Cold winterschool with active participating

ECPYNlogo100bij100maandag 25 februari 2013 21:13

From 16 till 20 February this third Winterschool was held in Soest, the Netherlands. With a representation of participants from 15 different European countries, the participants have had the opportunity to think and discuss about Christian morality in politics.

Who is the ‘driver’ of your car? This question was asked by the first lecturer on Sunday morning, Jenne Minnema. If you want to use your Christian morals in a political life, God firstly has to live in your heart. Subsequently, Peter Östman, member of the Finish parliament, and Niels Rijke, former boardmember of PerspectieF, lectured during the rest of that day. Monday began with a lecture of Johannes de Jong, pastor and manager of the ECPF, who unfolded relational thinking; we call ourselves individuals, but at the end it is impossible to achieve something without other people. In the afternoon Paul Diamond, British lawyer and involved with the Lobby group Christian Concerns, gave an inspirational lecture. He shared his concerns about the Christian morality in Europe; Christians become more and more a minority every day, and we have to stand up for our rights. He gave several examples of repulsing Christian rights and freedom.

The participants did not only attend lectures, they were also active through the several workshops.  Johannes de Jong asked the participants how they could use Christian morals practically by designing a practical proposal for their country.

The evening ended with a political café led by Roel Kuiper, Senator of the Dutch political party the ChristianUnion. There was room to ask questions and to start an open discussion about Christian Morality. Several members of PerspectieF, the ChristianUnion-youth, were represented and had the opportunity to become acquainted with ECPYN. The lectures and workshops provoked new thoughts and an active exchange of experience and the best practice among the participants.

Visit Dutch House of Representatives
Where do Dutch politicians practice their job? Where do their debates take place? Indeed, in the parliament.  After talking about politicians it was time to see the workplace of the Dutch politicians. On Thursday a visit of the Dutch House of Representatives in The Hague was planned. The participants had the opportunity to talk with Eimert van Middelkoop, former minister of Defence. Afterwards, a guided tour was arranged as well as a typical Dutch lunch with bread and soup, which was consumed in the Dutch House of Representatives.

Real winter
A winterschool is of course not a real winterschool without cold temperatures. This winterschool ended with a winter-barbeque outside and a campfire. Despite the temperatures, there was a high rate of active participation and the exchange of political ideas. New friendships have been made and the participants had the change to pick up new ideas to bring to their country. The lectures and workshops on Christian morality of politics was an inspiration to the participants for a future with Christian politicians through the whole of Europe.

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