Witness, Justice, Hospitality: CEC Assembly draws to a close

5 June, 2018

Sending service in Novi Sad. Photo: Albin Hillert/CEC

After nine full days of worship, listening and learning, the 2018 Novi Sad General Assembly of the Conference of European Churches has drawn to a close. Those gathered joined in a final sending service, which emphasized the role of Christian hope in the future of Europe.

The Assembly brought together the three keywords—witness, justice, and hospitality—with a final message calling to deepen solidarity, build just communities, and practise dialogue. To read the full Assembly message, please click here.

Remaining business plenaries approved reports from the finance, strategy and policy, message, and public issues committee. The Assembly also finalised the constitution to bring it into accordance with Belgian law.

Strategic points for the period 2018 to 2023 include developing more regional work, strengthening and expanding partnerships and networks, raising awareness of CEC’s work among its constituency and the wider world, and taking sustainability seriously. Issues for broader, public engagement include economic and climate justice, youth involvement, peacebuilding, human rights, refugees and migration, freedom of religion or belief, populism, and family. Reports from the committees will be made available as they are finalised and translated.

The Assembly elected a new Governing Board and presidency. Rev. Christian Krieger of the Reformed Protestant Church of Alsace and Lorraine was elected president, and as vice-presidents the Rt Rev. Dr Gulnar Francis-Dehqani (Church of England) and Metropolitan Cleopas Strongylis (Ecumenical Patriarchate).

Members of the Governing Board are:

Mr Andreas Aarflot, Church of Norway

Bishop Nick Baines, Church of England

Rev. Jelle Brouwer, United Protestant Church of Belgium

Rev. Anne Burghardt, Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church

Ms Emma Johnson, Methodist Church in Britain

Metropolitan Joseph of Western & Southern Europe, Romanian Orthodox Church

Rev. Frank Kopania, Evangelical Church in Germany

Prof Petr Kratochvil, Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren

Archimandrite Ignatios, Church of Greece

Bishop Hovakim Manukyan, Diocese of the Armenian Church of the United Kingdom and Ireland

Rev. Alison McDonald, Church of Scotland

Archimandrite Nektarios, Church of Cyprus

Ms Alexandra Pistalo, Serbian Orthodox Church

Dr Valérie Duval-Poujol, Federal Evangelical Baptist Churches of France

Ms Zsuzsanna Répási, Reformed Christian Church in Slovakia

Ms Lea Kathrin Schlenker, Evangelical Church in Germany

Very Rev. Anders Gadegaard, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark


Elected as an electoral reserve of members who could be invited as proxies to the board were:

Deacon Iakovos Andriopoulos, Church of Greece

Rev. Ella-Maria Boba, Evangelical Church in Austria

Ms Katarzyna Charkiewicz, Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church

Rev. Dr Vilmos Fischl, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary

Ms Karine Haryutunyan, Armenian Apostolic Church

Åsa Ingårda, Church of Sweden

Ms Renata Japenga, Protestant Church in the Netherlands

OKR Rainer Kiefer, Evangelical Church in Germany

Mr Tuomo Mäkelä, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland

Ms Maria Mountraki, Orthodox Church of Finland

Rev. Daniel Topalski, United Methodist Church in Bulgaria

Rev. Klaas Van der Kamp, Protestant Church in the Netherlands

Dr Petr Jan Vins, Old-Catholic Church in the Czech Republic

Rev. Canon Carol Wardman, Church in Wales

Among CEC Members Churches in the Vojvodina region are the Serbian Orthodox Church, Reformed Christian Church in Serbia and Montenegro, Slovak Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Serbia and United Methodist Church in Serbia. The CEC General Assembly is held upon invitation from and in cooperation with these churches in Serbia.

For high resolution photos please click here

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