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bulletin No. 2/2013

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No. 2 2013


The Magazine of the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches


–Legislative goal 3

The first Swiss Sermon Award

– Read, hear and see the FSPC in the bulletin online!

18 –  The Reformation “brand”

500 years anniversary celebrations

20 – Hospitable churches with open doors 34 –  Between Healing and Salvation 38 –  Ecumenical Sustainability Goals? Resting places

On the theological-ecclesiological discussion of spiritual care

Sustainable Development Goals SDG

Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches FSPC Sulgenauweg 26 CH-3000 Bern 23 Phone +41 (0)31 370 25 25

sek · feps Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches

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– Editorial I

Wake up …

Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate loved to take naps in church, claiming

that the sermon was her opium. We do not know if after waking up – roused by Louis XIV’s nudge – she gave any thought to the sense or nonsense of soporific sermons. Keeping in mind this sleepy gentlewoman, the FSPC has made it its goal to promote sermons that are exciting, edifying, evocative. Sermons that are truly great; sermons that are indeed prize-worthy: and thus was created the Sermon Award (see page 8). The phrase constitution revision might have lulled Elizabeth Charlotte to sleep as well when, in fact, the subject is quite exciting. Indeed, it is the most important development of the Swiss Reformed Churches in fifty years. A consultation among the churches revealed one thing above all else: the subject is moving both hearts and minds. Great! Way to go! Read more about this matter on the very next page and from page 24. Stay the course or hold your horses? The two church associations CEC (see page 28) and WCC (see page 42) are holding their Assemblies. What could be a possible ecumenical contribution to the debate on global sustainability goals? Comments on two of these goals can be found on page 38. Turn to page 34 to find out why a mix-and-match philosophy is not a good idea when it comes to spiritual care. Finally, some field reports from the work of the Church and Tourism Commission starting from page 16. Wishing you an exciting read:

Peter Schmid Vice President of the Council

Cover image: Which sermon is award-worthy? The Swiss Sermon Award 2014 will reveal it.

4 bulletin No. 2/2013


– Editorial II

… and join the action!

In June, the FSPC Council opened the consultation process on a constitu-

tion draft for the “Protestant Church in Switzerland.” The draft is the result of intense discussions. The starting point was the report “For a well-constituted church federation,” which had been submitted to the Assembly of Delegates in November 2010. Our goal was to move towards a more committed community. The recommendation of the CPCE to have “responsibility shared by a tripartite church leadership” was very helpful for us. In our draft, the Council and the President implement the decisions of the Synod. The churches agree to submit the Synod’s decisions to their organs. Then, it is up to the churches whether to accept or reject them. This is the Reformed and democratic way. The churches, as well as any other interested parties, are invited to submit their ideas about a committed community until the end of November. So, dear readers: now is the time to tell us what you want. You can find the current state of affairs on page 24. To participate, visit

6 bulletin No. 2/2013

– bulletin No. 2/2013

Topics of this edition – Legislative goal 3

The first Swiss Sermon Award


– An act of mediation

What does a sermon do?


– Church and tourism

Good ideas need to be shared – a platform for Christian project idea 16

– 500 years anniversary celebrations

The Reformation  “brand”



– bulletin No. 2/2013

– Resting places

Hospitable churches with open doors


– On the theological-ecclesiological discussion of spiritual care

Between Healing and Salvation


The Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches FSPC


– How we work The FSPC and its structure


– Organization FSPC people

48 49 50

The FSPC Council FSPC Staff members

– Protestant Churches in Switzerland The FSPC Churches

– Constitution revision

A federation of churches grows into a community 24 of churches

Recent publications

– Sustainable Development Goals SDG

Ecumenical Sustainability Goals? 38 – On our way together

10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Busan/South Korea

– “And now what are you waiting for?”

Conference of European Churches (CEC) in Budapest



52 54

8 bulletin No. 2/2013

– Legislative goal 3

The first Swiss Sermon Award

Everyone who has delivered a sermon before a church congregation can take part in the Swiss Sermon Award competition.


“The Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches is launching a Swiss Sermon Award”. This legislative goal of the Council, which is meant to boost public interest in the art of preaching, is now to be put into practice. Successful interpretations of the biblical message will be recognized in the process, with the best sermons being published throughout Switzerland. For the Federation, this is about nothing less than sermon culture – sermons as a Western cultural asset, sermons as an important aspect of our speech culture, sermons as a central concern of the Reformation.



umerous talks were held regarding making the award a reality with professors of practical theology, pastors, and those responsible for the medial transmission of sermons. The resonance was predominantly positive, and at times even euphoric. A number of challenges needed to be overcome when it came down to the details. A sermon is indeed neither a speech nor a lecture. And the award is not meant to encourage “preaching contests”. Sermons involve certain characteristics that we need to recognize.

10 bulletin No. 2/2013 The first Swiss Sermon Award

Sermons have their place in worship services

Sermons are a part of worship services and are embedded in a liturgical celebration. Can they even be appraised in isolation from the liturgy as a whole? Can a sermon be adequately understood without knowing the lectionary text that was read, the songs that were sung, and the prayers that were spoken? A sermon is the proclaimed word of God, and is preached, not just read. The proclamation, or put more neutrally, the performative dimension, is a significant part of preaching. Recent homiletic approaches place particular weight on the dramatic quality of sermons. The structure, form and rhetorical style of a sermon, as well as the spoken language and body language, in addition to the hermeneutics of the biblical text, take on an increasing amount of the people’s attention. But how can we evaluate this performative dimension when it comes to issuing an award? The few active sermon awards in the Germanspeaking world that are still active only take into account

the sermon as a written text. One exception is the youth sermon award of the Evangelical Church in Germany. The ten best submitted sermons are chosen and their authors – up to 20 years of age – are invited to a multi-day coaching seminar at the Wittenberg Zentrum für Predigtkultur (Center for Sermon Culture). The best held sermon is recognized with a prize at the close of the seminar. But what should we in fact be evaluating: The sermon as it is held or the written text? And how do we take the entire worship service in account? The FSPC has in fact looked closely into these questions. The idea was first considered to ask for a video recording of the sermon, but this was rejected as too cumbersome in the end. Ultimately, a poor sermon cannot be improved by a good performance, as one professor for practical theology pointedly stated. The dramatic dimension must therefore already be visibly present in the written text. The text needs to be sent in of a sermon that has already been held. Participants submit both their text and a description of the circumstances under which it was preached. A jury will then choose the ten best submissions, after which individual members of the jury will visit the authors of the texts during a worship service. This will help to determine the winner of the award. A specific congregational reality within each sermon Sermons address the particular life situations and ways of thinking of the congregation. The preacher takes into account their social environment and the world they live in, making use of the congregants’ cultural codes: The language of a sermon is closely linked to the context in which it is preached. The linguistic reality of Switzerland, with its four regional languages, needs to be taken into account. The FSPC has thus planned for two sermon awards: one for the German-speaking area, including the Romanshspeaking region, and another for French-speaking Switzerland to the inclusion of the Italian-speaking region. This does not only reflect the division in Switzerland’s television coverage, but also represents the demographic reality in that German and French-language congregations outnumber their Italian and Romansh counterparts by a considerable margin. The evaluation of sermons indeed depends on a high level of linguistic competence. This therefore requires two juries, both which also provide

– «… A sermon is a speech but not a lecture.»

Excerpt Legislative goal 3

The Federation is launching a Swiss sermon award. Church is where the Gospel happens, where it is communicated to the believers, and where they live it and bear witness to it. According to Reformation tradition, the sermon is the beating heart of worship service. Here, the word of God is proclaimed. With the sermon award, the Federation increases public awareness for the art of preaching and honors congenial translations of the Gospel for today. The best sermons from parishes great and small will be published regularly.


competence in the two languages of the smaller linguistic communities. The understanding and practice of preaching can also vary according to region. One effect of this pluralism is reflected in the various understandings of “lay preachers” in the German and French-speaking areas. In German-speaking Switzerland, the term is used more broadly to include, for example, politicians or writers who hold a single sermon. In the French-speaking region, influenced by Calvinism, prédicateurs laïcs are, by contrast, theologically trained people employed by the churches. This difference as well as the question of any difference between lay sermons and “theologian” sermons is, however, set aside with the single condition of submitting a sermon that has previously been preached. Anyone and everyone who is permitted to preach in a congregation is eligible for the award. This also means that the biblical text and its presentation for people today remains at the core of the matter, regardless of whether a layperson or ordained minister is responsible.

It all depends on the jury

A well-composed jury is of the essence for the project to succeed – and the jury needs to evaluate what a good sermon entails for congregants. The members of the jury need to be able to work together well, and require a good sense of language, whether they are theologians, journalists, television presenters, or – in the age of the “iconic turn” – those who work with images in the broadest sense of the word. The jury should also represent a picture of Swiss society. If the art of preaching is to be brought closer to a broad cross-section of the public, the proclaimed word of God needs to speak to people of a variety of religious affiliation. This is also a part of the art of the sermon. The jury will look into the question of whether particular criteria are needed to evaluate sermons. The jury of the Verlag für Deutsche Wirtschaft selects the sermons for its award without any sort of specific criteria – and one hears from jurors that this works quite well. As in any selection, impressions and feelings guide the jurors in making their selections. One criterion is, of course, firmly in place for the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches: Even non-theologians should be able to discuss each sermon. That alone would mean much in terms of boosting public interest in sermons. <

Further information

Video interview: 3 questions for author Christina Tuor-Kurth, Director of the Institute of Theology and Ethics

12 bulletin No. 2/2013

Sermon held on Hallig Groede, drawing by Jacob Alberts from artist’s portfolio of 1921

– An act of mediation

What does a sermon do? “A sermon is quite like opium to me,” Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate confessed in one of her letters. She had made it her habit to take naps in church. At the same time, she was an upstanding and pious woman who read the Bible daily and, when she thought no one was watching, sang from the Geneva Psalter – quite a daring act in Louis XIV’s court. The latter used to nudge awake the lady sleeping next to him at mass – she complains about it in the same letter – and apparently paid a great deal of attention to the sermon himself. However, there probably was a large gap between listening and acting. As we can see, the challenges of the sermon are old and spanning the denominations. BY OTTO SCHÄFER *

14 bulletin No. 2/2013 What does a sermon do?


here would be nothing wrong with sleep-inducing sermons if we could be sure that God revealed Himself in our dreams as straightforwardly as he appeared to Jacob, Ezekiel or Paul. Even if this were the case, the argument would somewhat miss the point: for dreams need interpretation, even the ones in the Bible, lest they remain mere nocturnal fantasies. Joseph, who explicates the Pharaoh’s visions so lucidly, down to the practical consequences, thus delivers that which a good sermon must deliver as well. In Pharaoh’s dream, there are seven fat cows and seven gaunt cows – this message must be taken seriously. It is not self-explanatory, but it is what is given. And the practical consequence is: prudent granary management. This is not even a particular touching interpretation, but it is indeed vital. Thus, interpretation in general and sermons in particular are acts of mediation: mediation between a given testimony and life as it is lived, with all of its questions, its joy and courage, with its choices, plans, suffering and eventual end. A sermon that does not come alive will not succeed in touching upon life. It will either remain caught up in what is given, retelling it clumsily, or it will reduce the impulses radiating from this testimony to the commonplace, seemingly calming but actually sleep-inducing: strict dogma or rigid morals, polite pampering or contemptuous reprimands, maybe verbose bashfulness, political correctness or self-contained verbal flourishes. The sermon as mediation is crucial wherever the given testimony is set down in writing. Writing records the testimony of past witnesses, thereby making it accessible to mediation. It preserves and stores the testimony; as a text, it passes it on, but also locks it into this traditional form. The testimony of the written word must occur once again – as the Word. This is the real significance of the sermon. The Reformers were all people struck by the Word. Going through spiritual crises, they had found, in the Holy Scripture, the Word that spoke to them and gave their life meaning. Through the Scripture, they had heard God’s Word as a liberating and creative Gospel – for their life and their time. From this time on, the proclamation of God’s Word became the defining characteristic of the churches of the Reformation and the Protestant wor-

ship service. The church is a “creatura Verbi,” a creature of the Word; clergypersons hold the title of “Verbi Divini Minister” (today also “Ministra”) – they are servants of the divine Word.

Creative brooding

The conviction that this Word is revealed through the handed-down text explains the significance of the original Biblical languages in the education of Protestant theologians. The acquisition of the biblical text is more honest if the reader is aware of its idiosyncrasy and strangeness. Therefore, there are good reasons to hold on to the obligatory learning of Hebrew and Greek, even though the classical languages as a whole are mostly marginalized today. Working on the original text is an important moment of preparing a good sermon, a creative “brooding” over the Scripture with the goal of finding the Word in it, and not looking for it – neither inspired nor docile – somewhere in its vicinity. As stated above, a sermon is a creative act. The sermon changes us. It opens our ears, eyes and hearts. St. Luke the Evangelist tells stories of people who are on their way, heeding the Scripture, how they get close to the Scripture as interpretation and ultimately as the spoken Word in the sermon, and how they find faith through it (Walk to Emmaus, Luke 24; the Ethiopian eunuch, Acts 8). This can and should occur in a way that relates to the individual community: as sermon preparation and sermon follow-up in a communal context. Fantastic examples of the sermon as a speech with transformative powers can be found all the way back in antiquity: “How lovely is the spring,” the great Greek church father John Chrysostom rhapsodizes in the first sentence of his Lent homilies on the Book of Genesis. He takes his community on a flight of fancy through landscapes full of flowers and to the sea, now calm after the winter storms, where the ships are circled by frolicking dolphins. Even lovelier yet is the Lenten time, he goes on, the spring of the soul, in which we are promised a floral crown of spiritual mercy and in which the storms of passion are replaced by cheerful serenity. In a wholly sociable, amiable, but also very clear and purposeful manner, this great 4th century preacher picks up his listeners where

– Delivering a sermon means to go on a journey with one’s listeners ...


they are and leads them to where he can build them up. Much later, in his 12th homily, he talks about the effects of the sermon after the listeners have left the church and gone home. In impressive phrases are biting but not prone to bitterness, he whets their conscience with a plea for the many poor lining the streets of Constantinople in late antiquity. A political sermon? Yes, that too, a sermon for the polis, for the commonwealth, for everyday life. “Golden mouthed” is the meaning of his epithet Chrysostom. Even today, we can learn much from this colleague. If the sermon also includes the community beyond one’s own parish and church, then how about the other way round? Is the sermon perceived as a part of public culture, as verbal art, as a special form of literature? This is what we should try to achieve, as truly as the church tries to shape and support public life in general. It is not just the writer pastors who bear witness to the literaturecreating power of the sermon – from Jeremias Gotthelf to Kurt Marti. Pieces and fragments of sermons can be found in entirely secular authors, in André Gide’s Symphonie pastorale, but also in younger contemporaries (e.g. the pendulum swing between narrative thread and New Testament quotes in Blaise Hofmann’s Estive.) As cultural geographer Emil Egli has shown, a significant part of geological, paleontological and landscape-geographical literature in 19th century Switzerland is influenced by the style of the Reformed pulpit speech: the sermon radiates into areas that seem to be far removed from it, and this shaping power, beyond the church, is what we should continue to hope and work for.  <

* OTTO SCHÄFER Executive Secretary for Theology and Ethics

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– Church and tourism

Good ideas need to be shared – a platform for Christian project ideas People are often open to entertaining profound issues when they are away on holiday, and are more interested in visiting churches and in church offerings there. Many congregations provide interesting projects that connect both church and tourism, catering to this area of interest. Unfortunately, not all of the ideas can be put into practice, and unfortunately they are often quickly forgotten again.



o meet this need, the Commission for Church and Tourism of the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches came up with the concept of a platform for an exchange of ideas, a “platform for ideas for church projects in touristic areas” which became a reality on the Federation homepage. Over 25 ideas have since been published there. As the head of the project Barbara Grass explained: “The idea is to speak to two different target groups.” For one, pastors could find resources who wanted to reach vacationers with touristic programs in their congregations. The most important information is offered for previously implemented ideas, including target groups, uses, approaches, risks and opportunities. Contact information is provided in connection with each idea, so that further details can be requested. Ideas can also be adopted and developed further. Those who have already successfully completed projects can, moreover, publish

them on the site. Ultimately, the sharing of the Christian message is one of the church’s main tasks. The platform of the Evangelical Church in Germany follows these same principles, connecting congregations across all of Europe with a platform collecting thousands of practical examples from different countries and contexts – as diverse as the Protestant churches themselves. The Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches entered into a double partnership with While providing for the platform’s translation into French, the Swiss Protestants have also transferred the ideas from its own website to the geist­ platform, in a clear win-win situation. The platform addresses a much larger number of users, which is of use both to those who are looking for ideas as well as those publishing them. President of the Commission for Church and Tourism Thomas Schweizer reports that he has had inquiries,

Silvan Meier

Free to get lost in thoughts and enjoy the silence – vacations are a good time for visiting churches.

nearly weekly, about training to become a pilgrimage leader, since his idea was posted to And there is a much larger choice of ideas for those seeking inspiration in a collection that is not indeed limited to the idea of “church and tourism” but which speaks to all aspects of church life. <

* BARBARA GRASS Church and Tourism Commission, Regional Protestant Church of Graubünden

A platform for Christian projects The Commission for Church and Tourism follows developments in the area of tourism and leisure and looks into their significance for Switzerland’s Reformed churches. Made up of representatives of tourism organizations and of the Reformed churches throughout Switzerland, the Commission introduces Christian and ethical values into the working processes of the leisure sector. Both the platform of ideas and the “reliably open church doors” project were initiated by the Commission. For further information, see kommission-kirche-und-tourismus

In the beginning was the word

Everything is mercy


Faith, ideas, actions

Whoever believes ist free

Called to freedom

God believes in you: You are free!


– 500 years anniversary celebrations

The Reformation “brand” As is well known, the Reformation had a considerable influence on the history, culture, and political structure of Switzerland, leaving as strong a mark there as in many other countries of Europe and in the United States. Can we have really found the salient message for 2017 in this insight?



hat do we actually want to celebrate when it comes to the Reformation anniversary? The year 2017 is not indeed connected to any Reformation event in Switzerland. It is instead a date that is symbolic for the entire Protestant world. Zwingli came to Zurich in 1519, while the official adoption of the Reformation would not occur until 1523. Other cities would follow, with Geneva and Lausanne joining in 1536. For the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches, preparing for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation thus ultimately reflects over a decade of efforts. Our work begins with the development of a communications concept. While the history of the Reformation in the individual cantons should be acknowledged, this is first and foremost about presenting a coordinated and visible common identity as a common brand. The Reformation “brand”, which is of foremost importance to us, does not consist in the presentation of the traces of the Reformation in Switzerland in terms of historical events and effects, as interesting and useful as that may be in our current short-sighted society and uprooted culture. It is about the product and brand encapsulating “500 years of the Reformation”. What is it that we have to say? What is our message? What is our advertising slogan, as it were? The Federation started the ball rolling. A consultation process in the churches gathered suggestions for a

motto that is expected to be seen, in the coming years, on every piece of communications, at every meeting, and on every document of our churches in the run-up to the Reformation quincentenary. This motto will be placed on posters, websites, books, travel brochures, and at various events. Just a few words are meant to encapsulate what the Reformation set in motion 500 years ago and what remains valid and relevant today. The reformers did not wish to found a new church or to draw focus to themselves. Instead they sought to rediscover the fire of the Gospel for all believers, which at the time had been covered with a thick patina composed of regulations, saints, obligations, and coercion. They wanted to find the master key or code to the biblical message. We indeed are faced with the same task today – and under new conditions: our parish life, our leisure and consumer society, the new media and the global village, confessional and religious pluralism, individualism and secularization. <

* SERGE FORNEROD is the project manager for the Reformation Jubilee

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– Resting places

Hospitable churches with open doors Switzerland’s roughly 1200 church congregations do not lack for buildings – with one or more places for Christians to gather, they are “open” to the people. Some of these Protestant churches are even open during the week. There have long been initiatives in Germany, which developed into projects in the individual regional churches, and which have now grown into a major movement within the “Church, Leisure, and Tourism” program of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), which has been met with particular enthusiasm in regions such as Bavaria.



here have been various activities in Switzerland related to this, as for example in the church in St. Gallen. The idea is indeed compelling: Why are churches only open on Sunday? There is clearly a need to be able to visit church buildings even when there are no worship services. The Protestant congregation in Samedan has supported the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches’ “Church and Tourism” commission’s project for regularly open church doors from the very beginning. This does not indeed come as a surprise as Samedan pastor Michael Landwehr was the one who initiated the project for Switzerland’s churches. As someone who has always felt a particular commitment to the cross-section of touristic and church issues and areas of endeavor, and who sees considerable potential for both in

the region, it was a matter of course to build up the idea of opening up church buildings outside of worship services and cultural events in Switzerland.

… not only Sundays at 10

“Importing the idea from Germany was one thing; adapting and implementing the project here – even though there was a need for it – was yet another,” explained Rev. Landwehr. “For this, you need to work hard, to be convincing at different levels, piquing the interest of congregation decision-makers, many of whom have at time been skeptics as well,” he added. The pastor added that one should not lose hope but seek out dialogue locally with everyone involved: parish council members, sacristans, organists, pastors, deacons, secretaries, tourism associa-

Michael Landwehr

Open churches to the church in Samedan, by Reverend Michael Landwehr: Numerous guest book entries show that the offer is taken up frequently and enthusiastically.

22 bulletin No. 2/2013 Resting places tion members, tourist information employees, etc. The brochure that Landwehr put together under the aegis of the FSPC extends an attractive invitation to look into this topic, through information and inspiration as to how this can unfold and what one must take into account. While the brochure can be ordered from the FSPC or downloaded from the website (, the Commission also offers the chance for interested congregations to receive direct support in this process from Rev. Landwehr. And the success of the program is plain to see. As Landwehr explained: “Many churches are now open in Switzerland, even among the Reformed churches. This serves as a calling card for us as a church in the region, and rounds it out with a positive image of a church that cannot be reduced to just Sunday mornings but which takes a more holistic and hospitable view of the people.” He added: “We are close to God and close to the people.” According to Landwehr, an especially large number of people have been visiting church buildings in the Engadin tourist region and in the village of Samedan in the Upper Engadin, in particular. “We began modestly with a wooden sign that told people to fetch the church key from the flower ship across the way. We then introduced an automatic key system. That was possible because the process was convincing.” In his numerous meetings with visitors and locals alike, Rev. Landwehr has been met with a consistently positive reaction to the open church program. “When churches are recognized as being open, people of all ages come and enjoy a break from their leisure time or daily routines. And sometimes there are more visitors during the week than on Sunday mornings,” he chuckled. As we can read in the brochure: “Whether locals, chance visitors, art enthusiasts, people in crisis, pilgrims, or tourists – churches speak to people however and whether or not they have a connection with church and faith. The unforced atmosphere, open to all and created by the congregations, serves as its “worship service” in the midst of everyday life. The aura of the church buildings provides a refreshing counterpoint amid our hectic and fast-paced world. Churches are a sermon made of glass, wood, metal, and stone. They invite us to meet with God and encourage us to reflect. They are places of life and not museums. We experience them as centers of living

and diverse spirituality and encounter – even during the week.” People speak to Landwehr of the refreshing atmosphere, the tranquility, and the thoughts that enrich them on their life journeys – as inspired by the building, the church interior, and their experiences there. The guestbook is also full of very positive remarks: “People add their prayer wishes or thanks for healing, or simply praise the beauty of the church and the tranquility within.” Items like the guestbook and other reading materials, as well as parish information and various trinkets for people to take – chocolate with a verse from the Bible, butterflies for people of all ages to color in, a teabag with a greeting card, or a heart-shaped carabiner – the open church becomes something personal for visitors, bringing the congregation to life with a recognizable image. Landwehr explains that this is “an offer that one can make use of, but does not have to: a church for passersby, a church on the road, and a community of the way – just as far as anyone wishes to go, that is important to me.” He then closes with a look forward: “We have recently had thoughts about publishing a written guide to the church, with a refreshingly vivid depiction of the congregation and all it has to offer; or perhaps an internet-based, audiovisual medium instead; or maybe even training an attractive church guide to welcome visitors.” There are so many possibilities – and perhaps other congregations will soon open up their church doors on a regular basis as well. <

– Churches are a sermon made of glass, wood, metal, and stone. They invite us to meet with God and encourage us to reflect.

* MICHAEL LANDWEHR is the pastor of Samedan and co-initiator of the brochure “Reliably Open,” available at (in German).

Michael Landwehr

24 bulletin No. 2/2013

â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Constitution revision

A federation of churches grows into a community of churches The FSPC member churches want to strengthen their bond and their commitment to common goals and values.

BY FELIX FREYâ&#x20AC;&#x2030;*


he churches associated in the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches have decided to redefine their shared idea of the church. For several years now, they have been engaged in intense discussions about bringing more commitment to their joint works and actions. The locus of reflection is the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches, which to date is an association under private law incorporating all Protestant cantonal churches, the Methodist church and the Protestant free church of Geneva. The goal the churches have set for their talks is to give their federation a new constitution: they aim to create and adopt the constitution that best prepares them for embarking into a shared future together.

Times are changing

The current constitution dates from 1950, not long after the end of World War II. Since then, society has changed tremendously: with the diversification of lifestyles, the trend towards individualization and a stronger drive towards self-actualization, the church no longer commands the position and attention it used to have back then. The mass media, too, paint a different picture of the church today; its moral authority is no longer taken at face value. What counts is the new, the sensational, the thrill. So far, the church has been prevailing. But the signs of the times are clear, and it is high time for the member churches to find an answer to the question of how to deal with the consequences of social flux in a changed world.


Strengthening community and communication among the church population – on “Church Day”

Drafting a constitution for the Protestant Church in Switzerland

In late May of 2013, the draft for a new constitution entered the consultation process. A new Synod is being proposed to strengthen the unity among the Protestant churches and religious communities. Another goal is to improve the efficacy of the Protestant Church in Switzerland. This has been the responsibility of the Council representing it on a national level. Now, the Council President will also add his or her personal responsibility: to improve the visibility of the Protestant Church in Switzerland. All three bodies together – the Synod, the Council and the Council President – will form the leadership of the Protestant Church of Switzerland (PCS).

Church and association

According to the current “constitution,” the FSPC is an association under private law. Therefore, the provisions of this constitution are those of an association, with two main purposes: first, to safeguard the interests of the member churches, and second, to strengthen Protestantism in Switzerland. Likewise, all aspects of cooperation and community among the churches are currently set down in these provisions. Now, the Protestant cantonal churches are asked to adopt a constitution that goes beyond the current association. They will decide upon this new constitution on the basis of church law and commit themselves to a community of churches.

26 bulletin No. 2/2013 Constitution revision For the first time ever, the Protestant Church thus will receive a nation-wide church constitution that is deserving of the name. And for the first time as well, the governing bodies of the Protestant Church in Switzerland are defined in an ecclesiological way: the Synod is responsible for the unity of the church, the Council for its efficacy, and the Council President for its visibility. The current association will continue to exist – but it will change its name to “Association of the Protestant Church in Switzerland» (PCS Association). Its responsibilities are limited to church financing and determining membership fees. The church and the PCS Association remain linked through a shared organ: the church Council (PCS) is the governing body of the Association (PCS Association). Thus, the church and the association are governed by the same body.

Self-concept of the Protestant Church in Switzerland

– A church on the national level must speak with one voice if it wants to be taken seriously.

The PCS wants to be more than the smallest common denominator of the Protestant cantonal churches. However, the PCS neither intends to be the spearhead of Protestantism nor its exact average. On the cantonal level, the PCS aims for the center of the Protestant cantonal churches: the stronger the Synod, and the livelier the dialogue, the closer the PCS moves to the center. What is more: the PCS is a church, a church on a national level. Different from the cantonal church, which has grown and keeps growing in its own territory with its specific political and cultural climate, and which in the course of history has found its own answers and

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ng dem Rat netenversammlu lte die Abgeord SEK den Im Jahr 2011 ertei Kirchenbundes liegt n Evangelischen n Verfassung. Nun des Schweizerische itung einer neue arbe über die Aus Sie zur wir Auftrag m Flyer möchten diese Mit ere Vorgehen vor. weit der Entwurf erungen und das Neu enen sich eseh ein, wichtigsten vorg n wir Sie herzlich gelischen allem aber lade informieren. Vor Zukunft der evan Diskussion zur an dieser wichtigen zu beteiligen. eiz Kirche in der Schw

must continue to find its own answers in the present. But as a national church, the PCS still is a church, one without a regional territory, but just as bound by a specific climate. On the national level, “the weather” is made by the expectations of society, the attention of the media, the peculiarities of political processes and the dynamics of events across the globe. A church on the national level must react quickly if it wants to be seen, it must speak with one voice if it wants to be taken seriously, and it must take up clear positions if it wants to be considered reliable. In addition, a church on a national level must pay close attention to events and keep sight of the big picture if it aims to fulfill its duty as a guardian. Thus, the PCS wants to be both a national church in itself an also a place of intersection for its member churches. In the ideal case, this place of intersection is exactly at the center of all Protestant churches, religious communities and parishes. We hope that this new constitution for the Protestant Church in Switzerland will help to make the Protestant voice be heard more clearly. We wish the Protestant churches, religious communities and parishes all the best for a great start into a common future.  <

Visit verfassungsrevision for a commented version of the constitution revision, as well as additional information and a movie (in German).

* FELIX FREY Research officer of the Law and Society Department


“Glossary” – additional information. Church Day

Defining the legitimation of the church federation.

Every two years, we will celebrate Church Day. It will be held at the same time as the Synod and is intended to bring together people interested the Christian faith. In addition, this day will provide a space in which the church community can express opinions and feelings on social issues and participate in creating the strategies of the Synod.

The new constitution wants to provide clear guidelines about the FSPC’s legitimation to speak for its member churches. It wants to provide binding definitions of tasks and competences and to create the prerequisites for the FSPC to continue to be a reliable partner vis-à-vis federal authorities, national institutions and international organizations.

Four main goals

Putting the constitution on a canonical basis.

Strengthening the sense of community among the churches.

Legally speaking, the current constitution is an association statute, which on the one hand regulates the issues of the FSPC as an association, but on the other hand also deals with all aspects of being a church community. The new constitution wants to disentangle these two areas and create a clear canonical basis for the Protestant Church in Switzerland. Those issues subject to the law of associations will be governed by a separate statute.

No church lives for itself; it is always part of a greater whole. The new constitution wants to create a binding framework to strengthen the sense of community Getting the message across. The member churches are increasingly called upon to explain themselves and their message to society. The new constitution wants to help us find a common language and to make our concerns be heard in society.

Church law The PCS Church will have its basis in canonical law (church law). Church law has its own terms and concepts that not always coincide with general legal definitions. The church is a religious community and differs from all other human communities in that it owes its existence to the divine will of election:

Church law “has its basis and its limit only … where the church itself is based and limited –in the Holy Scripture.” “Church law can only exist in accordance with the doctrine of the church and of God’s law, of justification through faith and of Jesus Christ’s reign over the world.”

A new self-concept The new constitution wants to be more than just a statute of organization governing legal structure, bodies and membership. It wants to make statements on the nature and the mission of the church and to place the constituted church in a theological context. It is programmatic in nature. This corresponds to the idea of creating a modern ecclesiological constitution.

Moving the church On the FSPC website, there is a short film called “Moving the Church” – featuring a female reverend who discovers undreamt-of potential in the newly created Synod and in her own parish. In two minutes, the film tells one possible story about the new constitution – a story that is made possible by the new constitution.

28 bulletin No. 2/2013

Plenary assembly room Center: former CEC President Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, to his right, Secretary General Rev. Dr. Guy Liagre (Belgium)

– “And now what are you waiting for?”

Conference of European Churches (CEC) in Budapest “And now what are you waiting for?” This quote from the Bible (Acts 22:14–16), originally addressed to Paul of Damascus, had been chosen by the Conference of European Churches (CEC) as the motto of their Assembly, held in Budapest June 3–8, 2013. The delegates of the member churches from all over Europe had gathered to achieve clarity regarding the CEC and its mission in a changing European landscape. The most important issue this year was the new constitution.



n FSPC delegation of six, headed by Vice President Rev. Kristin Rossier, attended the CEC Assembly along with 470 participants. As a founding member of the CEC in 1959, the FSPC has served in diverse functions, including as a member of the Central Committee and the Presidium. Rev. Serge Fornerod, the FSPC’s Director of External Relations, serves as chairperson of the “Church and Society” Commission; within this commission, Rev. Dr. Daniel

Peter Kenny

30 bulletin No. 2/2013 Conference of European Churches (CEC) in Budapest

Swiss delegates, deep in conversation: from left to right: Daniel Schmid Holz, Kristin Rossier, Thomas Gottschall

Schmidt Holz (St. Gallen) is a member of the task group for “Education and Society.” Another delegate, Geneva Church Council President Charlotte Kuffer, had been working on a new CEC constitution with the Revision task group since the last Assembly in Lyon in 2009. She had been elected to the Central Committee to succeed former FSPC President Thomas Wipf. Youth delegate

Annina Hirsbrunner and Bünden church councilor Rev. Thomas Gottschall also attended.

The CEC as a bridge builder

The CEC was founded in 1959 before the background of the Cold War to preserve the connection between the churches on both sides of the Iron Curtain on an ecumen-

Conversation and exchange among Protestants, Anglicans, Old Catholics and Orthodox Christians – the CEC Assembly


Youth delegate (YWCA) Nora Bandixen in conversation with FSPC youth delegate Annina Hirsbrunner (left to right)

ical level. When the CEC celebrated its 50-year anniversary at the 2009 Assembly in Lyon, one important objective since its foundation had been fulfilled: it had succeeded in serving as a bridge between churches in the East and the West, deepening connections along the way. In this function, it made a significant contribution to bringing about the Wende in 1989. The three European Ecumenical Assemblies in Basel (1989), Graz (1997) and Sibiu (2007) were held in cooperation with the CEC’s partner, the Council of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe (CCEE). Accordingly, the CCEE President, Catholic Primate of Hungary Cardinal Peter Erdö, emphasized the constructive relations to the CEC during the opening worship service in Budapest, highlighting the “strategic importance” of the Assembly regarding a shared future of the two organizations. Today, the CEC encompasses 126 Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican, and Christ-Catholic Churches, as well as smaller minority churches from all European countries. 40 organizations are associated members. In Budapest, the “Uppsala Report” containing re­ commendations for a reform of the constitution that has

been in effect since 1992 was put to the vote. The new constitution is intended to enable the CEC to fulfill its diverse duties in Europe in a more purposeful manner and to contribute its voice as the witness of Christian churches to the European decision processes. In Article 17 of the Lisbon Treaty, the European Union guarantees the dialogue with the religious communities, churches, religious associations and with civil society. The CEC office in Strasbourg, which maintains relations with the Council of Europe, will stay on while the former headquarters in Geneva will be moved to Brussels and consolidated with the local CEC offices there as soon as possible.

– The CEC was founded in 1959 before the background of the Cold War

The quota system has been abolished

Compromises had to be made. For example, a quota system existing for more than twenty years narrowly missed getting a majority of votes. It had guaranteed a balanced number of women and young people in the Central Committee. In addition, associated organizations will lose their observer status in the new constitu-

32 bulletin No. 2/2013 Conference of European Churches (CEC) in Budapest tion, which concerns several youth and women’s organizations. However, the elimination of the observer status for partner organizations and the quota for youths and women is more a “switching of labels than a fundamental change,” explains Serge Fornerod, adding that the quota will be closely monitored on the structural level of the new Council. One female delegate who had initially opposed the elimination ended up praising the balance of various minorities in the new Council.

The CEC – a pan European platform

“The Reformed voice of Switzerland should also be heard in Brussels, for example regarding issues such as human rights or reaching a verdict in an ethical manner,” Kristin Rossier explains the relevance of the CEC for the FSPC. Before the fall of the Iron Curtain, the CEC was one of the rare opportunities to keep in touch with the churches of the East, e.g. the Orthodox Church, states Serge Fornerod, adding: “Today, too, the CEC as a continental organization remains the only pan-European platform between Protestants, Anglicans, Old Catholics and the Orthodox Church. It brings together the member churches of the World Council of Churches and is the partner of the CCEE. It also brings together the churches and the Protestant social-ethical networks accompanying the work of the European Commission.” According to the supposition of the new constitution, he says, the task of the new CEC Council elected on July 8 is to determine its strategy. Fornerod added that it would be desirable to cooperate more intensely within more streamlined structures, as the impression prevailed that the CEC did not have one but several strategies and just as many organisms. This has led to conflict situations and doubts about the usefulness of the CEC, Fornerod explained. “The CEC has grouped its work around three major topics that most European churches have in common: the social-ethical work of observing developments within the EU, the question of migration and asylum law, and finally the area of ecumenical-theological reflection and ecumenical relations in Europe.” When it comes to coordinating international activities, the local churches are called upon to get involved. These are the same churches that maintain national offices and voted for the CEC’s move from Geneva to Brussels. “The task is to find a new balance between bilateral and multilateral relations vis-à-vis the EU. But the EU or the Council of Europe know exactly how to differentiate between na-

tional and European interests. This has been their bread and butter for 40 years,” Fornerod explained. <

* ESTHER SUTER Theologian and journalist BR SFJ/ASJ


– Commentary

Closer to everyday church realities The Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches (FSPC) wel­ comes the results of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) Assembly in Budapest: The new constitution is the crowning achievement of years of intensive efforts. BY SERGE FORNEROD Director

of External Relations


or a number of years, the Conference of European Churches (CEC) has been troubled by internal logjams and coordination problems. The organization was, structurally speaking, more of the sum of independently working substructures than a centrally organized and run body. Several attempts at inner reform either failed or were simply gridlocked. In the end, the way forward that was recommended by the 2009 Lyon Assembly emerged as successful: It was the direct decision of the Assembly as the highest CEC body that provided the dynamics necessary to implement the desired changes. This year’s Budapest Assembly recognized the activities of the Revision Working Group (RWG) and generally complied with its recommendations. The two most important changes diverging from the RWG’s Uppsala Report, involving the number of council members (20 instead of 15) and the representation of the Orthodox churches (guaranteed at 25 percent by the constitution), do not contradict this new approach. The text is streamlined and strategic. Operational details, which are only mentioned briefly in the main body of the text, are delegated to the by-laws, such as in the case of the appropriate representation of the various minorities. Recommendations on mission and vision were made more specific,

but not changed significantly. Concrete thematic goals were limited to what was absolutely necessary. The transition from Swiss to Belgian law was planned carefully to meet future legal requirements in Belgium, while also reconfirming the importance of the Strasbourg office. The Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches expressly supported the motion introduced in Lyon to revise the constitution and subsequently participated actively in the Revision Working Group. In its work on the Central Committee and in the various CEC commissions, the Federation carefully sought agreement with its individual bodies as a means of shaping the entire process in accord with the other main actors, both within and outside of CEC. The FSPC delegation played an active role at the Budapest Assembly in the drafting of important motions for amendments and contributed to having the text legally cleared. The delegation also led the reflective work of the guideline committee towards determining framework agreements for the new council to steer CEC through more tranquil waters in the years to come. The FSPC particularly welcomes the fact that the newly elected presidium is made up of representatives who have

played a part in the project. The presidium will now ensure that the revision will be carried out under the best of conditions. Europe’s churches were able to come to terms with a real challenge in Budapest. The task was difficult, the topics and current ecumenical relations complex, and there was much at stake for many churches and interest groups. The agenda, brimming with motions for amendments and motions for consequential amendments, often cast doubt on the entire process. In the end, however, the will and the necessity won out to reach a solution under the current circumstances and in the time available. Much of course still needs to be done. A transitional process of this kind leads to frustrations, misunderstandings and tensions. The new constitution in no way guarantees that the CEC will transform into a splendid butterfly overnight, but only provides for the basis needed to clearly define and simplify the goals and mechanisms for cooperation. The constitution does however demand more active participation on the part of the churches, more interaction and more respect for commitments – including those of a financial nature. The new CEC is now characterized by a more realistic view of what can be attained and implement, and looks back with a more healthy level of modesty upon the grand ecumenical goals of the 1970s and 1980s, which were characteristic the organization for so long. CEC has thus come more closely in line with everyday church realities and will be an instrument of endeavor that is better suited to the current conditions prevailing in the churches of Europe. CEC provides us with the opportunity to make the common witness of the churches of Europe more visible and tangible in the < 21st century.

Keystone, Gaetan Bally

â&#x20AC;&#x201C; On the theological-ecclesiological discussion of spiritual care

Between Healing and Salvation Theology and medicine do not always get along very well. The disparagement of medical anatomists at the hands of church fathers Tertullian and Augustine had serious consequenc-es for the history of medicine in Europe. By now, the cards have been reshuffled.


Surrounded by high tech and palliative medicine: is the role of traditional pastoral care in need of revision?



he biological-scientific worldview of modern medicine repeatedly has been putting theo­ logy and the churches on the spot. In cases of medi­cal emergency, Christians will of course put themselves into the hands of the “demigods in white” – even at the risk of adverse effects – instead of putting all of their hopes in “Christus medicus” (c. Exodus 15:26) and the “Savior” (cf. Heidelberg Catechism, Question 1). Modern theology has come up with an adequate explanation: a categorical distinction must be made between medical healing and God-given salvation. It is true that this view does not quite gel with the miracle stories of the New Testament, in which physical-spiritual healing and salvation are very much connected. However, what speaks for this functional distribution of responsibilities is not only its practicability, but also that it keeps the realms of church and medicine from getting in each others’ way. Lately, however, the distribution of labor between church and medicine seems to be compromised. This is because medicine, especially palliative medicine, increasingly advances into an area that heretofore had been ex­ clusively the domain of churches and religious communities: human religiosity and spirituality, including spiritual and pastoral care. Since the end of the 1960s, a “spiritual

turn” has been observed in the Anglo-Saxon countries. It was the World Health Organization (WHO) that brought about the medical breakthrough of spirituality in 1995 when it included “Spirituality/Religion/Personal beliefs” as a category in its questionnaires regarding health-related quality of life. What religious people knew all along has now been confirmed by medicine and psychology: spi­ ritual resources (coping strategies) have a positive influence on coping with and overcoming illnesses, on preventing and avoiding certain risk factors, and on personal life satisfaction. Accordingly, spiritual care as a palliative care service is booming, and Switzerland is no exception. The National Guidelines for Palliative Care (2010) emphasizes: “Spiritual support contributes towards improving a person’s subjective quality of life and the protection of their dignity in the face of disease, suffering and death. It assists people in their existential, spiritual and religious needs during their search for meaning, interpretation and assurance of life as well as their crisis management, always while considering the patient’s biography as well as his or her personal values and beliefs.” This concept of spirituality reflects some of the typical experiences of our time: the return of religion on the one hand, combined with the much-discussed shift towards more flexi­ bility and individualization on the other. The dissolution

36 bulletin No. 2/2013 On the theological-ecclesiological discussion of spiritual care of traditional religious milieus, the individualization and privatization of religious practices, the rise of non-institutionalized, consumer-oriented ‘religiosity’ corresponds to a concept of spirituality that emphasizes individual reflection, self-awareness or self-transcendence.

Mix-and-match spirituality – believing without belonging

The new spiritual quest for an explanation of the world, the meaning of life and life guidance affects hospital pastoral care offered by the churches in a special way. Reactions vary considerably. Satisfaction about the medical recognition of pastoral care at the sickbed is countered with the question of how and if these longings for spirituality can be reconciled with the objectives of Christian pastoral care. Opinions on this matter are enormously controversial. In addition, there are practical issues to consider, as well as aspects of church politics: in the face of its loss of meaning in society, shouldn’t pastoral care use this opportunity to jump on the spirituality bandwagon, discarding all theological concerns? Isn’t this a welcome opportunity for the church to regain lost societal terrain? The problem goes deeper. Looking at theological literature in German, it is clear that spirituality had not been discussed at length before the last third of the 20th century. What does spirituality even mean from the perspective of the Christian church? A distinction between a “Roman” and an “Anglo-Saxon” line of tradition of spirituality has been established. While spiritualité can be traced back to Catholic monastic theology in France from the 17th to the early 20th century, the spirituality of the Anglo-Saxon world emerges in the late 19th century. The Catholic tradition translated spirituality as piety and related it to ideas of a life “emerging from the spirit,” “in Christ,” or “in the dawning Kingdom of God.” This spirituality was expressed in rigidly structured spiritual “exercises” and a decidedly ecclesiological communal practice. In contrast, the Anglo-Saxon line of tradition takes on a strictly individualistic perspective and focuses on the subjective and individual internalization of religion, usually far removed from any ‘official’ religious community. In a nutshell, the churches are guided by the

Roman model while medicine has adopted the AngloSaxon model. The two lines of tradition are far from unconnected. Protestant theology traditionally takes a relaxed view of plurality and personal individuality. Accordingly, there are significant efforts to mediate between individualistic spiritual care and Christian pastoral care. For practical theologian Traugott Roser, spirituality is “precisely – and exclusively – that which the patient thinks it is.” In fact, any patient in any specific situation has exactly the spiritual needs she feels she has and articulates towards the pastoral care giver. But does this patient’s perspective comprise everything the conversation partner can ‘spiritually’ contribute to the interaction? Roser seems to subscribe to this view when he considers the indeterminacy of spirituality the safeguard of the freedom of the individual against “appropriation by religions and religious communities.” Spirituality, he states, represents the “inviolability” of the person in the sense of religious freedom, even vis-à-vis that person’s own religious community. The impulse of this new spiri­ tuality, critical of institutions, is obvious. It appears liberated from dogmatic belief systems, “Christian hang-ups” (Doris Nauer), and the problematic history of Christianity; it proclaims itself to be universal and peaceful, in contrast to churchly fundamentalism and militant missionary zeal, to be the product of personal desire instead of collective adaptation, to be authentic instead of merely socially learned. The church serves more or less explicitly as a negative foil for an emancipated understanding of spirituality. The latter meets with approval even among many church members. Individualistic spirituality appears as the long-awaited liberation from the dusty, authoritarian piety of the church communities. Indisputably, the desire for new spirituality is also an expression of dissatisfaction with an antiquated churchliness whose rituals seem lifeless or woefully out of touch. The Reformers knew that only a reformatory church (semper reformanda) can be the church of Christ. The demand for a renewal of churchly community thus aims at something entirely different than propagating its abolishment. As much as spirituality springs from an individual

– For practical theologian Traugott Roser, spirituality is “precisely – and exclusively – that which the patient thinks it is.”


need, as little can Christian piety be produced individually or even collectively. The mix-and-match philosophy of fashioning one’s world (and spirituality) according to one’s own whims does not translate well into real life. The church’s answer to human suffering therefore is precisely that people are not alone in times of need, that they can and should dependent on the expertise and social competence of others. The assertion that everyone is the architect of his or her own spirituality follows the same logic as Munchhausen’s emergency plan of pulling himself out of the mire by his own hair. The Baron of Lies is lacking Archimedes’ point of leverage, just as an individually constructed spirituality is lacking any point of reference in terms of relationships or meaning. After all, Christian piety does not come to people from within themselves, but from the outside, from Jesus Christ. Christian spirituality is fundamentally received and constituted by the relationship of giver and receiver. The space of this relationship is the Christian community that has been bestowed through this gift. In short: Christian spirituality is churchly spirituality, experienced in the inseparable unity of individual spiritual practice and spiritual community.

matters. In any case, his opinion matches the experience of many pastoral care givers in hospitals: a patient’s interest in pastoral care is inversely proportional to the disclosure of the pastoral care giver’s spiritual home. Such – often frustrating – experiences sometimes result in a defensive stance: better to be silent than to risk rejection. This strategy is not wrong in itself as long as it does not take on a life of its own and becomes a message. The patient’s need cannot become the normative regulation of pastoral care. This would reduce pastoral care to simple complicity of heterogeneous patient interests. Pastoral care provided by the church is not only confronted with religious plurality, but is a part of it and therefore makes the claim – also towards the patients – to be perceived and respected as one player in a pluralist concert. Precisely because it is not the conductor, but a member of the choir, it can and must offer its contribution in a self-confident and inviting manner. This is meant quite literally. The Biblical-Christian tradition possesses its own treasure of psalms, chorals, prayers and lines that speak to people and comfort them, even in situations that make our own words stick in our throats. Church pastoral care has nothing to learn from the concept of spirituality in medicine – but theology and the church would do well to take a leaf out of medicine’s book when it comes to self-confidence and aplomb.  <

– A patient’s interest in pastoral care is inversely proportional to the disclosure of the pastoral care giver’s spiritual home.

Braving the gap – pastoral care beyond camouflage and forced assimilation

That the medical spirituality debates are a challenge for theology and the church is acutely felt by every single provider of pastoral care in hospitals. Their competences are in demand more than ever while their church background is frequently and vehemently rejected. Palliative care physician Gian Domenico Borasio offers a provoking but astonishingly simple solution for the church’s dilemma. On the patient’s response to the offer of pastoral care: “Well, you know, I’m not very religious,” the doctor answers: “Neither are our pastoral care givers!” This anecdote may amuse a medical symposium, but for the church it has a bitter aftertaste of embarrassment, disillusionment and selling out. Because if this assertion is true, the church is already out the door; but if it is untrue, it at least raises the question of what caused the physician to say such a thing. Maybe the doctor didn’t listen all too closely, or he is rather tonedeaf or simply indifferent regarding religious

Further Information

Video interview: 3 questions for author Frank Mathwig, Executive Secretary for Theology and Ethics

Mopic –

38 bulletin No. 2/2013

– Sustainable Development Goals SDG

Ecumenical Sustainability Goals? The UN Millennium Goals were the first successful attempt to provide concrete and binding goals for the international community to eliminate the most severe forms of hardship caused by economic, political and social factors. In 2015, the Millennium Goals will be replaced by universal Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in the context of a new Post-2015 Development Agenda.




n accordance with the principle of shared but distinct responsibilities, the SDG are conceived as universally applicable goals that are binding for all UN member states, not only the developing countries. They will address social, ecological and economical aspects and – in contrast to some of the Millennium Goals – will have specific, implementable objectives. Ever since the Rio+20 Summit, the Post-2015 process has developed a great deal of momentum – on the level of the United Nations and the international community as well as in private business, academic discussion and civil society. In many places, churches are involved in national and international consultations or even making these consultations happen in the first place. The Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Busan in October 2013 would be a timely and important milestone for an ecumenical contribution to the discussion about the definition and orientation of sustainability goals. The WCC should encourage its member churches to translate the future SDG for their various local contexts, thereby making a crucial contribution to their implementation. The basic principle of shared but distinct responsibility, laid down in Rio in 1992, corresponds to a Christian understanding of world community. Burdens must be carried together, but in such a way that damages are compensated for by the ones who caused them, and that the strong contribute more to the common good than the weak.

What might an ecumenical contribution to the debate about global sustainability goals look like? In a discussion impulse created by the FSPC for Busan, nine possible areas are discussed and backed up theologically (see box). The following passages will introduce and explain two examples of ecumenical sustainability goals.

Ecumenical sustainability goal: “Water is Life”

One key challenge facing the world community is to ensure universal access to water as a human right. This also includes maintaining well-functioning sanitation systems. The only way to make healthy water available in a sustainable manner is to view it as a cycle. One important ecological factor of water scarcity is connected to the problem of increasing soil degradation, i.e., land desolation and desertification. The main reasons for the lack of affordable water in sufficient amounts, however, are grave social injustice and a failure of politics to enforce fundamental rights. It is true that the privatization of some water supply functions can indeed work (experiences vary, and there are differentiated analyses on the required framework conditions). However, public authority cannot give away its overall responsibility for water as a public good without sacrificing the rights of the weakest, and thus the cohesion of the community as a whole. Gender justice is at risk as well: In many regions with severe water scarcity, women and children, especially girls, are the ones

40 bulletin No. 2/2013 Ecumenical Sustainability Goals? who will march for hours to fetch water from wells that are moving further and further away. A theological point of view will point out the spiritual significance of water in all religions, including Judaism and Christianity, as well as the rights of the poor as a touchstone of social justice. From the streams of paradise in Genesis 2 all the way to the crystal-clear water of life in

Impulses for discussion by the FSPC for the 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Busan Ecumenical SDG 1:

Ecumenical SDG 1: Water is life Ecumenical SDG 2:

Putting financial economy in the service of real economy Ecumenical SDG 3:

Maintaining food rights for everyone Ecumenical SDG 4:

Restrained consumption of energy Ecumenical SDG 5:

Access to care is a human right Ecumenical SDG 6:

A liberal society needs religious diversity Ecumenical SDG 7:

Bringing about a just peace Ecumenical SDG 8:

Fighting corruption to protect the common good against particular interests Ecumenical SDG 9:

Safeguarding human dignity in migration politics After the WCC Assembly in Busan, there will be a discussion on the subject of ecumenical sustainability goals on the dialogue platform of Bread for All and Lenten Sacrifice, Dialogue4change:

heavenly Jerusalem (Revelation 22), water is a crucial and defining element of biblical life and imagination. Many important encounters of the history of salvation are stories of wells. The water of the baptism turns the life of believers into a life of promise. Water is the most elementary of basic needs. Therefore, church father John Chrysostom mentions the glass of water as the simplest material sign of charity, which for him is a sacrament just as the baptism and the Eucharist: the sacrament of brotherly and sisterly love. The “option for the poor” includes safeguarding their water supply. Some old wells still bear the phrase from Isaiah 55:1: “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters!” “Not for money,” the prophet states, we are promised that which nourishes us and makes us live; he starts with the water and then goes on to talk about the «everlasting covenant» (Isaiah 55:3) God makes with us. A “Statement on Water for Life” was already adopted by the 9th WCC Assembly in Porto Alegre in 2006. Among other things, it praised the ecumenical collaboration of Brazil and Switzerland working on the water declaration of 2005. Since then, more commitment to its implementation would have been both desirable and necessary. This business is not only unfinished but more acutely relevant than ever. The churches and the WCC (with its Ecumenical Water Network EWN) are well-advised to restate it in the form of an SDG. Switzerland, the “water castle of Europe” and at the same time a business location sending strong impulses towards the privatization of water, is particularly called upon in this matter. With the European popular initiative «Water is a Human Right,” the civil society of the European Union has proved that these questions do matter to the people in the rich and watersaturated industrial countries. This has been the first EU popular initiative ever since the introduction of this democratic instrument one year ago. The Swiss churches have good reason to continue their commitment in this matter 10 years after the 2003 “International Year of Water” and to network for it on an international level.

Ecumenical sustainability goal: “Maintaining Food Rights for Everyone”

One of the most remarkable characteristics of the miracle stories in the New Testament is how much they resonate with everyday practical issues. In this respect, the relationship between the sacramental elements of “bread and wine” and the quotidian items of “bread and fish» is particularly illuminating. Jesus’ Feeding Miracles – in a


community of Galilean fishermen on the Sea of Galilee – pertain to bread and fish: five loaves of bread and two fish end up feeding four to five thousand people (Mark 6:30-44; 8:1-9). Communing with the Risen Christ, too, occurs as an everyday meal of bread and fish (John 21). The augmentation of bread and fish is described such that everything begins with giving thanks and sharing. Giving thanks and sharing comes before working and producing. The reversal is essential. It is also expressed in the sacrament, in bread and wine. The fortification provided by the bread is complemented by the cheerfulness of the wine, and both together are the “Eucharist” – Greek for “thanksgiving.” The New Testament testifies very clearly that the sacrament of the Eucharist is not a ritualized “holiness” that is removed from everyday life, affording an escape from the world. In everyday life, bread and wine become bread and fish – and here, the miracle occurs that all those present can satisfy their hunger if it all begins with giving thanks and sharing. The Swiss relief organizations, working on the basis of church development cooperation, divide the goal of “Food rights for everyone” into five subgoals: (1) Eliminate malnourishment and hunger in any form, including malnutrition, deficiencies and overeating, so that all human beings can enjoy their food rights at all times; (2) Make sure that small farmers and rural communities, particularly those of women and underprivileged groups, receive adequate sustenance and income, and to guarantee their right to access productive resources and assets everywhere; (3) Facilitate a transformation towards sustainable, diverse and robust systems of agriculture and nutrition, maintain the natural resources and ecosystems, and counteract land degradation; (4) Prevent after-crop losses and other food losses and wastefulness; (5) Establish inclusive, transparent and just legal and other decision processes in the areas of food, nutrition and agriculture on all levels. In this context, it is also important to point out a connection highlighted by the Swiss church relief organizations Bread for All and Lenten Sacrifice in their ecumenical campaigns, including in 2009 in the campaign “Food rights need a healthy climate.” The United Nations once again warn against the potential consequences of climate change in their recently published “Report on

Human Development 2013.” If nothing is done to prevent it, the number of people living in extreme poverty due to environmental disasters could rise as high as three billion by 2050. Global warming is threatening to cause massive development setbacks resulting in profound economical and social turmoil. Ever since the financial crises, the financial markets are showing an increasing appetite for food markets: resource-related speculative activities in the capital markets by far exceed traditional hedging activities to protect harvest profits. This trade with new financial products in the resource sector significantly raises global market prices and affects pricing in developing countries. This in turn endangers food security and causes hunger. Being mostly in charge of food security, women in particular suffer from increases in price levels for food such as grains, rice, and soy. At the same time, women are equipped with substantial knowledge and experience regarding the cultivation and preservation of natural resources. However, so far the role of women in the effort towards sustainable development has been limited by discrimination, i.e., a lack of education, landed property and equal career opportunities. Protecting women’s basic rights and working for gender equality are indispensable prerequisites of sustainability.  <

– Financial markets are showing an increasing appetite for food markets.

* HELLA HOPPE Executive Secretary for Economic Affairs OTTO SCHÄFER Executive Secretary for Theology and Ethics

Further Information

Video interview: 3 questions for co-author Otto Schäfer

42 bulletin No. 2/2013

– On our way together

10 Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Busan/South Korea th

Since the founding event in Amsterdam in 1948, Assemblies are central moments in the life of the World Council of Churches (WCC), with roughly 350 member churches the most representative and diverse community of churches across the globe. The 10th WCC Assembly took place October 30 to November 8, 2013, in the South Korean seaport of Busan.



he important thing is not the size of this mega event with its roughly 3000 attendees. It’s all about compiling issues and tasks the churches are facing today, sharing insights and outlooks, and coming together to praise the Lord who is steering the church through the storms of the ages. Here, the church shows itself as ecclesia peregrinans, the wandering church, or the pilgrim people of God who are traveling the world towards the kingdom of God, which here and there ap-

pears to us in glimpses, taking shape already. Accordingly, the preparation process for the Assembly has been called a “pilgrimage to Busan” to show that the churches are on their various ways and paths, sharing the same horizon. In this context, the church turns out to be essentially a community that transcends borders, and the quest for church unity appears primarily as being on the road together. For the first time, the WCC holds its Assembly in East Asia. Korea, with its conflict between North and South


Korea, with the upsides and downsides of the booming South Korean economy, and with its growing Christian presence, offers a vivid and exciting context. The motto guiding the ecumenical gathering in Busan is: “God of life, lead us to justice and peace.” The direction of ecumenical cooperation for the next eight years is determined in plenary meetings on the topics of Christian unity, justice and peace, in ecumenical conversations and workshops on current issues, as well as in business meetings. In conversation with and awareness of the other, as well as in prayer and in joint worship services, attendees look for ways to deepen the existing community and the mission of the church in today’s world. How can the unity of the church be revitalized beyond the barriers between the individual member churches that often seem to be so unshakeable? How can the member churches, through the WCC, answer the call to Jesus Christ’s one church together and with lasting effect; how can they invite people to join the community with God and with each other; how can they prophetically dedicate themselves to peace and justice; and how can they serve humankind? The most

recent WCC documents provide some background for this thinking process in Busan: “The Church: Towards a Common Vision,” “Together towards Life: Mission and Evangelism in Changing Landscapes,” “Economy of Life, Justice and Peace for All: a Call to Action.” In the context of the WCC’s work on issues of peace and justice in a global dimension, one term that has become more and more important in the ecumenical talks of the last few years is “just peace,” which encompasses the constitutive interconnection of peace and justice and addresses both of these qualities of human coexistence beyond their genuine aspects (absence of military conflicts, balanced distribution of material goods) in the context of various ethical situations (ecology, economy, gender relations, etc.). In a presentation to students in Cambridge, the WCC’s Secretary General, Norwegian pastor Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, identified three areas of challenges facing the WCC in the course of the coming years: First, the lack of visible unity in the context of the Eucharist; second, the inconsistent positioning of the churches regarding an-

44 bulletin No. 2/2013 On our way together thropological questions in the context of the gender debate, reproductive medicine, human sexuality and family ethics; and third, the issue of how concrete the churches’ contributions to more justice and peace in the world can and should be. But the WCC also faces big challenges of a very practical sort: its dwindling financial resources. It was not least of all an urgent need to recapitalize its pension fund that made the WCC start a process of development and improvement of its real estate in an excellent Geneva location some time ago. According to Secretary General Tveit, “Geneva […] represents a legacy and an identity for the ecumenical movement” that is worth maintaining. This process of external structural adaptations is accompanied by a reflection on the WCC’s role that has been going on for some time. According to these reflections, the WCC wants to be a common voice for the churches, to maintain ecumenical cooperation and to promote a sense of shared identity within the ecumenical movement. This also includes strengthening the relationships to the member churches and contemplating the unique added value of the WCC’s work. A prerequisite for these goals is the effective and efficient work of the WCC’s executive bodies and of its Geneva office. For this purpose, the Assembly in Busan adopts a revision of the WCC constitution and bylaws that will provide for a reorganization of the governance structure and essentially involve an improved allocation of tasks between the Central and Executive Committees, as well as a closer involvement of the commissions. For the Reformed churches in Switzerland, the WCC still is, despite its loss of size and all the justified criticism directed at it, the best way to promote the worldwide unity of churches and to live this unity, to take on the task of preaching the Gospel and to bear joint witness for justice, peace and reconciliation in the world. For these things, the WCC offers the FSPC and its member churches a platform and the opportunity to speak as a community of churches, practicing solidarity among the churches and reminding them of their mutual accountability rooted in the fact that the church receives all things from God. One important example of the WCC’s involvement is its continued support of the churches in the Middle East. The FSPC is represented by a delegation of four to the Assembly in Busan (Gottfried Locher, Pia Grossholz-Fahrni, Serge Fornerod and Martin Hirzel). In addition, representatives from Bread for All, Mission21 and

a large group from the Reformed Churches Berne-JuraSolothurn, among them many young people, also attend the Assembly. <

Further Informationen

Video-interview: 3 questions for author Martin Hirzel, Executive Secretary for Ecumenism and Religious Communities

Conference Website:


bulletin No. 2/2013

The Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches

46 bulletin No. 2/2013

– Short Facts

The FSPC and its structure Since its foundation in 1920, the FSPC attends to the interests of its member churches and represents the interests of Protestantism on a national and an international level. An overview of our activities.

Who we are … Council

Assembly of Delegates

Central Office

The council is the FSPC’s executive body. It is comprised of seven members who are elected for four years by the Assembly of Delegates. The Council President for the legislative period of 2011–2014 is Rev. Dr. theol. Gottfried Locher (Picture: center, front).

The Assembly of Delegates is the FSPC’s parliament. It is comprised of 74 members, with 70 of these being elected and dispatched by the member churches. The Assembly of Delegates convenes twice a year; once in June, hosted by a different member church every year, and once in November in Berne.

The central office is responsible for the operative implementation of the strategies, goals and resolutions of the Council and the Assembly of Delegates. It also prepares resolutions for the Council, works on factual issues and develops positions and statements. In addition, the 35 staff members provide a wide variety of services for the member churches and other partners. The office is headed by Rev. Philippe Woodtli.


What we do … Strengthening cooperation and Making the Protestant voice unity among the member churches be heard in society Our goal is to bundle the strengths of Protestantism in Switzerland and to strengthen the spiritual bonds among our members. We are working towards a shared understanding of theological issues such as baptism,

ordination or the Eucharist. We provide a place for communication and networking among the churches associated in the FSPC, and we also support them with a wide range of practical services.

We are working to make the messages of the Gospel resound in this day and age and to provide answers to questions that concern people today. We strive for the presence of a strong Reformed voice. We participate in society’s debates and develop Protestant positions on central political

and social-ethical questions, e. g. on prenatal diagnostics, abortion and assisted dying. In doing so, we assert the fundamental dignity of any human being by virtue of being made in the image of God, regardless of origin, gender or age.

Representing church interests vis-à-vis authorities and institutions

Staying in dialogue with domestic and international religious communities

We represent the interests of Protestantism all over Switzerland vis-à-vis federal authorities, business associations, universities, cultural institutions and large parts of civil society. We not only work to create beneficial framework conditions for our own member churches but are also guided by our vision of a thriving society for all people. We bring Protestant

We know that our contributions to preaching the Gospel and to bringing about religious peace must reach beyond our own institutional borders. For this reason, we maintain relationships with domestic and international partners from churches, ecumenical associations and civil society, e. g. as a member of the World Communion of

perspectives and values to the table, e.g. in legislative consultations on church-relevant topics or by issuing statements on popular votes and referendums. We participate in various commissions such as the Federal Commission against Racism (FCR) and the Federal Commission on Migration (FCM).

Reformed Churches (WCRC), the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE), the Conference of European Churches (CEC), and the World Council of Churches (WCC). We are committed to ecumenism and strive for growing unity among all Christian denominations.

48 bulletin No. 2/2013

â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Organization

The Federation of SwissProtestant Churches The Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches is the voice of more than 2 million Protestants in Switzerland. As the community of the 24 cantonal regional churches, the Methodist Church and the Free Evangelical Church of Geneva, the FSPC uses both words and deeds to bear witness to the Gospel and to ensure that Christian values are respected in society.


The FSPC Council

Rev. Dr. theol. Gottfried Locher, President

 Rev. Kristin Rossier Buri, Vice President Training and supervision of the council members of the Protestant Church of Vaud Canton as a service for the church as a whole (Personnel Office)

Dr. theol. h. c. Peter Schmid, Vice President President of the Council of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts North­ western Switzerland

Rev. Rita Famos-Pfander Pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Zurich Canton since 1993

Regula Kummer Vice President of the Protestant Church Council of Thurgau Canton (Department Diakonia and Agencies)

Rev. Daniel de Roche Synodal Council President of the Protestant Reformed Church of Freiburg Canton

Lini Sutter-Ambühl Lawyer, President of the Church Council of the Protestant Reformed Church of Graubünden

50 bulletin No. 2/2013

FSPC Staff members

Beatrice Bienz Administrative Assistant to the Council President

Dr. iur. Felix Frey Research officer in the Law and Society Department

Jacqueline Blaser Administrative Assistant at the Reception

Anke Grosse-Frintrop Director of Central Services

Martin Hirzel Executive Secretary for Ecumenism and Religious Communities

Silvianne Bürki Research officer to the Council President

Simon David Butticaz Research officer of the Churches Department

Jacqueline Dähler Accounting Assistant

 1

1 Rev. Dr. theol.


Rev. Simon Hofstetter Academic Assistant in the Law and Society Department

1 Dr. rer. pol. Hella Hoppe

Manuel Erhardt Web Assistant

Executive Secretary for Economic Affairs

 Dipl. theol. & Journalist

1 Rev. Matthias Hügli

Thomas Flügge Executive Secretary for Communication

 Rev. Serge Fornerod, MPA

Director of External Relations and Ecumenism and Deputy Managing Director

 Nicole Freimüller-

Hoffmann Administrative Assistant Communication

Executive Secretary of Churches Department


1 Prof. Dr. theol.

Frank Mathwig Executive Secretary for Theology and Ethics

 Helene Meyerhans

Administrative Assistant to the Council

 Christiane Rohr

Administrative Assistentant for the Department of Churches and the Department of External Relations and Ecumenism

 Lic. phil. hist.

Simon Röthlisberger Executive Secretary for Migration Otto Schäfer Executive Secretary for Theology and Ethics


Karin Schüpbach Receptionist



1 Karin Maire



Eva Wernly Administrative Assistant to the Managing Director


Brigitte Wegmüller Administrative Assistant to the Director of the Institute of Theology and Ethics and Assistant Librarian


Rev. Philippe Woodtli Managing Director


Tina Wüthrich Research assistant in the Churches Department

 Rev. Dr. sc. agr.

Michèle Laubscher Secretary at the Institute of Theology and Ethics Pamela Liebenberg Secretary of the Churches Department


Cécile Uhlmann Executive Secretary for Accountancy

 Mirjam Schwery  PD Dr. theol.

Christina Tuor-Kurth Director of the Institute of Theology and Ethics

In remembrance of our dear colleague Christine Maurer 10/01/1952–06/29/2013 Christine Maurer had been working as a receptionist at the FSPC headquarters since October 2005. Her warmhearted, upbeat and helpful manner was highly appreciated by all colleagues and guests. We miss Christine and will treasure our memories of her.














52 bulletin No. 2/2013

– Protestant Churches in Switzerland

The FSPC Churches

Reformierte Landeskirche Aargau Church Council Chair: Christoph Weber-Berg 75 Parishes 180 349 Members

Evangelisch-reformierte Landeskirche beider Appenzell Church Council Chair: Kurt Kägi-Huber 20 Parishes 25 093 Members

Evangelisch-reformierte Kirche des Kantons Basel-Landschaft Church Council Chair: Martin Stingelin 35 Parishes 96 220 Members

Evangelisch-reformierte Kirche Basel-Stadt Church Council Chair: Lukas Kundert 7 Parishes 30 764 Members

Reformierte Kirchen Bern-Jura-Solothurn Synod Chair: Andreas Zeller 215 Parishes 642 456 Members

Evangelisch-reformierte Kirche des Kantons Freiburg Synod Chair: Pierre-Philippe Blaser 16 Parishes 41 235 Members

Église Protestante de Genève EPG President: Charlotte Kuffer 34 Parishes 74 456 Members

Église Évangélique Libre de Genève EELG Synod Chair: Raymond Bourquin 6 Parishes 521 Members

Evangelisch-Refor­mierte Landeskirche des Kantons Glarus Church Council Chair: Ulrich Knoepfel 13 Parishes 14 991 Members

Evangelisch-Reformierte Landeskirche Graubünden Church Council Chair: Andreas Thöny 113 Parishes 71 700 Members

Evangelisch-reformierte Kirche des Kantons Luzern Synod Chair: David A. Weiss 8 Parishes 42 746 Members

Église réformée évangélique du canton de Neuchâtel EREN Synod Chair: Christian Miaz-Frutiger 9 Parishes 59 972 Members


Evangelisch-Reformierte Kirche Nidwalden Church Council Chair: Wolfgang Gaede 3 Parishes 4483 Members

Verband der Evangelischreformierten Kirchgemeinden des Kantons Obwalden President: Therese Meierhofer-Lauffer 2 Parishes 2827 Members

Evangelisch-reformierte Kirche des Kantons Schaffhausen Church Council Chair: Frieder Tramer 31 Parishes 31 566 Members

Evangelisch-reformierte Kantonalkirche Schwyz Church Council Chair: Felix Meyer 6 Parishes 18 602 Members

Evangelisch-Reformierte Kirche Kanton Solothurn Synod Chair: Verena Enzler 23 Parishes 28 959 Members

Evangelisch-reformierte Kirche des Kantons St. Gallen Council Chair: Dölf Weder 49 Parishes 112 738 Members

Evangelische Landes­kirche des Kantons Thurgau Church Council Chair: Wilfried Bührer 66 Parishes 98 310 Members

Chiesa evangelica riformata nel Ticino Synod Chair: Tobias E. Ulbrich 3 Parishes 6856 Members

Evangelisch-Reformierte Landes­kirche Uri Church Council Chair: Dieter Kolthoff 3 Parishes 1830 Members

Église Évangélique Réformée du canton de Vaud Synod Chair: Esther Gaillard 87 Parishes 247 696 Members

Evangelisch-reformierte Kirche des Wallis Synod Chair: Beat Abegglen 10 Parishes 19 505 Members

Reformierte Kirche Kanton Zug Church Council Chair: Monika Hirt Behler 1 Parish 17 923 Members

Evangelisch-reformierte Landeskirche des Kantons Zürich Church Council Chair: Michel Müller 179 Parishes 461 602 Members

Evangelisch-methodistische Kirche in der Schweiz Bishop: Patrick Streiff 71 Parishes 5878 Members Status: 2012

54 bulletin No. 2/2013

Recent publications

Wer braucht schon den Sonntag …?

Leben testen? 10 Fragen – 10 Antworten zu neuen pränatalen Tests aus theologisch-ethischer Sicht

10 Fragen und Antworten zum Stolperstein des Alltags

sek · feps

sek · feps

Schweizerischer Evangelischer Kirchenbund

Schweizerischer Evangelischer Kirchenbund

Who needs Sundays anyway? 10 Questions and Answers on the stumbling block of our weekly routine

Testing Life? 10 Questions – 10 Answers on the new prenatal tests from a theological-ethical perspective

These publications are available for downloading or ordering at (only in German or French)

Imprint Federation of Swiss Protestant churches FSPC CH-3000 Berne 23 Phone +41 (0)31 370 25 25, Circulation: 4800 German, 1800 French

Editors: Thomas Flügge, Nicole Freimüller-Hoffmann Design/Layout: Meier Media Design, Zurich

Translation: André Carruzzo, Christine Sutter, Iréne Minder, Martina Sitling, David Dichelle Print: Roth Druck AG, Uetendorf

bulletin No. 2/2013

sek · feps


No. 2 2013


The Magazine of the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches


–Legislative goal 3

The first Swiss Sermon Award

– Read, hear and see the FSPC in the bulletin online!

18 –  The Reformation “brand”

500 years anniversary celebrations

20 – Hospitable churches with open doors 34 –  Between Healing and Salvation 38 –  Ecumenical Sustainability Goals? Resting places

On the theological-ecclesiological discussion of spiritual care

Sustainable Development Goals SDG

Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches FSPC Sulgenauweg 26 CH-3000 Bern 23 Phone +41 (0)31 370 25 25

sek · feps Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches

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bulletin Nr. 2/2013 english  

The first Swiss Sermon Award - The Reformation “brand” - Hospitable churches with open doors - Between Healing and Salvation - Ecumenical Su...

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