Reformed churches: FSPC Summer Assembly of Delegates in Bern

The delegates of the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches (FSPC) met at Bern’s Rathaus (Town Hall) on June 19 and 20, 2017. The assembly focused on the commemorations of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. On the Sunday, a national celebratory worship service was held in the Bern Cathedral (Münster) with ecumenical guests in attendance.
Thomas Flügge, FSPC

Rev. Andreas Zeller, President of the Synod Council of the host churches of Bern-Jura-Solothurn, welcomed around 70 delegates from the 26 member churches of the FSPC and their guests to Bern’s Rathaus (Town Hall).

Elections
Subsequent to the announced resignation of Peter Schmid, Vice President of the FSPC Council, Delegate Ruth Pfister-Murbach was elected to succeed him. She will take office on January 1, 2018 for the remainder of the term 2015-2018.

Michel Müller, Church Council President of the Church of Canton Zurich, was elected to the Vice Presidium of the Assembly of Delegates for the remainder of the term 2017-2018.

Andrea Trümpy, Vice President of the Church Council of the Reformed Church of Canton Glarus, was elected as a member of the Nomination Committee, which will be presided over in the future by Koni Bruderer, Church Council President of the Church of Appenzell.

Address of the Council President
In his traditional Council President’s address, Gottfried Locher touched upon three “treasures” that have we have received during the commemoration year, and which the church will build on in the years to come:

“Spirit of Unity”: This promotes what we have in common and protects our diversity. As Gottfried Locher expressed it: “Society expects the Christian confessions to move closer together – let us move forward.”

“Certainty of Faith”: Faith forms the basis of Christian thought and action. “We have a common centre in Jesus Christ. This should be proclaimed clearly at all times.”

“Good Will”: People in positions of responsibility in the church are deserving of trust. “Generosity is a hallmark of the church. Let us resist the temptation of disparagement. Let us support those who serve as the faces of our churches.”

Linking up communications
The delegates received a report on the linking up of church communications, with the proposed measures made more concrete. The FSPC is to take the initiative and a leading role more in the future.

Healing of Memories”
A motion was submitted by Michel Müller (Zurich) and others to invite the FSPC Council to examine whether and in what ways an ecumenical process for the “healing of memories” can be initiated and carried out to enrich the national Reformation celebrations. The delegates expressed the wish for the ecumenical openness to continue toward the further reconciliation of the churches that was experienced in Zug on April 1 as part of the national commemorative day marking “500 years of the Reformation – 600 years of Niklaus von Flüe”. The Council entertained the motion.

Protestant Solidarity in Switzerland
The Assembly of Delegates resolved to establish a Conference for Protestant Solidarity in Switzerland to take on the tasks of the association of the same name. The task of the new conference will be to organize the annual collection on Reformation Sunday. The funds will be used to support churches and church communities in the diaspora.

FSPC Annual Financial Statement and Report for 2016
There was a revenue surplus of CHF 7327 in 2016. The delegates accepted both the annual financial statement and the activity report, both in accordance with the legislative goals.