Last updated:
June 2, 97

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Ecumenical Village


Ecumenical Village (Ökumenisches Dorf)

European Ecumenical Coalition for Graz 1997

Ecumenical Village:
The ecumenical village welcomes adults and young people participating in the Assembly as delegates or visitors:
Tuesday to Thursday, 10.00-17.30
Friday, 10.00-13.00, and Saturday, 10.00-15.00

  • in the village square
  • in 4 thematic neighbourhoods
  • in the story-telling and listening room
  • in the village cafe
    60 groups wiil plan the programme together from the viewpoint of people affected by irreconcilable problems and in light of their experience of local solidarity work. Most of them have been workinS on implementing self-dedication and resolutions in the fields of justice, peace and the integrity of creation since the First European Ecumenical Assembly in Basle in 1989, Women and men will come from eastern and south-eastern Europe and will tell of their experiences.

    Methods of work:

  • exchange of experience, in-depth discussion, meditation
  • interactive theatre
  • exhibitions, slide shows
  • dance, pottery, painting on the themes
    Focal points:
  • in the village square
  • in the neighbourhoods on the themes of dialogue fora 3-6 (preparatory and subsequent work on the forum events and updating from practical experience for practical work).

    Neighbourhood III:
    Commitment to social justice, above all to overcoming poverty, social exclusion and other forms of discrimination
    "Resistance as the secret of joy"
    In Neighbourhood III of the Ecumenical Village, you will be able to experience exclusion in Europe in a variety of contexts. People affected by poverty and exclusion from all over Europe (e,g. unemployed, poor, victims of trade in women, migrants) will describe real-world situations of irrec6nciliability and will discuss how they cope with these situations in their self-help organisations, trying to come to terms with them in a creative way. With the aid of a supporting programme (lectures, workshops, panel discussions) the aim is to contextualire these examples of social exclusion against the background of attempts to localize them in an analytical manner, aiming to take the necessary steps to overcome these irreconcilable problems. The practice of resistance of those directly affected and those showing solidarity with them is to be experienced as a "secret of joy" within this Neighbourhood III.

    Our Neighbourhood will be designed by:
    Basic Movement of Critical Groups and Congregations in the Netherlands, Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft "Asyl in der Kirche", BürgerInneninitiative "Freie Heide", European Contact Group on Urban, Industrial and Rural Mission, Giordano Bruno Huis, Hendrik Kraemer Haus, Grassroots Luton, Kairos Europa, Kairos Jeunesse, "L'Amiti¦" - Verein zur Integration ausländischer MitbürgerInnen, Westfälische Arbeitsstelle Ökumenische Dekade, Work Economy Network in the European Churches, Christliche Friedenskonferenz, Ökumenisches Friedensforum Europäischer Katholiken.

    Neighbourhood IV:
    Commitment to reconciliation within and between nations, above all to non-violent forms of conflict management

    Meditation, role playing, (statue and picture theatre), creative design (painting, pottery, meditative free dance); the aim is to introduce the visitor to an atmosphere of mutual exchange so as to discover joint ways and possibilities of non-violent conflict resolution.
    Representatives of minorities will depict their situation, some in the form of a statue theatre that spectators can take part in: a Romany family and Shalom deacon Margrit Koeplin, a Kurd from Turkey, an asylum-seeker, and an unemployed woman will throw light on fields of conflict and demonstrate possible steps towards reconciliation.
    Every day at about 10.151 "Parakletos" will be making music in the Latin American beat in the village to get us in the mood. A story of reconciliation will be offered in a short prayer.
    Anna and Otto Raffai from Zagreb will be speaking for Croatia, telling of their experience in non-violent training in the Church context.
    A women's group will be organising pilgrimage dances and will tell of their visits to politicians and representatives of the arms industry.

  • Times of silence with prayer according to Celtic tradition (Niah Rosier from Wales), will round off the activities in the village.

    25 June 1997, 13.45-14.45: "Naming and confessing," statue theatre in the village square with "Romany in Romania," followed by discussion in Neighbourhood IV on oppressed ethnic groups in Europe.

    26 June 1997: 10.30-11.15 in the village square: "Reconciliation stories with Czechs, Germans, Hungarians.

    28 June 1997, 10.30-11.15: Showing hope from peace work in Kosovo, Croatia and Turkey.

    Our Neighbourhood will be designed by:
    International Fellowship of Reconciliation, (Deutschland, Italien, Österreich, Ungarn und Wales), Kairos Europa, Ökumenischer Dienst im Konziliaren Prozeß, Pax Christi Deutschland, ®Verein der Kriegsdienstverweigerer®, ®Dialogkreis®, Bokor, BOCS Stiftung, 3. Welt Stiftung, Bokorliget, ®Parakletos® (ungar. Musikgruppe), ®Unterwegs für das Leben®(Frauen aus Deutschland) und Grazer Künstler: Anleitung zu Malen und Töpfern

    Neighbourhood V:
    Engendering a greater sense of responsibility towards the environment, above all with regard to the coming generations:
    sustainability as a challenge

    The word sustainability is taken from the forestry industry and quite simply means: we should not cut more trees than can grow back.
    The word sustainabiiity found its way into the documents of the Rio environmental summit in 1992, specifically in Agenda 21, where sustainable development is mentioned. In other words, we should not take more from the earth than the earth can regenerate; and, in this context, we must maintain a balanced relationship between the nations and generations. We should not continue to wage war on the poor and on creation. We must find steps to achieve reconciliation!
    This is a simple fact in terms of common sense. In practical terms, it is a gigantic challenge to the lifestyle of human beings, to the politics of nations, to the way the economy works and to the solidarity of the Churches with the poorest of the poor and creation.
    We will be taking up the following topics:

  • Ecumenical work on Agenda 21 in the local context
  • Rivers as habitats - rescuing the Elbtal marshland
  • Chernobyl - Clinic 14 in Kiev
  • Learning from the Chernobyl disaster - for just and sustainable development
  • Ecological learning with children
  • Farming in the south of Poland threatened by European agricultural policy
  • Self-confident farming families take care of local supply - healthy produce from the farm
  • Genetic engineering in agriculture; consumer resistance
  • Climate protection - agriculture
  • A Kairos document for Europe - invitation to participate
    Our Neighbourhood will be designed by:
    Köpeniker Initiative "Eine Welt", Projekt Elbe, Bauern Solidarnosc, Christliche Aktion "Mensch und Umwelt" e.V., Ev. Bauernwerk Württemberg, Ev.Jugend auf dem Lande, Friedensgruppe Voerde, Unesco-Projekt Schulen: Tschernobyl-Netzwerk, BAG "Den Kindern von Tschernobyl", Kairos Europa - Deutschland

    Neighbourhood VI:
    Achieving a balanced relationship with other regions of the world

    The earth is a gift to all people on loan from God. All people should have the same right to use it. Instead, we rich people take privileges for ourselves at the cost of the poor, guarding them jealously.
    Under the heading:
    "Breaking out of the fortress of affluence - setting off to achieve a just and balanced economic order"
    we will discuss the following subjects in our Neighbourhood:

  • Kleider machen Leute - Leute machen Kleider, "Clean Clothes" campaign
  • "Philippines 2000" and the battle of the poor for land
  • Socially and ecologically compatible economics
  • Agenda 21
  • World-wide exchange of remuneration for use of soil, raw materials and energy
  • Reducing trade barriers, fair prices, preventing capital inflow to rich countries
  • Controlling financial markets
  • Critical evaluation of the European Monetary Union
  • Women from Latin America depict the "one world problem.
    We offer various methods:

  • Role playing on alternative bank concepts
  • Simulation of exponential growth of an investment with the aid of a time-lapse machine
  • Simulation game: textile printing company in Zimbabwe gets credit from EDCS
  • Meditative and joyful circle dances
    Our Neighbourhood will be designed by:
    Missionszentrale der Franziskaner, Christen für gerechte Wirtschaftsordnung e.V., EDCS-Ökumenische Entwicklungs-genossenschaft, Ev.Kirchenkreis Koblenz, Initiative "Kirche von unten", Initiative "Ordensleute für den Frieden", Kairos Europa, Ökum. Netz Württemberg

    Story-telling and Listening Room
    During this week. people from all the countries of Europe will be meeting and sharing their stories. This discovery of common ground and differences. our own and others' resources, has a spiritual dimension: the wealth of those coming closer in this way becomes tangible. This gives us the strength to continue our efforts, it has an effect on others and is multiplied. Like a mosaic of little tiles, an image is created of humankind in the likeness of God.
    We want to create room for this kind of encounter and story-telling in small groups. We invite the women and men at the Assembly and in the Ecumenical Village to visit us and to share their stories with us. We look forward to the beauty and wealth that we will experience in doing so.
    Tell us about your struggles, successes and dreams! Particularly, let us know what gives you strength and motivation in life and for your commitment. Do not think your story is not interesting. We are all examples of the many similar problems - and possible solidarity - in the world!
    Organised by : Kairos Europa - Programme : "Spirituality of solidarity and resistance"

    Village café
    On behalf of the Ecumenical Village, Pax Christi invites you
    to relax after your tiring visit to the halls,
    to refresh yourself - living is better than having,
    to talk with friends and acquaintances,
    to discuss or debate how reconciliation can be achieved where repentance is so
    or to discover new friends in the ecumenical movement.
    Next to the cafe there will be food from Styrian farmers. Take a peak and see what they have to offer.

    "Virtual Diocese and Village"
    A diocese that exists only on the Internet! The former Bishop Gaillot from France established it. In the village, you will be able to "surf" (supported by the groups Pax Christi/Styria, Steirische Plattform "Wir sind Kirche", Public Forum).
    Another possibility of taking part is the Virtual Village of the BOCS Stiftung and the Coalition for Graz 97. If you cannot come to Graz yourself, but have an email address, you can receive daily summaries in English, German, Hungarian - also in other European languages if required, and you can send your contributions to the editor's office.
    In the Ecumenical Village and the Peace House you will have the opportunity of using the Internet to collect information on the various groups of the Ecumenical Coalition for Graz.
    Free registration by email at the following address:
    Further information and pictures available on the following web site:

    Please also consult the daily programme of the Ecumenical Village.