Being the Protestant Church: The Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches, 2011-2014

The Council of the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches (FSPC) submitted its legislative objectives through 2014 to the Assembly of Delegates in Bern.

Being the Protestant Church: It is with this motto that the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches (FSPC) presented its legislative objectives for 2011-2014. As it met in Bern, the Assembly of Delegates (parliament) of the FSPC was given six objectives and fifteen measures. The six goals translated as “rootedness, community, inspiration, ecumenism, presence, and vigilance”, each prefixed by the word “Protestant”.

“We are faced with great challenges,” explained FSPC President Gottfried Locher. “These legislative objectives show what we wish to change, move, and develop.” In hundreds of congregations, men, women, children, and young people are all very active, Locher added. “They all are, and we all are the FSPC. We are one common church across all parish and cantonal lines.”

In the objectives, we read that the “FSPC is present, as a Protestant voice, in issues that move the people today.” The FSPC, to this end, specifically seeks out “contact with people with responsibility in all areas of life”. The FSPC takes public positions in areas where social, political, and economic developments run contradictory to the Gospel, and “provides a voice to those who are not themselves heard in the public sphere”.

The objectives conclude by explaining that the “Protestant churches in Switzerland are undergoing great changes,” with “more unity among the churches needed” to face those changes. This unity can emerge “through a common Protestant understanding of church.” This involves specific projects including the celebration of the Reformation jubilee all across Switzerland, the creation of a “Protestant book of faith”, and the initiation of a Swiss preaching prize.

To conclude the Council’s presentation of the legislative objectives, the delegates engaged in a lively discussion of individual objectives and measures as well as the motto “Being the Protestant church”.

The Assembly of Delegates is the (legislative) parliament of the FSPC, and meets twice each year, once in June as hosted by one of the member churches, and once in Bern each November. The member churches are represented by 70 delegates, and the diaconal agencies and the Women’s Conference are represented by two delegates each, all with speaking and proposal rights.

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