Onze consulent Tjaard Barnard heeft de Kerkeraadsvergadering in december bijgewoond. Daar hebben we voornamelijk over beleid gesproken. Het idee is om in het komend half jaar sessies over de toekomst van de kerk als ‘zondag kerk’ en ‘doordeweekse kerk’ te hebben waarin we graag ook de gemeente willen betrekken. Als u bij één van deze sessies mee zou willen doen, laat het ons dan svp weten. We denken erover om op 19 mei een gemeenteberaad te houden, zet de datum vast in uw agenda!
Back in November, Rosalind received an email from Christophe Pella, a member of the consistory of the French Church in London, asking if the Dutch Church might be interested in advancing the cooperation between the foreign Protestant Churches in the capital. Such links had already been forged in 2017 around the ‘still reforming’ theme of the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. With the unanimous support of the kerkeraad, Bertjan and Rosalind attended an informal meeting with four delegates from the French Church. Held on Wednesday 9th January, we met with Christophe, Stéphane Desmarais (the Minister), Carole de Saint-Affrique (President) and Bénédicte Fougier (Vice President). The two hours in a Bloomsbury coffee shop flew by as we shared insights about our respective congregations, administrative structures, buildings, and library and archival resources. It was an empowering opportunity to present our successes and challenges, and by listening to each other, to realise just how much we have in common.
A tangible outcome is that we plan to hold an annual October service as a joint celebration of the Reformation. We will also start to share news about upcoming cultural and other events in our respective churches. More immediately, the French Church will invite delegates from other foreign Protestant Churches in London to an evening reception; we have offered to host this at the Dutch Church on Thursday 28th March. Since this will be held in the few remaining hours before (what may yet be) Brexit day, it is highly significant that the Dutch Church is at the forefront of helping to renew the links between the Stranger Churches in London. Not since 1550 has increased cooperation been so vital.