Reformed Churches: FSPC Assembly of Delegates meets in Murten

Guided by the key principle of continuity, the members of the Assembly of Delegates of the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches (FSPC) convened June 14-16. Communication within and about the church, with its many communicators, channels and colorful performances, was the subject of inspired discussion. The delegates decided that in the future, the member churches will have a hand in the strategic agenda setting process. Existing ideas for a unified visual public presence will be developed and expanded. The next Summer Assembly of Delegates will take place in 2016 at the Ittingen Charterhouse (TG).
Caption: Pierre-Philippe Blaser welcomes the delegates; Picture credit: Thomas Flügge, FSPC

The Synodal Council President of the host church of Freiburg, Rev. Pierre-Philippe Blaser, welcomed roughly 70 delegates from the 26 FSPC member churches. He was very pleased that the FSPC Assembly of Delegates (AD) enhanced the visibility of the Reformed Church in the predominantly Catholic Canton of Freiburg. Blaser emphasized that the AD was a good example of the Protestant culture of discussion.

Message of the Council President

Regarding the Reformation Jubilee in 2017, Council President Gottfried Locher hoped that “the churches will not merely celebrate themselves.” He explained that the four key principles of the Reformation – “by grace alone,” “by faith alone,” “by Scripture alone,” and “through Christ alone” – continue to be crucial for Christian existence, but often fail to resonate with people today. “Grace is the loving gaze in God’s eyes when He looks at us,” Locher said.

Constitutional Revision

 

During the 2014 Fall Assembly of Delegates, the delegates called upon the Council to create a fifth key statement regarding our church’s existence on an international level that would serve as a directive for the further development of the new constitution. The Assembly of Delegates decided on the following wording: “Our church is part of a world-wide church.”

2014 Annual Financial Statement

The fiscal year of 2014 closed with a revenue surplus of 263,000 CHF. Aargau Delegate Hans Rösch cautioned that even though this showed the FSPC’s financial health, it would be wise to remember that “one swallow does not make a summer.” Accordingly, the delegates adopted the Council’s motion to allocate the surplus to the organizational capital.

FSPC Relief Organizations in 2014

The delegates bid farewell to the Secretary General of Bread for All, Beat Dietschy, and the Director of the Swiss Church Aid relief organization (HEKS), Ueli Locher. In addition, the delegates accepted the annual reports and statements of the relief organizations (HEKS, BfA and Fondia) and confirmed their financial funding. This includes the allocation of one million Swiss Francs to the HEKS Refugee Service.