From 8 – 11 June 2020 the European Evangelical Alliance (EEA) met for its annual General Assembly. Due to the current COVID-19 crisis the physical meeting had to be cancelled, but in order to facilitate a get-together of EEA friends and members despite the circumstances, an alternative program for an online implementation was designed. For this reason, more than 130 participants from more than 25 countries gathered online for the four online meetings to take a deeper look at the inside of Evangelical entities, reflect together on the impact of European Evangelicals and jointly explore God´s work in today´s Europe.
Under this year´s theme ‘Journeying Together – European Voice, Local Traction’, the General Assembly not only addressed the current impact of European Evangelicals on the European and local level but also of the bridge that the European Evangelical Alliance built in the past and continues to build between these two levels.
In the first half of the conference focussing on the ‘local traction’ of EEA´s members, the General Secretaries of National Evangelical Alliances, representatives of affiliate members and the chairs of Hope for Europe networks talked about the success factors for the healthy development of their entities and helpful support factors in the European Evangelical landscape.
Thomas Bucher, General Secretary of the EEA, and Frank Hinkelmann, President of the EEA, introduced the second half of the conference with a focus on the ‘European voice’ by delivering a lecture on the “History and current state of the EEA”. Furthermore, Jeff Fountain, the director of the Schuman Centre of European Studies and guest speaker at the assembly, framed the program by “Looking at Europe” and “Seeing God at work”, an invitation to the participants to look for God´s footprint in Europe in the past, today, and in the future. The conference was accompanied by bible studies, and interactive breakout sessions, called Zoom Café, helping the participants to connect and exchange on the topics.
Another part of the weeklong programme was the presentation of EEA´s annual HOPE Award to Richard and Maria Kane, facilitators of Marriage Week International (EDN) on the morning of 11 June 2020. Against the background of their ground-breaking work, Mr. and Mrs. Kane were honoured for “over 20 years of leadership in the Marriage Week project, inspiring hope and support for marriage internationally”.
The next General Assembly will take place in 2021 in Albania.