It aims to provide Hope and Trust for the Future
The New Synodal Council of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren (ECCB) was installed during a ceremonial worship service on Saturday, the 21st of November 2015. It aims to continue in the tradition of the Czech and European Reformation as well as to contribute to creating a space in our society where everyone may express his/her faith with a free conscience.
The Synodal Council is the highest church body consisting of six members. It is governed by the Synodal Senior (clergy) and the Synodal Curator (lay). This is what makes the ECCB somehow exceptional: it is not led only by clergy, the voice of its lay representatives is equally valid.
The new highest Church representatives have shared their visions with us. “I would like every single Protestant in our country to have a dignified space for expressing his/her faith. I would like us, as the Church, to be joyful, humbly self-sufficient and attractive for those around us. Let us not be blackmailed by fear that we are statistically shrinking. On the contrary – let this lead us to a missionary courage, to finding how to offer the beauty of faith in Christ and the life of the Church,” explained the new Synodal Senior Daniel Ženatý.
He is aware that the Synodal Council will have to deal with the crises of the ministerial profession. “The reverends are vanishing quicker than those newly appearing. We have to ask ourselves how their conditions have changed in comparison with the past,” he said. He also pointed out other challenges. “We will look for a way to use well and generously the unique time of the state subventions and financial compensations for the benefit of parishes as well as the entire Church and society. Part of our Church is the Diaconia of the ECCB and the schools of the Evangelical Academy. We treasure these and we will make an effort to continue their good work. We are proud of our numerous ecumenical relations at home and abroad, we want to take good care of them,” added Daniel Ženatý.
The Synodal Curator Vladimír Zikmund also presented his plans: “Our first plan is to get oriented in the vast agenda of the Synodal Council. It is easier for me as I am concluding my previous position and the Synodal Council will become a full time job for me. I would like to step into this field with humbleness towards my predecessors and everything good that was done in our Church in the past years,” he explained.
And also his second plan is to remain in touch with what is going on in the congregations and seniorates (presbyteries) of the ECCB. To save some time for listening to others’ opinions and needs. “And my third plan is not to end up just as a church officer. I would like to contribute to the situation of the Synodal Council – besides its position as an administrative body – as it also provides spiritual leadership. I would like it to be a bearer of encouragement, hope and trust in the future for its members,” added Vladimír Zikmund.
The departing Synodal Senior Joel Ruml will continue to serve as a reverend. “At first in the Protestant Church in Pfalz (Germany) where I was invited, and further in the ECCB,” said Joel Ruml. The departing Synodal Curator Lia Valková wishes to devote more attention to her family. “Especially my grandchildren and those close to me. I want to do sports, read, create some art, garden and taste with thankfulness every day that might, through God’s grace, be given to me. I want to renew my active participation in my own congregation. Depending on my abilities I am willing to help in various spheres, for example in taking care of the refugees,” says Lia Valková.