Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

Europe and the environment

May 13, 2016

The First Commandment

Pollarding a willow A Rocha Zwolle (Rogier Bos) web

According to the creation narrative in Genesis 1, the very first commandment that God gave was to birds, whales, fish and other creatures to “be fruitful and multiply”, to fill the seas and skies with God’s creatures (Gen. 1:22). His first commandment to humans was to “fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen. 1:28).

For most of human history the subjection of creation was a daily struggle for farmers, herders and every human, as they toiled against the awesome power of nature. The industrial revolution changed all that, and today global ecosystems are increasingly “subject” to human influence in all sorts of negative ways.

It is only very recently that evangelical Christians have woken up to the part that Creation Care has in God’s mission. Chris Walley of A Rocha provides our lead article—a case for evangelicals to engage in environmental conservation then Darrell Jackson reviews mission agency engagement with this issue.

We then focus more specifically on Europe. Martin Hodson of The John Ray Initiative gives an overview of the impact of climate change on Europe, and I then give a national example, setting out the particular challenges of climate change for Spain. Jo Appleton concludes this edition of Vista by reviewing attitudes to the environment among Europeans.

We pray this edition of Vista  challenges you to think again about God’s first commandment to us.

Download Vista Issue 24 May 2016

Refugees in Europe: a fence or a bridge?

February 5, 2016

For details of the EEMA’s conference this year, which focuses on the current refugee crisis in Europe and the ongoing impact for the church in Europe, visit their website

The conference runs from 21-25 June and will be held in Bucharest, Romania

The year of the migrant

January 29, 2016

EmailLesbos-4Did you know that 2015 was the ‘European Year for Development’? The goal was to focus on the EU’s “external action and Europe’s role in the world.” Ironically, it seems the world arrived in Europe in 2015. It might have been better titled ‘The European Year of the Migrant’.

The figures speak for themselves: 920,000 arriving by sea, and a further 34,000 coming by land. This compares with a total of 214,000 by land and sea in 2014. (figures from International Office of Migration).

This issue of Vista tries to capture something of what happened, with stories from all stages of the journey, from arrival in Europe to transition and destination. Along the way we discover the vital role of the smart phone and stand back to take a wider, European perspective.

Despite this being the longest ever edition of Vista, it is only a very small representation of how Christians across Europe have responded, and are continuing to act on behalf of the migrant.

But we don’t just want to look back. The problems and tensions are here to stay. As Christians we can act and pray. Throughout Vista we point you in the direction of resources to use and share. By accessing them you can become better informed and equipped to respond to what is happening where you are.

If you have articles, news, prayer needs or opportunities,, why not use the EEA’s new facebook page http://www.facebook.com/EEAHopeforEuropeRefugees/
as well as commenting below.

Download Vista 23 here

Jo Appleton

Nationalist Extremism in Europe

October 15, 2015

Nationalist Extremism in EuropeWhen we first began to plan this issue, concern about nationalist extremism was rising across Europe, fuelled by the Charlie Hebo attacks in Paris.

The UK was about to have a general election, with UKIP expected to do well in the polls, and elsewhere in Europe rising numbers of voters were appearing to favour politicians with more extreme views.

The summer brought a tide of immigration, with compassion fuelled by images of the human cost of trying to enter Europe. But there is no guarantee that once the refugees and migrants settle, their presence will not be yet more fuel to the nationalist fire.

This issue of Vista explores the issue of nationalism in Europe, and challenges us to think through our response.

Darrell Jackson leads with an overview of the common features of extremism. While these could describe Islamic or other brands of religious extremism, they are equally  relevant to extreme nationalist views. Jim Memory describes four forms of nationalism that can be found in Europe today.  And Rosemary Caudwell challenges us to consider our missiological response to this crucial issue.

Finally, with the migrant crisis in mind, we have printed a recent press release from the EEA, calling Christians across Europe to step out of our comfort zones and welcome the stranger—whatever their nationality.

We hope you find this issue of Vista thought-provoking and insightful—please do get in touch with any comments or ideas for future issues.

Jo Appleton

Download Vista 22 here

 

New book on Church Planting in Europe

June 24, 2015

Church Planting in EuropeOrder now

UK orders via Amazon

US orders via publisher’s website

European orders via Amazon

Kindle version

Order a review copy from the publishers

About Church Planting in Europe

Church leaders and those who endeavor to plant new churches in Europe today face tremendous challenges, not least because the church itself is considered by many to be outdated, irrelevant, or even an abusive sect. Drawing on a wealth of experience, Church Planting in Europe helps to answer the question of how churches can become more relevant to the societies in which they exist.

From biblical and missiological reflections to case studies and practical examples, the book gives insights into many of the key issues that church planters and those concerned with “”missionary”” renewal of existing churches are grappling with. Special attention is paid to the sociocultural and religious characteristics of Europe, which is marked by secularization, new forms of spirituality, and a unique Christian heritage, asking, what are typical barriers and bridges for the communication of the gospel?

The contributors represent a wide variety of backgrounds and contexts across Europe and this is reflected in the breadth of topics covered. The chapters were presented during the Mission in Europe Symposium in Belgium (July 2014), and the highlights of the discussions afterwards are also included. The result is a valuable resource for church leaders, mission practitioners, and theologians alike.

“Evert Van de Poll and Joanne Appleton’s Church Planting in Europe is a timely book on a neglected subject. We find reflections on the biblical foundations, the European context, the church planters, and some case studies. It is recommended reading for theoreticians and practitioners.” —Hannes Wiher, Assistant Professor of Missiology at the Faculte libre de theologie evangelique de Vaux-sur-Seine (Paris), and at the Faculte Jean Calvin at Aix-en-Provence (France).

“A helpful introduction to contemporary thinking and practice among European evangelicals involved in church planting, combining biblical reflection, cultural analysis, and missional resources, illustrated with case studies from different nations.”  Stuart Murray, author of Church Planting: Laying Foundations

“This publication gives new insights into the complexity of churches in Europe coping with societies who are based on a pluralistic attitude toward religion. It is a good choice to combine the different perspectives of theology and mission strategies with examples of cultural contextualization and the struggle of practical implementations in different local situations. This book stimulates further discussions on the level of mission organizations, but also in the practice of the personal dialogue.” Pieter Boersema, Professor of Religious Studies and Missiology, Evangelische Theologische Faculteit, Leuven, Belgium

About the authors
Evert Van de Poll lives in France, where he is pastor with the French Baptist Federation and involved in church development. He is professor of religious science and missiology at the Evangelical Theological Faculty in Leuven, and a mission consultant teaching in various countries.

Joanne Appleton is a writer and researcher interested in mission and church planting in Europe, and coeditor of Vista.


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