Arms trade – Fair Trade

16 July 2009

In 2001, Churches in Sweden started a dialogue on ethical questions related to arms trade and arms export. The idea was also to involve producers and users. The dialogue, now called the Gothenburg process, tackles questions such as: Can political and industrial goals for arms trade be coordinated into a legally binding code of conduct? When is arms trade fair according to moral standards? The objective of this hearing is to make the idea and the content of the Gothenburg process known and to involve representatives from European Churches in the arms trade issue. The discussion on an Arms Trade Treaty will be highlighted.

Organiser: Christian Council of Sweden

European Churches responding to migration 2010

16 July 2009

“That they may all be one” (John 17,21) Migration and the changing ecclesial landscape in Europe – European Churches responding to migration 2010

Migration is perceived as a major challenge in European societies today. At the same time, migration offers perspectives for living in diversity, enrichment for personal life as well as for churches’ life. This hearing will provide information on migration in Europe and its effects on diversity within churches and societies in Europe. Specific information will be given on churches’ plans regarding the migration year 2010, and the hearing will also allow us to share relevant experiences from our different regions.

Organiser: Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME)

Minimum Standards of Human Rights

16 July 2009

Minimum Standards of Human Rights for Churches and Communities of Faith and Conviction

Since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, contemporary international Human Rights law has expanded by means of a number of other treaties and declarations. Although rights of concern to minorities are found in most of these documents, instruments and procedures specifically devoted to the rights of persons belonging to minorities have largely been developed during the past decade. In this hearing Dr Peter Kromer will present a paper on Minimum Standards for Churches and Communities of Faith and Conviction.

Organiser: Church and Society Commission’s (CSC) Working Group on Human Rights and religious freedom

Paper - Minimum Standards (Minimum Rights) for Churches
and Communities of Faith and Conviction      EN   DE

Human Enhancement and New Technologies

16 July 2009

Human Enhancement and New Technologies

People have for ages sought to improve the human condition with the help of technology. Due to recent discoveries, the idea of significantly modifying the human body is no longer mere science fiction. “Human enhancement” is about trying to make changes to human bodies – characteristics, abilities, emotions and capacities - beyond what we regard as normal. The examples include chemicals to enhance performance, mood or cognition; functional implants like brain-computer chip links; changes to body cells and systems; and life extension. “Human enhancement” raises deep theological and ethical issues about our humanity, our societies and our human destiny – as well as relating to our hope.

Organiser: Church and Society Commission of CEC

Globalisation and Financial crises - A Challenge for Churches?

16 July 2009

Globalisation and Financial crises – Europe in relation to other continents

Talking about globalisation means talking about people’s daily life – the events and developments that influence the life of people in each and every region on our planet. The current economic crisis is worsening into recession, which will have impacts far beyond the limits of the economy, with drastic effects for millions of people. The interdependence of the world today calls us to hear voices from other continents. Respecting others and working together with others is part of a Christian response to the challenges posed by globalisation and financial crises.

Organiser: Globalisation Task Force of the Church and Society Commission of CEC and the CEC SRI Project

Gender Stereotypes in Church and Society

17 July 2009

Gender Stereotypes in Church and Society

Who am I? How does my gender relate to my Christian identity? How do the gender stereotypes present in society and the church influence how we respond to being called to one hope in Christ?
 
This hearing will share stories of gender stereotypes throughout Europe, offer theological insight, prayerful reflection, and provide an opportunity to consider how with this knowledge we can move beyond such stereotypes to a better world.

Organisers: Ecumenical Forum of European Christian Women (EFECW) with European Forum of Christian Men (EFCM)

The Churches and their relations to the European Institutions

17 July 2009

The Churches and their relations to the European Institutions

Since Jacgues Delors, President of the European Commission in 1990, called the churches to contribute to ‘the heart and soul’ of Europe, the dialogue between churches and the European institutions has been wide and intensive.

In this hearing, Laurens Hogebrink (from the Netherlands) will present the findings of his recent study on this issue. Some delegates from different traditions have been asked for a brief response. The hearing will reflect on the role of the churches at the European level and how dialogue between the churches and European institutions at this level relates to the life and work of churches at home.

Organiser: Church and Society Commission of CEC

The Common Voice of the Churches towards the European Institutions

17 July 2009

The Common Voice of the Churches towards the European Institutions

This hearing will evaluate the close co-operation between CPCE and CEC in relation to the European institutions. It will provide a forum for discussion of how the churches’ common voice can be strengthened through the future work in CEC.
 
Speakers: Bishop Dr. Michael Bünker, CPCE General Secretary (Vienna); Rev. Dr. Stephanie Dietrich, CPCE Presidium (Oslo); Bishop D. Frank Otfried July (Stuttgart); Rev. Rüdiger Noll, CSC Director (Brussels).

Organiser: Community of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE)

Globalisation and Financial Crises

17 July 2009

Globalisation and Financial Crises – A Challenge for the Churches?

One of the most burning societal issues is the current economic and financial crisis. As Christians we also look at this issue as an ethical challenge. What does the crisis imply for churches and individual Christians and how should they react on the basis of their faith? How have they responded? Which lessons can they learn and which conclusions can they draw? Speaker: Prof. Dr. Christoph Stueckelberger, Director and Founder of Globethics.net, Switzerland.

Organiser: Globalisation Task Force of the Church and Society Commission of CEC and the CEC SRI Project

Churches and Climate Change

17 July 2009

Churches and Climate Change

Climate change is increasingly affecting this planet and our daily lives. A political process discussing climate change and the possibility of addressing it effectively at the global level will culminate in the UN Climate Change Conference to take place in Copenhagen in December 2009. Its challenge will be to agree on concrete steps by which political decision-makers could organise a global response to the threat of dramatic change in the world’s climate. Basing their action on Christian theology, the Churches take part in the political dialogue as well as in taking their own concrete steps to counter climate change and call for a change of lifestyle.

Organiser: European Christian Environmental Network (ECEN)

Communication as a spider in the web called "church"

18 July 2009

Communication as a spider in the web called "church"

We are leaving behind the old concept of communication as simply a process of transmission and moving into a new thinking of communication as a mutual process for building community.

In relation to the churches, it is important to create a meaningful community which communicates accurately and in a timely manner in and through all levels. This challenges us to break new ground and reconsider the tensions between transmission, proclamation and dialogue; to reconsider and re-order the whole process of communication within the Church itself.

Mutual process communication is one core pillar of the Church, the “spider” weaving in and out of our churches refining communication processes’ and tools, and helping the decision making bodies in the churches by processing information that is accurate, timely, accessible and transparent.

Organiser: WACC Europe

How do we make our hopes reality?

18 July 2009

How do we make our hopes reality?

Our Hope is in Christ, but this Hope calls for concrete commitments, vision and plans. This hearing will explore the connections between our hope and our hopes for CEC, for Europe and for our Churches. It – hopefully – will provide an opportunity for discussion of the hopes and suggestions expressed by delegates during the first days of the Assembly.

Organisers: CEC Associated Youth Organisations (EYCE, WSCF-Europe, YMCA-Europe and Syndesmos)

A world free of nuclear weapons

18 July 2009

A world free of nuclear weapons

On 1 April 2009, US President Obama and Russian President Medvedev made a joint commitment on behalf of their countries in pursuit of a world free of nuclear weapons. This was the culmination of a new political dynamic that began in January 2007 with the plea by four US security veterans, including Henry Kissinger, for a complete abolishment of nuclear weapons. Faced with the combined threat of more states going nuclear and of terrorists acquiring nuclear weapons, the solution can no longer be found in ‘reductions’, the only answer is ‘zero’. Why is Europe not ready for the good news? What can the churches in Europe do? In this hearing Laurens Hogebrink (from the Netherlands) will offer proposals and plans for the second half of 2009 and for 2010.

Organiser: Church and Society Commission of CEC

Globalisation and Financial Crises – Socially Responsible Investments

18 July 2009

Globalisation and Financial Crises – Socially Responsible Investments

Sustainable, socially responsible investments offer one possible response to the challenges of globalisation and the current crisis. They are also a tangible witness of Christian values and contribute to creating a positive image of the churches. Investment should not only be used to generate good returns - but also for the benefit of the environment and to create a more just society. In this hearing professionals will explain to us how mission and money can be linked. Speakers: Asset Manager Laurence Loubieres, Sister Xaverian, and John Cunningham, Chairman of Church Investors Group (UK).

Organiser: Globalisation Task Force of the Church and Society Commission of CEC and the CEC SRI Project
Document: Time is ripe – meeting challenges of globalisation and financial crises - Birgit Weinbrenner
Document: Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) - What does it mean?
- Birgit Weinbrenner