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  • 1. 1091 Budapest, Kálvin tér 8. HUNGARY Tel: +36.1.219.5166 ◦ Fax: +36.1.219.5167 E-mail: regionaloffice@wscf-europe.org Web: www.wscf-europe.org Prospectus 2009January 9-11 2009Consultation “Europe, Art and Spirituality: Building up Intercultural Identity”Vienna, AustriaThis is the preparatory meeting for the conference “Europe, Art andSpirituality: Building up Intercultural Identity”, which will take place from 29April to 5 May. The purpose of the meeting is for the hosting and preparatorycommittees to meet together in person, to better become acquainted with theconference venue, to network and create a database of various experts inrelation to the themes and sessions, and to make other preparations. Thismeeting allows for leadership training for all young participants involved. Theoverall aims of the conference, planned during this meeting, include analysisof the interaction between art and religion and art and society, study ofdifferent European identities and their common ground, exploration of the useof art as an intercultural language, and the development of tools forintercultural dialogue.February 2-3 2009Board meetingTrieste, ItalyA meeting between General Secretary, Chairperson, Vice-chair and theTreasurer will be held to ensure that all programmes are running as scheduledand foreseen, and to prepare items on the agenda of the forthcoming EuropeanRegional Committee meeting. The meeting aims also to secure the upcomingevents and will be used for networking with local organisations andstrengthening the relationship with the local movement, where we currently donot have strong contacts.February 4-8 2009European Regional Committee (ERC) meetingTrieste, Italy This is the first statutory and thematic meeting of the EuropeanRegional Committee of WSCF Europe in 2009. Along with reflecting andevaluating the past year and planning for the next year, the meeting in Italywill also give the committee an opportunity to visit the local student movementand to build stronger contacts in the member movement, giving theopportunity for movement building. This also addresses the ERC’s priority to
  • 2. focus more on southern European movement building and on the possibility ofdeveloping sub-regional activities there.February 13 2009Universal Day of Prayer for StudentsAll over the world in over 105 countriesThe Universal Day of Prayer for Students (UDPS) is one of the longestestablished ecumenical events. The UDPS was first celebrated on Sunday 13thFebruary 1898 at the second meeting of the General Committee of the WorldStudent Christian Federation. The early leaders of the Federation called onChristian students around the world to join together in February each year forobservance of the UDPS. During the World Wars, when it was impossible tohold WSCF meetings, the major bond of unity between those separated fromone another by the ravages of war was the annual observance of the Day ofPrayer for Students.For more than a century, students and friends of WSCF have observed this dayas a way to express their common commitment as witnesses of our faith in Godand in each other, to the world both inside and outside our academiccommunities.February 12-15 2009NCC Winter Meeting "What Did Moses Say to a Giraffe? - Religious Humour:Not a Threat But a Tool"Espoo, FinlandThe annual winter seminar of the Nordic Sub-region of WSCF will deal withthe topic of religious humour. Lately religious humour has become anincreasingly important method of reflection on societys turbulences. Thepopulation in the Nordic countries today is more diverse than ever before,especially in religious beliefs. One way for both the native and the immigrantpopulation to relate to the current situation is through humour. This borderbetween sacred and funny has been frequently explored - and crossed - duringthe last few years. Visual humour about Islam has caused severe outbreaks andhas even strengthened the related stereotypes of both Muslims and Christians.The positive sides of religious humour have been poorly explored due to thebig debate on the negative outcomes. Still, at its best, religious humour can bean excellent source of positive energy, new perspectives and genuine self-reflection – a tool for encountering and understanding the other. The aims ofour seminar are to explore religious humour in its various forms and to lookinto its effects on societies; to create an understanding of the relationshipbetween the sacred and the funny and how this varies in different contexts;and to recongise the potential of religious humour and to learn to use it inreligious youth work.
  • 3. February 13-19 2009Inter-regional Staff meetingGeneva, SwitzerlandThis is the annual gathering of the inter-regional staff. Meeting in Geneva, theheadquarters of WSCF, provides the opportunity to meet ecumenical andorganizational partners. In addition to this, the meeting offers the staff spacefor practical follow-up of events. Some time will be dedicated to planning forthe future, movement building, and to the organization of the upcoming inter-regional programme hosted by Middle East Region.February 18-22 2009CESR Winter Seminar “Modern Media: Innovations and Influences onDialogue in Central Europe”Kremsmünster, AustriaThis annual thematic winter seminar of the Central European Subregion ofWSCF will gather students from Central Europe (Poland, Slovakia, CzechRepublic, Hungary, and Austria) to discuss current issues of media, itsinterpretation and effect on both individual, national, and internationalidentities. We seek to explore the current status and effects of contemporarymodels of media, from internet forums to printed news, focusing on howmodern communication connects and enables European youth today in anincreasing globalised world, but also on how it shapes and changes concepts ofidentity. As media forms change, and individual opinions can be spread acrossthe globe via internet, society and the individual changes. When makingdecisions, as young people today, what is our role in relation to the media?How do we respond to media and in what way do we shape it? How does itaffect our individuality, nationality, or our dialogue with others fromthroughout the globe?Through facilitating intercultural dialogue between youth—future leaders—wehope to create a forum to study, compare, and discuss topics relating to themedia and the role of youth in the media today. As youth, what is our role intoday’s media? How do we interpret the constant influx of information? Howdoes the media contribute to dialogue between cultures, etc? In interactivesessions, we desire to work together to over turn prejudices and creating aproductive forum for understanding young people’s role in promoting positivechanges in their respective communities and in a diversified Europe.March 19-22 2009European Regional Staff meetingPrague, Czech Republic
  • 4. The staff meeting aims to train the coordinators of the local SCMs on currentissues of WSCF. Staff from the student Christian movements (SCMs) acrossEurope will gather, to share movement reports, activities, and struggles,enabling them to better cooperate and network together, as well as to sharenews and helpful information.April 24-26 2009Strategic planning meeting with EYCEBudapest, Hungary Furthering our cooperation with EYCE (Ecumenical Youth Council inEurope), the board members of both organizations will meet together to bothformally and informally discuss and plan future cooperations, fundraising, andevents.April 29 – May 5 2009European Regional Conference “Europe, Art and Spirituality – Building upIntercultural Identity”Vienna, AustriaGathering students from all over Europe, this conference will study the topic ofart, religion and society and their interaction throughout history and potentialas a tool for intercultural learning, sharing and dialogue. Art provides amedium and voice to examine European society, as well as to appreciate thebeauty of the variety in this multinational continent. Artists cannot beindifferent to the world around them; their task is to question, to search for theanswers to various phenomena in society. Society cannot be indifferent to art,because it is an integral part of heritage, culture, and identity. The themes tobe examined from the point of view of European cultural heritage include, i.e.discussion on various cultural identities and their common ground andinfluences; the impact of EU enlargement on the cultural identity of minoritiesand ethnic groups; art as an intercultural language, a means of universalexpressions that everyone understands and the way art has been and can beused in society and religious institutions both positively and negatively.Examining the variety of cultural influences and expressions within Europe,the conference aims to promote intercultural dialogue and appreciation ofdiversity among young people in Europe, and to empower students to raisetheir own views through artistic mediums in society, as well as to be able tocritically examine artistic influences and their use, becoming multipliers intheir own communities. The conference will be hosted by the Austrian membermovement and organised by the Culture and Higher Education interest groupof WSCF Europe.May 1-3 2009European Senior Friends meeting
  • 5. Vienna, AustriaDuring the thematic student conference, former active members of WSCFEurope who want to remain involved in the life of WSCF-E by being resourcepersons, helping in fundraising or supporting various initiatives in theircurrent networks will gather for the first intergenerational senior friendsmeeting in Europe. The aims of the meeting include planning and developingthe network of senior friends in Europe and providing a forum for exchangebetween the current student generation and those of the past.May 2009Consultation on “Gender, society and religion – Exploring Diversity inExpanding Europe” and the European Regional AssemblyBucharest, RomaniaThe preparatory committee for the next regional assembly will meet at thevenue. The members of the preparatory team will meet with the local hostingorganization. They will also use the opportunity to meet with ecumenicalpartners and to consult with various experts concerning the topic of thethematic conference organised prior to the Assembly.May 22-24 200932nd German Church Days: “Mortal, where are you?”Bremen, GermanyKirchentag 2009 will be a forum for dialogue, a festival of encounters of faithand fellowship that will focus on what matters to people and on what movesChristians beyond denominational and national borders. Over 100 000 visitorsare expected.The special thing about Kirchentag is that it is not planned “top down,” butthat it grows “from below”. Almost half of all participants are also contributors.They are active in helping to plan the programme with music, theatre,performance art, worship services or in brass bands and choirs.Openness, on the one hand, and a clear Protestant profile, on the other, havealways been the trademarks of the Kirchentag movement, and this will also bethe case in Bremen in 2009. The German Student Christian Movement ofWSCF, ESG, is contributing in many ways to the Kirchentag programme.Members of nearly all local ESGs and various international guests are planningtheir trips to Bremen. Different societal or church organisations will alsointroduce their work in Bremen. During Kirchentag, church and civic groupspresent their concerns at stands and demonstrate them through actions andevents. The Swedish Student Christian Movement, KRISS, and the NorwegianStudent Christian Movement, Forbundet, will also participate in the variousprogrammes of Kirchentag.May 28 - June 2 2009
  • 6. Young delegates pre-assembly for CEC General AssemblyThe Conference of European Churches will celebrate its 50th anniversary andgather for its 13th assembly in the summer of 2009. Prior to the assembly, CECand its associated youth organisations, including WSCF-E, will organise atraining meeting for the young delegates coming from different memberchurches in order to empower them to participate fully in the assembly.May 2009Ecumenical Leadership training "Right to believe - right to be and to live:freedom of religion?"UkraineThe freedom of churches, religions and individuals in Central and EasternEurope during the communist time was violated significantly on many levels.Even today, in practice and legislation, religious freedom, an essential humanright, is not respected in many societies, throughout the world and in Europe.In addition, there are many different, sometimes contradictory, concepts ofreligious freedom – one of the most arbitrary ones being the current law onreligion in Belarus. What is the responsibility of students in response to thisviolation of human rights? In this training, WSCF will gather young studentactivists – current and future leaders – to dialogue and discuss the currentsituation together. Through activities, participants will identify currentviolations and will study how to work and campaign for the observance of thisessential human right. By raising awareness, this training seeks to promotenot only feelings but actions of solidarity crossing national lines andparticipation of young people in the civil societies, challenging students towork and campaign for religious freedom for themselves and their neighbours,and thus promoting a more peaceful and just Europe and world.June 2009Global Executive Committee meeting and UNESCO 2009 World conference“The New Dynamics of Higher Education”Paris, FranceThe Executive Committee of the global WSCF meets in every 1,5 years. TheEurope region is represented in the meeting by 4-5 persons. On top of thestatutory meeting of the global federation, a training programme will be held.The meeting is the first meeting after the General Assembly of WSCF, held inAugust 2008, and the elections of the new Executive Committee. During themeeting the Committee will also participate in the UNESCO conference onHigher Education and do advocacy work on issues affecting students and theirlives.
  • 7. July (first week) 2009CESR Summer conferenceHungaryThis annual thematic summer seminar of the Central European Subregion ofWSCF will gather students from Central Europe (Poland, Slovakia, CzechRepublic, Hungary, and Austria) to discuss and dialogue together aboutburning issues as a region within Europe. The topic has not yet been chosen.July 2009Stewards programme for the CEC AssemblyLyon, FranceDuring the Assembly a stewards programme for 50 young people will beorganised by CEC and the associated youth organisations, whose expertise inorganising youth projects has a crucial role in the programme. WSCF-Eparticipates in the planning and implementation of the programme.July 15-21 2009The General Assembly of Conference of European Churches “Called to OneHope in Christ”Lyon, FranceIn the assembly, CEC and its various commissions and member churches willreflect on its past and plan for its future work and participation in theEuropean society. Its leadership for the next 6 years will also be elected.During the assembly CEC will also celebrate its 50th anniversary, and themerger between CEC and the Churches Commission for Migrants in Europe.July 2009NCC Summer meetingSwedenThe annual summer thematic winter meeting of the Nordic CooperationCouncil, a subregion of WSCF, gathers students from local SCMs to discussand dialogue together about burning issues as a region within Europe. Thetopic has not yet been chosen.July 2009WESR summer programmeTáize, FranceThe Western European Sub-Region (currently United Kingdom and Germany),established in the summer of 2008, will organise a study trip to the Táizecommunity in France. The aims of the programme include cultural exchange,further planning of the subregional cooperation, and contact building with theFrench Student Christian Movement and Táize movement.
  • 8. July 2009Lingua Franca training seminar “Stop Being Silent”SerbiaDomestic violence is often hushed and hidden; its cycle is continued fromgeneration to generation. Clichéd phrases and popular mentalities make lightof it. Studies completed by the World Health Organization and the Council ofEurope have shown that at least 25% of women experience some sort ofdomestic violence during their lifetime. Domestic violence affects not onlywomen but also men and children. What is domestic violence, how can you identify it, how can it bestopped? How can we prevent the cycle of abuse that permeates in oursociety? Are their traditional views or opinions in our societies that excusedomestic violence? Raising awareness about the signs, causes, and methods toovercome domestic violence is essential; silence about the issue merelyperpetuates the cycle. What can students and young people do to prevent domestic violence?In what forums and spaces can we speak out to raise awareness in oursocieties, churches and schools? This training is the second part of WSCF Europes 3-year project tocombat domestic violence in Central and Eastern Europe.August 3-10 2009Agape International Theological Camp "Revelation: a Word of Fears andDreams or a Confrontation with the Reality?"Prali, ItalyFor one week, young people from every continent will gather for collectiveliving, filled with interactive session involving intercultural readings of theBible. This year, the focus will be on reading the book of Revelation: does thisbook suggest an escape from reality or give courage and hope when facing thecontradictions of the present?August 11-18 2009Agape International Political CampPrali, ItalyGathering young people from all over the world, the Agape Political Camp willcontinue discussing the topic of migration. Wars and famine, just to mentiontwo of many actors, are forcing people to leave their homes and arrive legallyor illegally, welcome or unwelcome, into other countries. The camp will studysome political alternatives and proposals, concepts of "legality" and "illegality"and consider the reasons for immigration and the conditions of migrants in thecountry of reception, with special focus on people who have escaped a
  • 9. disastrous situation in their home countries, such as from Iraq, or from Africanand Latin American countries.August 30 – September 5 2009ESG International Students Meeting “1989”Waldsieversdorf, Germany As in past years, the International Ecumenical Student Meeting will takeplace in the summer in the beautiful town of Waldsieversdorf. The main aim ofthe meeting will be to facilitate exchanges between students from differentcountries in Europe. The learning and testing of new methods of internationalwork and intercultural communication will be part of the meeting.Summer months (June to September)Lingua Franca Leadership and Language Training CoursesUkraine, Belarus, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Armenia, Balkans, Italy, France Lingua Franca is a Language and Leadership Training Project aimed atbreaking down linguistic barriers between East and West and at assistingmovement-building in Eastern and Central Europe. Participants in the courseswill get the chance to improve their skills in a foreign language; courseorganisers will exercise and improve leadership and management skills;Western and Southern teachers will learn from direct experience about EasternEuropean realities. The language course will mainly take place in EasternEuropean countries (Romania, Bulgaria, Belarus and Ukraine and the Balkans)where language training is highly needed in order to enable youth participationat international events. In addition, student groups in Italy and France have requested to hostlanguage training courses, and these may take place in the Summer or Fall.Summer 2009Inter-regional eventBeirut, LebanonFocusing on the annual theme (to be decided in late December 2008 - earlyJanuary 2009) and on the questions and challenges of intercultural encountersand living together, students from Europe and from around the globe willgather in Lebanon for the WSCF Inter-regional conference, to be hosted by theMiddle East region. This conference will look at the situations and issuesfacing students from a global perspective, examining diverse approaches fromthe various regions of the world and allowing for intercultural dialogue andexchange. The Europe region of WSCF will participate in the planning andimplementation of the programme, and will send 2 delegates from Europeanmember movements as participants.October 4-6 and October 12 2009
  • 10. Regional Committee meetingBucharest, RomaniaPrior to the European Regional Assembly, the Regional Committee will gatherfor a meeting for final preparations of the statutory issues of the Assembly, andto report and evaluate the work done during their 2-year mandate. The firstmeeting of the new Regional Committee will take place immediately after theAssembly. The purpose of the meeting is to offer the members a space to meeteach other and to get to know each other. The committee will shortly addressthe following topics: working plan 2010-2011, solidarity conference 2010,Edinburgh Mission conference 2010, and the theology conference 2010.October 6-11 2009WSCF regional conference “Gender, society and religion – Exploring Diversityin Expanding Europe”Bucharest, Romania Issues of gender and gender equality touch us at the very core of ourexistence as gendered beings. Our daily lives, identities and social structures,with their possibilities and limits, are all shaped by our conception of gender.As a result of migration and globalisation, Europe is becoming moreheterogeneous, multi-religious and multi-cultural. Traditional conceptions ofgender roles are in flux. This situation brings great challenge and promise forEuropean citizens, communities and institutions, examining how all can livetogether in peace, respect, and dignity. Living together requires understandingthat comes through dialogue. Promoting tolerance of different genderidentities and sexualities is crucial. We need to analyse experiences related todefinitions of gender in modern Europe. To address this topic, WSCF will organise a thematic conference inRomania, gathering students from throughout Europe study and dialoguetogether about these issues. The conference will be hosted by our memberRomanian student movement, ASCOR – Iasi.October 11-13 2009WSCF European Regional AssemblyBucharest, Romania The European Regional Assembly (ERA) will meet following thethematic conference. The ERA is the highest decision-making body of WSCFEurope. At this statutory meeting, the activities of the Europe region for thepast 2 years will be evaluated and the activities and vision for the next 2 yearswill be planned. A new European Regional Committee will also be elected.November 2009Board meetingIreland
  • 11. A meeting between General Secretary, Chairperson, Vice-chair and theTreasurer will be held to ensure that all programmes are running as planned.The meeting aims also to secure upcoming events and will be used fornetworking with local organisations and strengthening the relationship withthe local movement, where we currently do not have strong contacts.December 2009Consultation for the Solidarity Conference 2010Portugal This is the preparatory meeting of the solidarity conference, taking placein spring 2010. The purpose of the meeting is to better become acquaintedwith the conference venue, for the hosting and preparatory committees tobetter network and create a database of various experts of the field, and forother preparations. This meeting allows for leadership training for all youngparticipants involved.InternshipsRachael Weber from Virginia, USA, works in the regional office through anecumenical voluntary organization, the “Brethren Voluntary Service.” Hertasks include the various aims of the publications coordinator (editing Mozaik,etc.). The other half of her time goes to coordinating the ecumenical leadershiptraining programme Lingua Franca, aiming at developing young leadership,and especially the leadership of young women.PublicationsMozaik (established in 1992) is the Ecumenical Journal of the World StudentChristian Federation (WSCF, 1895) Europe Region, and comes out two orthree times a year. It aims to reflect the wide variety of opinions and points-of-view present among the different Student Christian Movements in dialogue.The contributors are all attached to national Student Christian Movements,representing various Christian denominations (Anglican, Orthodox, Protestantand Roman Catholic).An informative electronic newsletter comes out at least 4 times a year. One cansubscribe to the list by sending an email to the regional office.The Central European Sub-Region will publish its annual anthology, followingthe themes of the conferences.