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s2smodern

Two words that may summarize the mission of the Chapel for Europe in Brussels – an ecumenical chapel for civil servants of the European institutions and all interested in the European project – are “mixing people.” Mixing people of different cultures, nationalities, confessions. Mixing in order not to generate uniformity, but a unity respecting diversity of every person’s and every tradition’s best part. As Europe is much bigger than only one country, we acknowledge that the Church is much bigger than one parish.

Returning from the summer, September saw our annual Ecumenical Inauguration Prayer. We marked the beginning of a new working year as Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and Catholic celebrants came and prayer together. Reading and reflecting on Jesus’s miracle of the multiplication of bread and fish, our chosen theme was “sharing bread,” and at the end of the celebration we shared real bread. While this bread was not the Eucharist, it represented that we are on our way to unity, walking together and supporting each other.

Apart from being a space of prayer, the Chapel is also a place of reflection and exchange on different important European topics. The current European challenges are manifold: the unresolved challenges of a common migration policy, increased social inequality, Brexit, nationalism and EU-scepticism. Some of the questions aired and discussed in the Chapel revolve around these issues: are there lessons to be learnt? How can we strengthen the European integration process? How can today’s Christian churches also make a significant contribution to give a new spirit and life to Europe?

In October, among many other events, we hosted a conference “Europe in Troubled Waters: Reformation and Reform in Europe Today.“ This was inspired by the commemoration of 500 years since the Reformation, and we focused on European renewal. In November, we will develop further the reflection with another conference: "Reflecting on a Vision of Europe: The Contribution of the Christian Churches”, inspired this time by the 60th Anniversary of the Treaties of Rome, which contributed to the creation of the European Community. This conference asks, can the vision of the founders of Europe, including their Christian inspirations, still be the reference point today in a time of crisis in Europe? The President and Vice-President of the European Parliament will help us in this reflection as keynote speakers, and also the representatives of different Christian Churches as panels speakers. As always, we are hoping for an inspiring exchange and a lively audience.

So, we continue praying, reflecting, and mixing people.

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s2smodern