Assembly 2023 celebrating 25th anniversary of ECEN
EVERY PART OF CREATION MATTERS
Roskilde, Denmark, 31st August – 3rd September
A CALL FROM THE ASSEMBLY
The 2023 Assembly of ECEN met from 31st August – 3rd September in Roskilde, Denmark with over 80 participants from different churches from 25 countries in Europe.
We were grateful for the warm welcome and generous hospitality from our host churches in Denmark, in particular the community of Sankt Jørgensbjerg, Roskilde.
We were encouraged and challenged by particular contributions from our colleagues in Belarus and Ukraine. They are being faithful to the bigger picture of care for creation in difficult situations. Giving hope for a better future and contributing to peace-building by providing education for a sustainable future to all generations inside and outside the church. We heard of local church projects in Denmark and saw the fruits of good engagement by their leaders shaping some excellent projects. They gave testimony to the importance of learning from ECEN.
The CEC discussion paper” Every Part of Creation Matters” formed the framework for the Assembly. The two parts of the paper, “A Relational Eco-Theology” and “From a European Green Deal to a Green Economy” shaped our discussion.
The Assembly reflected on words from the gospel of Matthew ‘You are the salt of the earth’ and ‘You are the light of the world’. Reminding us that we have a role as Christians with a commitment to care for our planet, to be embedded in practical and relational ways, in our churches and localities and to shine, show and share good ideas, and to influence our wider society for good.
Young people made a strong contribution to our Assembly. We would urge Churches to find ways to give young people a voice and for them to have opportunities to influence decision and to consider younger people to be a part of their delegation to ECEN meetings in the future.
Theologians, church leaders, experts and politicians informed our debates and the outcomes of the Assembly.
We remain very aware of the escalating urgency seen in fire, flood, famine and migration across our continent, and the world, therefore we need to be a people who are fully engaging in transforming society. We offer support and encouragement to all the churches involved in challenging unjust structures and building hope for our common future.
Participants of the Assembly were encouraged by the recent outcomes of the Assemblies of the World Council of Churches and the Conference of European Churches held in 2022 and 2023 respectively, expressing the commitment of churches to strengthening WCC and CEC engagement on care for creation and climate justice.
Being aware of these commitments the ECEN Assembly calls upon the churches to support these aims. Networking and sharing of experience proved to be vital building stones in our growing and sustaining our churches activities. ECEN remains a space for support, sharing of good ideas and practice, inspiration from subject experts, theologians, and church leaders, and encouragement from grassroots practitioners.
We call upon the churches to engage with and promote networking in further developing eco-theology, and practical steps in eco-management of churches, and to support ECEN as an integral part of our ecumenical space.