Facing Decline – Finding Hope
Coping with reality and exploring new ways in Ministry.
Conference dates: June 8-15th 2023 including a weekend-visit to a local Church in Transylvania
Venue: Transylvania, Praid, Urbán Andor Reformed Conference Center, Parajd.
Open to: Colleagues in ministry and pastoral care in protestant Churches in Transylvania and The Netherlands.
Pastors and church workers in both Eastern and Western Europe have to deal with the knock-on effects of secularization reflected in their local churches. Church attendance is declining, fewer church members are active and younger generations are mostly missing. Pastors face high expectations.
Congregation members expect them to revitalise the church, experiment with new forms and keep in touch with younger generations and new theological insights. Pastors themselves struggle with a strong desire to serve people and be faithful to their vocation. But what is the cost? How can they cope with these expectations? In what way can they nourish themselves and their congregations to not lose hope while facing decline?
This conference is designed to empower our vision and practices. As colleagues from different
contexts in Eastern and Western Europe, we begin with a weekend visit in a local church during which we can share our daily practices. Then, the following three days, we take an honest view of the situation we are in, while re-imagining our vision of church and its practices ((studying Jeffrey J. Jones: Facing Decline, Finding Hope) re-read sources (Focus on Biblical Studies of Jonathan Sacks, introduced by prof. dr. Klaas Spronk) and look for ways to refresh our faith identity and spirituality (as a pastor and as a congregation). The program will be a mixture of lectures, group- and panel discussions, paper presentations and creative expressions.
Together we will engage in a process of renewed vision, practical implementation and collegial
commitment. Participants who can do so, are kindly invited to present a paper on the topics of the conference as well.
We hope you join us on our journey. Please mark the dates in your agenda.
More information and a program outline is available at https://www.pthu.nl/onderwijs/nascholing/studiereizen/facing-decline-finding-hope-coping-with-decline/ and via Ries Nieuwkoop: email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Maximum 15 places are available for the Dutch participants.
Pre-registration until March 1, 2023 at email@example.com
The Organizing Committee,
Ds. Beke Boróka
Ds. Pap Ákos
Ds. Wim de Jong
Ds. Froukje de Hoop
Ds. Elly van der Meulen
Dr. Ciska Stark
Ds. Ries Nieuwkoop
This conference is realized in cooperation with the PTHU, Union of Dutch Ministers, Erlész and the
Juhász István Stichting