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German Hungarian
Christa Springe

Christa Springe, president of the European Ecumenical Coalition for Graz, evaluates the role grassroots play in the Assembly:

In the Assembly I have two functions; first and most I am the president of the European Ecumenical Coalition for Graz. Whithin this Coalition hundred grassroots groups from all over Europe have come together to make a contribution. The coordination of this has been my main job, and I really want that the grassroots' voice be heard in this Assembly.
Secondly, I am officially in the preparation group and in the responsible team for the Dialogue Forum, in which delegates and participants have the opportunity to meet. The Forum I am responsible for deals with questions of powerty, discrimination and exclusion. The fact, that I have an official function and I work with the grassroots as well, makes it easier to transport the message of the grassroots to the officials. I think this has been a good construction.
The message itself is still developing. It has already become quite clear, that if the church hierarchy talks among themselves, they do not know, what the real problems in this world are, and they lose sight of the strength of the people and of the Christians. If they are looking for the truth, for answers to solve the problems of this world, they should listen to grassroots people who actually do something for a change and for justice, what they do and what experience they have.
Most of the groups which have come to the Ecumenical Village have been at work now either for years or even for some decades. As we have learnt a lot, we really have a solid foundation to continue our work, hopefully better, more effectively in comparison with what we did before.