4/14 Window Global Summit in Singapore

Between 6th and 9th of September 2011 the “4/14 Window Global Movement” summit took place. More than 1000 delegates from 91 countries and representatives of the local Christian communities participated in the summit. The motto of this event – “Your sons and daughters will prophesy… your young men will see visions” (Joel 2,28) – found its expression in the purpose of the event: the discussion on the paths to mission and evangelization nowadays, particularly among youth and children. According to the Global Movement organizers, whose general meeting has already took place twice – New York 2009 and 2010 –, the age between 4 and 14 years is the most important period for perceiving the Christian faith. In this sense the evangelization cannot be separated from the charitable and social services for the weak in this world.

 

 

 


singapore

 

Between 6th and 9th of September 2011 the “4/14 Window Global Movement” summit took place. More than 1000 delegates from 91 countries and representatives of the local Christian communities participated in the summit. The motto of this event – “Your sons and daughters will prophesy… your young men will see visions” (Joel 2,28) – found its expression in the purpose of the event: the discussion on the paths to mission and evangelization nowadays, particularly among youth and children. According to the Global Movement organizers, whose general meeting has already took place twice – New York 2009 and 2010 –, the age between 4 and 14 years is the most important period for perceiving the Christian faith. In this sense the evangelization cannot be separated from the charitable and social services for the weak in this world.

NELCEE was represented at this event by Dr. Augustin Sokolovski.

During the conference, Dr. Augustin Sokolovsky participated in the activity of the study group for missiology led by Prof. Dr. Siga Arles, director of the “Centre for Contemporary Christianity” in Bangalore (Indien). In a brief report, Dr. Sokolovski presented the issue of religious education in the Swiss public schools as compared to the situation in Russia and Eastern Europe. In this framework Dr. Sokolovski referred to the necessity that various Christian traditions should cooperate in this field and warned against a one-sided perception of the other, which might lead to harmful consequences especially in the context of evangelization work.

 

 

PREPARATORY MEETING TOWARDS THE PUBLICATION OF THE HANDBOOK ON TEACHING ECUMENISM IN ORTHODOX CONTEXTS

(An ETE/WCC, CEC and VOLOS ACADEMY Project)

VOLOS, 16-18 OCTOBER 2011

tesalonic

 

The purposeof this initiative is to strengthen Orthodox theological education in dealing seriously with the need to be open to ecumenical demands both inherent in Orthodox tradition and as they are present in contemporary situations.

 

The initial process towards a reference book on teaching ecumenism in Orthodox contexts started in February 2010 as a follow-up of earlier initiatives undertaken by Volos Academy and ETE. It was both during the “WCC International Inter-Orthodox Consultation on The Ecumenical Movement in Theological Education and in the Life of Orthodox Churches” (Sibiu, Romania, 9-12 November 2010) and on several other occasions that different voices indicated the necessity for a proper resource book for teaching ecumenism in Orthodox theological faculties and academies. There still is a tremendous lack of resources for proper and sound teaching of the history and life of the ecumenical movement.

 

The report of the Sibiu consultation in 2010 explicitly stated,

 

-          that Orthodox Churches had profoundly benefitted from the ecumenical movement which allowed them to meet other Christians and to overcome temptations of isolationism;

-          that there is still need to improve the level of inter-Christian studies and dialogue in Orthodox theological schools in order to promote understanding and to eradicate prejudice;

-          that the study of other Christian churches and ecumenism needs to move beyond the framework of comparative or even polemical apologetics.

 

The Sibiu consultation report expressed as explicit recommendation that:

1. “There is a clear need to develop appropriate, fair-minded, non-polemical Orthodox resources and methodologies for teaching about other Christian churches, other religions and the ecumenical movement.

2. It is necessary to prepare an Essay book about the history of the ecumenical movement from the Orthodox point of view to be introduced as a part of the teaching curriculum in our theological schools and seminaries.”

 

 

Therefore ETE/WCC in collaboration with CEC and Volos Academy has suggested for the period between 2011 and 2012 the planning of a project for a major resource book for teaching ecumenism in orthodox contexts. This resource book aims to facilitate theological education with regard to the ecumenical movement in the context of orthodox theological faculties and theological schools and beyond. This publication is also planned as a major Orthodox contribution to the forthcoming 2013 Assembly of WCC in Busan, Korea, where a major forum for ecumenical theological education will take place as well as other significant ecumenical events. Already, part of the funds for this project was made available by its major supporting partners (namely Volos Academy, ETE/WCC and CEC).  Additional financial support is welcome and will be sought from Orthodox Churches and other ecumenical partners.

 

An initial process was started in December 2010/January 2011 by the core group of initiating persons which developed this first (current) draft concept for the project. Rev Dr. Dietrich Werner (ETE/WCC), Dr. Pantelis Kalaitzidis (Volos Academy), and Rev Prof. Dr. Viorel Ionita (CEC) initiated the planning of the project during the meetings that took place on 21 January and 28 March 2011 in Geneva. During these meetings the following tentative outline was developed:

 

The goals of such a publication would be:

  1. to provide access to essential and authentic orthodox texts relating to the search for Christian unity as well as the understanding of ecumenism and the involvement of Orthodox Churches in the ecumenical movement;
  2. to provide access to official decisions and statements of Orthodox Churches with regard to theological education and ecumenism;
  3. to present materials prepared by orthodox theologians involved in theological education on ecumenism from different contexts;
  4. to identify proper additional resources which facilitate theological education on ecumenism by course outlines and curriculum plans (bibliographies, curriculum outlines, lists of websites with additional resources);
  5. while remaining restricted to Eastern Orthodox Churches and ecumenism also a contribution on the ecumenical relations between Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches would be included.

 

 

It would be foreseen to have an English edition of this resource book first and then to have different language editions (Greek, Russian, Romanian, Serbian, etc.) to be developed in the time afterwards. The publication could be proposed as a joint publication between a publisher in some orthodox country and WCC.

 

I) Ownership, Responsibilities and Editorial Group

 

It is envisaged and proposed that

-          the project will be initiated, carried out and coordinated by a small group of key coordinators (Dr. Pantelis Kalaizidis; Rev Prof. Viorel Ionita, Rev Dr. Dietrich Werner) which will represent the formal editorial group;

-          the Volos Academy together with a small local team will serve as the secretariat for the project in the whole working period;

-          there will be a project advisory group (15 persons approximately) representing all major Orthodox Churches, and also a group of consultants (some 10 persons) constituted by distinguished and recognized scholars in the field of Ecumenism which will serve as a sounding board for the final version of a concept. The tasks of this group will be

  1. to give general advice for the overall concept of this resource book;
  2. to propose names of contributors and specified themes;
  3. to identify crucial texts and relevant materials to be included in the resource book;
  4. to communicate this new resource book to the different national constituencies and important institutions of theological education in different orthodox contexts;

-          there will be a group of contributors (some 40 persons) that  will submit papers at the request and invitation of the group of editors which will be communicated to people concerned by the project secretariat.

 

The following suggestions/decisions are made with regard to the two strategic groups:

 

A. Editor’s Group:

Rev. Dr. Viorel Ionita (Romanian Orthodox Church, CEC)

Dr. Pantelis Kalaitzidis (Church of Greece, Volos Academy)

Rev. Dr. Dietrich Werner (WCC/ETE)

 

B. Project (Content) Advisory Group:

 

Rev Dr George Tsetsis (Ecumenical Patriarchate)
Metropolitan Alexandros of Nigeria (Patriarchate of Alexandria)
Rev. Dr. Porphyrios (Fadi) Georgi (Patriarchate of Antiochia)
Dr. George Galitis (Patriarchate of Jerusalem)
V Rev. Dr. Cyril Hovorum (Russian Orthodox Church)
Ms. Juljia Vidovic, MTh (Serbian Orthodox Church)
Rev. Dr. Daniel Buda (Romanian Orthodox Church)
Dr. Ivan Zhelev Dimitrov (Bulgarian Orthodox Church)
Dr. Tamara Grdzelidze (Georgian Orthodox Church)
Dr. Georgios Kakouras (Church of Cyprus)
Dr. Tsompanidis Stelios (Church of Greece)
Rev. Dr. Andrej Kuzma (Orthodox Church of Poland)
Mr. Nathan Hoppe (Orthodox Church of Albania)
Dr. Vaclav Heckik (Orthodox Church in Czech Republic and Slovakia)
Ms. Aino Nenola, MTh (Orthodox Church of Finland)

 

C. Consultants Group:

 

Rev. Dr. Thomas FitzGerald (Dean of the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Boston, MA, USA)
Bishop Dr. Irinej of Batska (Dean of the School of Theology, Belgrade University, Serbia)
Rev. Dr. Augustin Sokolovski (Friburg University and Russian Seminary in Paris)
Dr. Dorin Oancea (Sibiu Theological Faculty, Romania)
Dr. Ina Merdjanova (Irish School of Ecumenics, Dublin)
Dr. Petros Vassiliadis (Professor at the School of Theology, Thessaloniki University, and Honorary President of WOCATI)
Dr. Vassiliki Stathokosta (Lecturer of Ecumenical Theology, School of Theology, Athens University)
Dr. Paul Meyendorff (Alexander Schmemann Professor of Liturgical Theology, St Vladimir’s Theological Seminary, New York, USA)
Rev. Dr Gregory Papathomas (President of the European Forum of Orthodox Schools of Theology (EFOST), Professor of the School of Theology, Athens University and Institute St Sergius of Paris)
Dr. Marina Kolovopoulou (Lecturer at Athens University, Representative of the Church of Greece in bilateral dialogues and in the Central Committee of CEC)
Ms. Olga Oleinik, MTh (CMS Eastern Europe Consultant, Belarus/Moscow Patriarchate)

Dr. Ovidiu Ioan (Institute for Ecumenical Research Sibiu, NELCEE, Orthodox Church of Romania)

 

D. Volos Academy Group:

1. Dr. Eleni Kasselouri-Hatzivassiliadi
2. Rev. Amphilochios Miltos
3. Ms. Aikaterini Pekridou, MTh
4. Mr. Nikos Asproulis, MTh

 

Secretary of the project on behalf of the Volos Academy will be Mr. Nikos Asproulis, MTh

 

NELCEE is involved in this project both through the Volos Academy for Theological Studies, one of the coordinators of the project, and through Rev. Dr. Augustin Sokolovski and Dr. Ovidiu Ioan, who are members of the consultants group.

 

 

 

Holy Metropolis of Demetrias

VOLOS ACADEMY FOR THEOLOGICAL STUDIES

 

For the academic year 2010-2011 our friends and colleagues from Volos published the programme of the scientific events they organise. Many of these manifestations are dedicated to Ecumenical topics and are organised in cooperation with Ecumenical institutions or are attended by representatives of different European and World Churches.

Please take a look at the programme and contact the Volos Academy for Theological Studies in order to register for the events you would like to attend.