The 13th Assembly of European Christian Environmental Network will take place under the title: ‘Reconciled with creation: a call for urgent action on climate and biodiversity’ from 29 August – 2 September 2020 in Evangelical Academy Bad Herrenalb (Germany). The Assembly will offer a broad ecumenical platform for strengthening cooperation and for sharing on activities related ecology, climate change and nature protection among representatives from Anglican, Orthodox, Protestant and RomanCatholic churches.
Climate change and sustainable development have become defining challenges of early decades of 21st century. The report of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) from October 2018 highlighted an unprecedented speed and far reaching impacts of climate change. Political efforts addressing climate change and sustainable development, incl. Paris climate accord, outcomes of annual COPs, efforts of UN, EU and many individual countries are mounting up.
Response to climate change and efforts for sustainable future are linked to an ethical dimension and to broader questions of individual and collective freedom, pursuing of justice and responsibility for future. Churches in Europe are more and more engaged in responding to multifaceted impacts of climate change, efforts for sustainable future and avoiding ecological destruction. In their approach they unite an emphasis on spiritual and ethical aspects with diverse practical activities, which faith communities are often engaged in at grassroots levels in communities across the continent. Care of creation, in form of numerous projects has become in recent years a visible part of environmental awareness of churches work in Europe. The task of exchange of experience and mutual support is in these efforts more important than ever before.
An essential aspect of the ECEN conference 2020 will be relating work of European churches in ecology and care for creation to the 2021 Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Karlsruhe. Partnership and close cooperation between ECEN and WCC has been successfully developing for years. The WCC Assembly in Europe, first after more than 5 decades, offers a unique opportunity for manifesting close link and support of European churches to the Assembly through many ways. ECEN has an ambition to emphasise this link in highlighting a joint efforts of churches in Europe and WCC in works on care for creation and ecological justice, and through the conference contribute to a meaningful way leading to the WCC Assembly 2021.
The theme of the WCC Assembly ‘Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity,’ offers for ECEN conference 2020 a thematic frame. The theme of the ECEN Assembly will be: ‘Reconciled with creation: a call for urgent action on climate and biodiversity.’ Under this title will ECEN conference offer a space for highlighting churches’ efforts for practices leading to sustainable future and to the governance supporting these practices. Detailed programme of the Assembly will be developed in coordination with WCC, in particular WCC working group on climate change.
ECEN Assembly will offer a space for highlighting churches’ efforts for practices leading to sustainable future and to the governance supporting these practices. Special attention will be paid to liturgical opening of Season of Creation 2019 in cooperation with CCEE.
Particular attention in preparation as well as in programme of the Assembly will be given to involvement of youth and specific youth’s concerns related to care of sustainable future. Close cooperation with Ecumenical Youth Council of Europe and World Student Christian Federation – Europe will be an essential part of the process.
The aims of the ECEN Assembly are:
o To offer space for the sharing and exchange of environmental action in the churches in Europe and the world, and to intensify work of churches in Europe and cooperation with partners with a particular attention to concerns of youth.
o To underline the ethical, spiritual and theological dimension of the environmental engagement of the churches.
o To highlight an effort of churches for a global coordinated action on climate change and sustainable development and support of theme of sustainable development and ecological justice in WCC Assembly 2021 in Karlsruhe.
o To provide the churches with guidance and support in their environmental work, and to develop their capacity for networking, cooperation and joint action.
Evangelical Landeskirche Baden
Ecumenical Youth Council of Europe
World Student Christian Federation - Europe
o Deepening the awareness of ecumenical cooperation and coordination of churches’ programmes on addressing climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
o Raising awareness of ethics, theology and the role of churches in addressing ecological disruption and efforts for sustainable development.
o Highlighting the theme of sustainable development and ecological justice and role of the churches in addressing these challenges in view of the upcoming WCC Assembly 2021 in Karlsruhe.
o Strengthening a common platform for sharing among churches in Europe in view of joint churches’ action on care for creation in concrete partnership programmes.