“Seek peace and pursue it”
From the very beginning we have been inspired by the appeal of Jacques Delors from 1992:
“If we fail to provide Europe with a soul, to endow it with spirituality and gravitas, the game will be over. I am inviting the church to participate in this process actively. I would like to establish a place for exchange, a place for discussion open to men and women, to believers and non-believers, to scientists and artists…”
Who are we and what do we want?
As people of different background, nationality, confession, religion and history we seek to foster the peaceful confluence and development of Europe, primarily in our German-Polish region. Together with the churches in our ecumene, the European University Viadrina, the city of Frankfurt (Oder) and our Polish partners, we are on a mission to facilitate an intellectual and spiritual exchange and dialogue in various formats of encounter across the border.
We are led by the vision
…that prejudices, harmful borders, conflicts
can be overcome.
…that people in all their diversity
can live together in peace and full understanding
of their idiosyncrasies.
…that tolerance on all levels and mutual respect
can be lived.
…that churches, religious communities and ideological institutions focus on the common features and not on those that separate us.
If we succeed in getting a little closer to this goal,
the work of the OEC is worthwhile!
Our formats include:
• A series of lectures and discussions “Grenzgespräche” (120 so far)
• Ecumenical German-Polish services in the Friedenskirche and in Poland
• Annual excursions to Poland and other neighbouring eastern countries, lasting several days
• Reciprocal visits and encounters
• The student project study and guest house “Hedwig von Schlesien”, where 15 students of different nationality, confession and religion live together
Our venue is the Friedenskirche of Frankfurt (Oder).