. After all, we made it to Skopje. Sun and +18 degrees! We instantly forgot about all the tiredness.

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on February 21st, 2014 3:19 pm / Continue Reading »

  6. What do we have on our plates?

    Hello dear WSCF-E friends,

    How are you? As ERC – the current leadership at WSCF-E are starting to get in touch more with you all to tell you what we as ERC have been up to recently – what we have on our plates –what we are enjoying but also what pose challenges for us. The first message comes from me, the chair, and you may hear also from others in the upcoming months.

    collecting hopes

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on February 19th, 2014 2:06 pm / Continue Reading »

  7. Skopje, here we come!

    Checked – in and ready to go! In less than 24 hours together with Lizzie Gawen and Clare Wilkins I am departing to Skopje, FYROM, to take part in the WSCF Staff and Officers Meeting!

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on February 19th, 2014 12:04 pm / Continue Reading »

  8. What is new in inter-faith matters?

    It was last November that WSCF-E was invited once again as a member of European Interfaith Youth Network for its gathering. I was representing WSCF-E for the second time, after 2012 meeting in Norway, at this annual summit which took place in Vienna, 22-24 Nov, 2013.

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on January 21st, 2014 9:39 am / Continue Reading »

  9. Why to be involved with WSCF-E at European Regional Committee?

    I have been a member of ERC – the governing body of WSCF-E composed of nine volunteer members in the role of Events Coordinator and later with an add on role of Vice Chair with WSCF-E for the period of 2011-2013. I think everyone with interest in WSCF-E working areas, inter-church relations within charity sector and desire to try new challenge would find this a truly great experience.

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on October 8th, 2013 3:22 pm / Continue Reading »

  10. Prostitution & human trafficking

    … BOUGHT & SOLD AGAINST YOUR WILL

    ‘’To be deceived or taken against your will, bought, sold and transported into slavery.  For sexual exploitation, forced begging, sacrificial worship or removal of human organs, as child brides or into sweat shops, circuses, farm labour and domestic servitude.’’

    (Photo and text source: http://www.stopthetraffik.org/what-is-human-trafficking)

    I am so mad about this world, a world where human trafficking is possible. It is a world which we still have to work on!

    I think that prostitution is perhaps one of the oldest professions in the world, but it is one in which women and men are exploited, and where their youth is robbed from them.

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    Posted by: wscfe-editor on September 25th, 2013 2:40 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.