Suggestions on the life and deeds of Christians in the Czech Republic – The theses of Želiv
Representatives of the Churches met in May last year in the monastery of Želiv, within the framework of the commission for questions of statutes and future spiritual orientation of the World Council of Churches (WCC), to discuss suggestions about the life and deeds of the Christian Churches in the territory of the Czech Republic. The result of this meeting was the publication of the document “Theses of Želiv”.
These theses shall be a kind of spiritual foundation for the further development of the ecumenical movement. The text was approved during the last general meeting of the World Council of Churches in November 2011. We recommend to our parishes and communities to read these theses and to discuss them both, at a community level as well as in meetings of the local ecumenical movement.
One of the specific results of the theses of Želiv is a new section on the WCC website where, in the form of articles, photo reports, or testimonies, contributions about ecumenical events throughout the Republic can be published.
The theses of Želiv
In this joyful post-Easter season of the Epiphany of the Lord and in expectation of the feast of Pentecost the Commission has drafted a proposal regarding the spiritual foundation under the working title: 'theses of Želiv'.
1) Together we confess that, we will listen to each other in the Holy Spirit, we will hear each other (respect in diversity), we will perceive the needs of each other and want to be a gift to each other.
2) The Churches affiliated in the WCC proclaim the words and works of Christ, each in its own way and yet together (unity in diversity).
3) We believe that Christ is our foundation, therefore we can rejoice in our diversity.
4) Conscious that we are called by the Father through Christ to form one family we confess that one Church, if it remains alone, will lack the traditions and the richness of the spiritual gifts of the other Churches. Equally the other Churches become impoverished by the lack of the traditions and richness of spiritual gifts of that Church. Unity in diversity, for which we strive, expresses the abundance of the Gospel.
5) God's love for humankind is the source of our mutual love.
6) Christ's sacrifice guides us to be responsible for the world and humankind.
7) The way to each other is a path of humility, for which Christ equips us with tools and resources.
8) We are aware that it is not in our power (ability) to achieve this unity. The power of the Holy Spirit, which we ask for in prayer, will guide us to it.
Results for the practice
The Commission recommends:
1. To add a link “Practical, communal life of the Churches in the ecumenical movement” to the WCC website, under which the individual parishes and communities can share their common projects (articles, photos, testimonies).
2. Doing things together:
- to work with greater emphasis on existing common projects such as “Prayer for our homeland”, “Alliance Prayer Week” and “Week of Prayer for Christian Unity”.
- to deepen the cooperation between military, prison and hospital chaplains and to help with the preparation of police chaplains.
- to reduce anxiety and prejudice against the Church in the population with appropriate mission and evangelism.
- to prepare for Czech television and radio a monthly program about Churches and Christian life.
- to recommend that each month one Church prepares an articles for the regional editions of the national daily newspapers on different themes: holidays, social activities of the Churches, commentaries on current topics, portraits of Church members etc.
- to take part in the project “Ways of Faith (historical ways)” of regional action groups.
- to realize or to support a specific project in the developing world.
- to suggest a common study program 'ecumenism' across theological faculties and professional schools