FSPC Assembly of Delegates convenes in Bern

The Assembly of Delegates of the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches meets in Bern, discusses the current status of the consultation process regarding the constitution revision, welcomes SDC Director Martin Dahinden and elects members of the foundation councils as well as the control committee.
Gion Pfander

The fall Assembly of Delegates of the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches FSPC, held November 11 and 12, 2013, brings roughly seventy delegates from the twenty-seven Protestant churches in Switzerland to Bern City Hall.

Consultation Process on the Constitution Revision

In June 2013, the FSPC submitted a proposal for a new constitution to a consultation process by its member churches. Today, the president of the constitutional panel, Peter Schmid, thanked those who had responded so far, adding that the FSPC was very interested in receiving more responses until the end of the consultation process in late November.

“The statements we have received so far support the strengthening of the FSPC. They want to see the church federation become more recognizable, more committed, more churchly and more important,” Schmid said. At the same time, the FSPC council wants to give the process more time. After the consultation process has concluded and its results have been evaluated, the council will set the course for organizing the project and creating an adjusted schedule. FSPC President Gottfried Locher encouraged the churches to get involved. “Let us know how much Protestant-Reformed unity you would like to have. Tell us how we should shape our church community,” Locher said.

Martin Dahinden, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC

A talk on “Poverty and Justice in a Globalized World” was given by Martin Dahinden, the Director of the Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). Public development cooperation will change, Dahinden said: “It will be more strongly guided by approaches with a leverage effect. Transfers of knowledge and technology will become more important. There will be increased involvement in conflicts and fragile contexts because the elimination of poverty has made hardly any progress in these situations. Traditional tasks of development cooperation, such as the construction and operation of schools, health care facilities, and other public services, will be more and more handled by the developing countries themselves.”“

In the face of all these changes, it is important not to lose sight of the question of justice, Dahinden emphasized: “It is a matter of showing solidarity for the disadvantaged. But it is also about our own future in a globalized world.”

Foundation council elections

The Assembly of Delegates elected the following persons to the foundation councils: Bread for all (BFA): Florian Wettstein (SG) for the remainder of the current term of office (2012-2015) as well as Elisabeth Bürgi Bonanomi (BE), Angelika Hilbeck (ZH), Monika Hirt Behler (ZG) and Maja Ingold (ZH) for the coming term (2014-2017). Swiss Interchurch Aid (HEKS): Jacques-André Schneider (GE), Christoph Sigrist (ZH) and Martin Stingelin (BL) for the coming term (2014-2017). fondia – Foundation for the Promotion of Diaconal Community Services in the FSPC: Urs Woodtli Stebler (ZH) for the remainder of the current term (2011-2014).

Felix Meyer resigned as a member of the FSPC Control Committee (GPK) during the Assembly of Delegates. In his stead, Johannes Roth (ZG) was elected for the remainder of the current term (2011-2014). Jean-Michel Sordet stepped down as GPK President due to the term of office limitation of four years but remains a member. Daniel Hehl (AG) was elected president for the remainder of the current term (2011-2014).