Archive for May, 2012

Graduation!!!

Monday, May 28th, 2012

Colin Symes from Edinburgh (MTh in Applied Theology), with Tony Peck, the EBF General Secretary

Food's ready! (At least for Vika, our Librarian and CAT graduate)

 

Master-level students, Rector and Academic Dean with the EBF President, Revd Hans Guderian

...And the Academic Staff with graduated master-level students

Residential students, graduated and continuing

"Two Bulgarian brothers"

IBTS Administrative Staff who have come to celebrate (including one who is no longer working at IBTS, but still wanted to visit!

Coffee, anyone?

Friday, May 18th, 2012

We have a problem. (Well, we have several problems, but this may be relatively easy to address, with your help!) Here it is: as you know, IBTS has been trying to be an eco-seminary in a variety of aspects of its life. But one of the aspects we’ve been struggling with is our coffee served in the community lounge (which many of you have been enjoying). Yes, it should be Fair Trade. Except… it’s still really expensive here in the Czech Republic – and given the financial pressures, sadly, we cannot justify the cost – nearly twice as much as the regular one…

So – one of the followers of the blog suggested we could make an invite for those who may be visiting IBTS and from countries where Fair Trade goods are widespread (and therefore more affordable). If you have some space in your suitcase, bring us a pack or two when you come! (Grounded coffee, not beans). Even if not all the time, at least some of the time then we would be able to drink fairly and to keep spreading the word about economic justice.

Hopeful and grateful in advance!

– Lina

Together for Europe – Hope for Europe

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Our EBF President, Hans Guderian, was in Brussels on 12 May for a meeting of various Christian spiritual movements to join together in action for peace and reconciliation in Europe. Here are some of his reflections :

On behalf of my German Baptist home union I had the chance to participate last Saturday, May 12, 2012, in the third meeting of Christian movements and communities in the European capital Brussels. There are more than 200 movements which belong to this network of spiritual communities “Together for Europe”.

 The basic shape of the day consisted in an ongoing “Steady Prayer Time” shaped by the different movements and communities, several forums e.g. to the themes “economy in fellowship”, a “studio for youth and young adults”, a “workshop for married couples”, an action “for the poor ones in the city” and an open-air-musical. I had the opportunity to talk with several participants (among them leaders of the “Focolare-movement” and monks of the Premonstratensian order) and also with Gerhard Proß from the YMCA in Esslingen/Germany, the organiser and leader of this action day “Together for Europe”.

The first larger joint event where I was able to participate after my arrival in the early morning was the Ecumenical Worship Service in the church “Notre-Dame du Sablon”, located close to the centre of Brussels, with about 200 visitors. The liturgy here reminded me a lot to the prayer meetings of Taizé. For me personally this worship service was a soothing wonderful spiritual experience. Short choruses alternated with Biblical readings, a dignified handled open time of joint prayers, a short sermon and a spiritual symbolic action of a spoken out blessing assurance towards the respective neighbour under the sign of the cross marked on the others forehead.

The highlight of this day was the great Plenary Assembly in the “Gold Hall”, a great conference hall in the centrally located “Square Meeting Centre” in Brussels, with about 1,000 invited guests from politics, society and church. The three-hours-long programme (with a break of half an hour in-between to have some time for individual encounters) was very professional and competent.  Different languages were used. There was simultaneous translation into ten languages. Parts of the programme were transmitted to approximately 140 cities in a live streamed via video-conference.

Contents wise the focus had been on the proclamation of the „Seven Yes to Europe“: Yes to life, Yes to the family, Yes to creation, Yes to a just economy, Yes to solidarity, Yes to peace and Yes to social responsibility. I was quite impressed and encouraged to realise in which good way Biblical ethics had been combined here with Christian spirituality and worldwide social and political responsibility. (more…)

Ends and Beginnings

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

It’s May at IBTS – one of my favourite times: the weather’s beautiful, the academic year is drawing to its close, and as there are many student essays to comment on or mark, I can do it outside, in the courtyard!! Before the sun gets too bright to be looking at a laptop screen, I can also write a blog entry – so here it comes.

Our Board of Trustees has given us the permission to recruit students for CAT programme for the academic year 2012-2013. There are a number of applications we have already received, but we would very much like to have a variety of countries represented – those of you who have been at IBTS know what a powerful experience that is. At this point, it is getting too late to procesds those who would need a Czech visa, but of course the European Union countries don’t need one. So here’s a request to all our readers and followers from the EU: if you know a young person who is longing to be of service to God and God’s people, who perhaps plans to enter another profession but would like to gain some basic theological background and a broader perspective on Baptist identity,  someone who would enjoy nine months in IBTS community, encourage them to apply! Application form and the description of the programme here (click on Handbook and Application Form).

With sunny greetings, and with gratitude for your prayers which I know many of you are offering on the behalf of IBTS:

– Lina

The Scent of Peace

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Many of you will know Vanessa Lake, who has been both a student and later staff member at IBTS. Now in her home country and working at Calvin Seminary, she recalls life at IBTS  in this moving audio. Many of those who have been at IBTS are likely to echo her words… Thanks, Vanessa.