ELSA Conference 2015

In the ranking of 7th International Conference of Evangelical Lutheran Sunday School Association (ELSA) was held in city Sacele near Brasov (Romania), from 23. to 28. July 2015. The conference was devoted to work with children in Church. ECAC in Slovakia was represented by Silvia and Štefan Kiss.

European Lutheran Sunday School Association (ELSA) is organization, which was established in 1990s in Denmark with goal to associate Lutheran churches from post-communist countries of eastern Europe and help them get started work with children. Officially was ELSA established in 1996 in Slovakia and regularly every third year there is ELSA-conference. There is possibility for personal meeting, refer about experiences and exchange new ideas and knowledge. 6 out of 14 member churches were participated at the Conference: England, Denmark, Latvia, Germany, Romania and Slovakia.

First two days were devoted to reports from different countries and churches. Every one country presented their work with children in church, but also presented own country and church. We gained a knowledge about the way of life other inhabitants, what kind of problems are in specific church. The main, biggest problem of Lutheran Churches in Europe is secularization, same-sex marriages and loss of Christian Lutheran identity.

Beside workshops and presentations of creative work activities there was a time for Bible study and lectures. Our first attention was focused on child (growth and gradual physical and spiritual maturation), then we expanded our attention on the whole family, meaning of family for spiritual growth of children. Next subject was „living in Palestine/Israel“ at the time when Jesus told the Parables. Very interesting and practical was lecture about ability of child not only received by faith but also made a visual image according to hearing words. Every one has own personal idea of God and especially a children and we have to count with it.

On Sunday we were on the Worship service in church congregation Sacele. Then on the afternoon we visited city Brašov and we had a city tour and then we climbed on the hill Tampa, which rises above the city.

During evenings the participants discussed about actual problems of Christianity and about upcoming 500th anniversary of Reformation. About the anniversary we have to speak also in Sunday school. Significance and possible ways how to celebrate the Anniversary of Reformation approached Štefan Kiss from Slovakia. Closing evening was devoted personal testimony and prayers for all member countries and churches, for all christians and for children in the world.

Štefan Kiss , secretary for education and mission, misia@ecav.sk | 9.9.2015

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Grafické spracovanie:Ladislav Menyhart