Ecumenism at the table, in discussion and in prayer – this is how you can briefly summarize this year’s meeting, organized at Evangelical School of Theology as part of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. “Unity of Christians in secular culture – conversation with friends” was the title of the event. Together, we were reflecting on the situation of Christianity in a secularized world.
The motto of Dietrich Bonhoeffer was the theme for this event. The good of the Church and the world calls for visible unity of the Church. The term “catholic” is an attribute of the Church referring to its worldwide reach. The Protestant Church also aspires to being a “catholic” Church, not in the sense of power but rather in the sense of preaching the Gospel all over the world! Christianity of the Church means being serious about the Church’s operation in the world based on being serious about its divine dimension.
The participants from different Christian traditions presented answers to the following questions:
- Is the secularization of society a threat or rather creates opportunities for dialogue between the Church and the world?
- How can the Church meet the secular culture? Or else: can the Church remain a Church and still be present in secular culture?
- What stands in the way of the visible unity of the Church? How can we face these problems together?
- How can the unity of Christians contribute to spreading good in the modern world?
The conversation took place this time not in the lecture hall, but by candlelight, at the table, during a meal. The dinner favored a more relaxed mood and discussion not only in the general forum but also with the neighbors at the table. Many participants had the opportunity to express themselves and present their vision of ecumenism and being a Christian in a world in which more and more people declare their unbelief in God. There was also a common prayer and blessing.
Before entering the room, each participant received an “ecumenical mug” whose image was already known from posters and invitations to the meeting. The cups enjoyed great popularity, many guests decided to take them home, and almost everyone took part in a special photo session. The meeting lasted nearly two hours, and after the end of its official part, a large number of guests stayed to talk to each other, get to know each other and their churches better.
We would like to thank all our guests for taking part in the meeting and creating its extraordinary atmosphere of diversity, kindness and mutual respect. We hope you enjoy looking at the photo gallery of the evening’s event and those who participated.