25. 9. 2015

Ceremonial Opening of the Church Kindergarten in Cheb

Forty children have found their place in a brand new kindergarten

The church kindergarten in Cheb was festively opened on Thursday the 17th of September. It happened with a ribbon cutting with scissors in the hands of the children as well as in the hands of the representatives of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren and the Lutheran Church in Bavaria. The “Kindergarten without borders” is a mutual project of both churches and will be run under the supervision of the ECCB Diaconia.

In the church

The ceremonial opening was preceded by worship in the local Protestant church. There were representatives of both churches, from the towns of Cheb and Marktredwitz, from the Diaconia, and there were also investors and other donors and organizers of the project. Several speeches and greetings took place. The Synodal Senior Joel Ruml, in his short speech, played with the term “borders”. On one side the borders tend to disappear, as they do between the Czechs and the Germans, on the other side it is necessary to set up some borders when raising children, and to insist on keeping them. The regional bishop of the Bavarian church, Dorothea Greiner, told the children a biblical story. She also reminded them that there are 240 Protestant church facilities for children in the district that she is responsible for - even though there are only 214 congregations. (There are also church facilities run by the Catholic Church besides the Protestant ones). It is, nevertheless, hopeful that a church kindergarten was established also on the Czech side of the border, and that its intention is to bring the Gospel into local society. A speech was given by the Senior of the west-Bohemian presbytery, another one was given by a deputy of the Regional Operation Program (which mainly financed the project), the German partners and a presbyter of the congregation in Cheb also gave their speeches. 

In the kindergarten

After the ribbon was cut, we went on to see the whole kindergarten. Everything was brand new, two classrooms – each for twenty children – were full of colors and equipment. Everyone admired the social and hygienic background as well as the decoration, the artistic and barrier-free architecture. The kindergarten has been functioning since the beginning of September and both classes are already filled up. The children even sang a song in the church that they already had the opportunity to rehearse.

This kindergarten project, as run by the ECCB, comes after an unsuccessful concept by the International Community Center which had begun in 2005. After stopping this project, the building had been falling into disrepair for a couple of years. It is, therefore, a big success that another project has begun in its place and that the work was successfully completed. The total expenses of 16 million Czech Crowns has been totally worth it. They were pulled together – in addition to the Regional Operation Program – by the Protestant Church in the Rheinland, Hessen and Nassau, by the Lutheran Church in Bavaria, T-Mobile, the ECCB, the Diaconia and other individual donors. The Kindergarten of the ECCB in Cheb will be there for healthy, as well as for handicapped, children and it aims to create a calm environment, enabling children to develop in all aspects.

Daniela Ženatá