Here comes a blog entry which loosely connects to a previous discussion here on the Assembly blogging page.
I have just attended one of the "language groups" - only as an observer, of course, since what you are reading now is the job of a steward. The working group included about 20 delegates and focused on what CEC is today, what it has been and what it was in the past... and no longer is.
To sum up some of what has been said: the delegates have stressed that member churches of CEC are no longer isolated and separate - this mostly had to do with the division that existed because of the Iron Curtain. Also due to its fall, CEC no longer has one clear, common aim, which up until then had been the perpetual effort to build bridges between the East and the West.
The delegates taking part also felt there is less mutual love, less risk-taking. These are statements that deserve attention.
Last but not least, the debaters mentioned the fact that there is no longer a "light structure" in CEC, that its structure has become very complicated.
This is, on one hand, natural, as CEC has, of course, undergone noticeable enlargements. On the other hand, several delegates have agreed there is excessive bureaucracy complicating the dynamics of CEC's activities.
One of the delegates has actually pointed out that the Conference seems to be more concerned with how many men and women are involved and how precisely a given task is to be organized than with trying to ensure there really is adequate action going on in the fields where it is needed.
And this is where the above mentioned blog discussion comes in, I cannot help recommending that the kind reader go through what has been said in and under the blog called "What's missing?".
Let me also emphasise what I felt after having witnessed this groupwork and what has been confirmed to me by one of the delegates in the foyer afterward: working in small groups, thinktanks that focus on one specific topic are the most effective way of arriving at some bright insights.
The assembly's purpose is bringing all those that are involved together in one place, not dividing them into groups - understandably.
However, groupwork remains a basis for achieving good results and should therefore be given more room, the outcomes of it must be given a fair hearing. Let us hope this year's Assembly proves the opinion true.
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