European Christian Environmental Network

European Christian Environmental Network

The European Christian Environmental Network is an effort of joint churches’ action in taking care for the planet, closely linked with three European Ecumenical Assemblies in Basel (1989), Graz (1997) and Sibiu (2007).

The European Ecumenical Assembly Peace with justice, held in Basel in May 1989 has proved to be an important landmark in cooperation between the 120 member churches of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) and the 25 Bishops' Conferences of the Council of European Bishops Conferences (CCEE). For many churches it was an opportunity to follow the call of the Vancouver 1983 General Assembly of the World Council of Churches to enter now into a conciliar process of mutual commitment (covenant) for Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation.

Most of the member churches of CEC understand the Basel Assembly also to be a contribution in this "conciliar process". Other churches taking part in the Assembly prefer not to use the term "conciliar process". But all the churches represented in Basel agree that they are committed to an ecumenical process for Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation.

The 2nd European Ecumenical Assembly in Graz, Austria, in 1997 on the theme Reconciliation - Gift of God and Source of New Life further strengthened the need for churches to act and to come in their efforts for integrity of creation with a common witness. In following that spirit the Assembly recommended that a network of persons with environmental responsibilities within the churches should be set up at a European level. ECEN is a response to this call. The network has been established in October 1998 in the Orthodox Academy in Vilemov in the Czech republic.

The 3rd European Ecumenical Assembly in 2007 in Sibiu, Romania, which met under the title 'The light of Christ shines upon all' further supported these efforts. The Assembly recommended that a consultative process, addressing European responsibility for ecological justice, facing the threat of climate change; European responsibility for the just shaping of globalisation …. be initiated by CCEE and CEC, with the Churches in Europe and with Churches of other continents.

At the same time the Assembly recommended that the period from the 1st September to the 4th of October be dedicated to prayer for the protection of Creation and the promotion of sustainable lifestyles that reverse our contribution to climate change.

The aim of the ECEN is to share information, experiences in environmental work among widely varied Christian traditions and to encourage a united witness in caring for God's creation. ECEN, as the main working instrument of the Conference of European Churches for addressing the need for environmental engagement and responding to climate change works closely with the World Council of Churches (wcc-coe.org) and with the European Catholic Bishops' Conference (www.ccee.ch).

More on ECEN: http://ecen.org/assemblies/assemblies

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