Celebration, Thanksgiving and Renewal:
Písek Declaration (2007)
of the International Ecumenical Fellowship (IEF)
- We, the members of IEF came to Písek, Czech Republic, to celebrate the fortieth birthday of IEF and to reflect on our history. But God has given us more: the renewal of our baptismal vows empowering our mission with a refreshed outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
We reflected on the boldness of the IEF pioneers, and praised the Lord for the wonderful experiences of unity, with which we have been blessed.
We remembered that IEF came into being following the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), when members of the International League for Apostolic Faith and Order (ILAFO, 1951), became aware of a unique moment of renewal at their conference in Fribourg in 1967.
The establishment of national regions from 1974, and the arrival of new regions from Central and Eastern Europe after 1989 brought us mutual enrichment, fresh insights and experiences.
During the course of our history, we became a fellowship (koinonia), living today the Church of tomorrow: “To serve the will of God, and unite the people of God, by hearing the word of God, proclaiming the praise of God, and breaking the bread of God.”
We recall the powerful mission and vision statement of our founders: “By prayer, study and action IEF seeks to serve the movement towards the visible unity of the Church according to the expressed will of Jesus Christ by the means He wills.”
- We affirm that common prayer and worship together are at the core of IEF. Through these we become one with God and with each other, experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit and the reality of the one, holy, catholic (universal), and apostolic Church.
The heart of IEF international conferences has always been the daily Eucharist celebrated in different denominational traditions. In Písek we approved the statement On Eucharistic Sharing, which expresses our hope and points the way towards full Eucharistic communion between the churches.
We live from hearing God’s word under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Bible study is the fountain and focus on our way to the apostolic faith and a common understanding of Jesus Christ’s message and mission in the world today.
With the help of the Theological Commission (ThC), we are challenged to intensify discipleship, basic study and theological training in the regions, to inform and engage members in ecumenical dialogue and action.
III. We welcome and acknowledge the Charta Œcumenica: Guidelines for the Growing Cooperation among the Churches in Europe (2001), and recommend a closer study of its commitments.
In a secularised Europe with its crisis of orientation and loss of Christian values, only the witness of an undivided Christianity is credible. We are convinced that the spiritual heritage of Christianity constitutes an empowering source of inspiration and unity for Europe and the whole world. Therefore we commit ourselves to communicate the Gospel together in the fields of evangelisation, pastoral care and Christian education, as well as in the public domain, which includes commitments to social and public issues.
Our time is a time for a serving and loving Christianity, for grassroots Christians, for local groups and congregations, for national and international ecumenical organisations, churches and denominations to witness together to Jesus Christ and His coming Reign.
We carry away with us the Biblical call: “Awake, awake, … clothe yourself with strength, … shake off your dust, rise up,” “get up and walk” (Isaiah 52,1.11; Acts 3,6).
We are ready to take risks for the sake of Jesus Christ and His Gospel, and for the unity God has given us. In the name of Jesus Christ, listening together to His word and inspired by the Spirit of Pentecost, we strive for the fulfilment of our mission.