European CHARIS CONTINENTAL SERVICE OF COMMUNION (ESC), Tony Laureys contact-person for the Nordic nations
New about CHARIS Europe and the Nordic countries
The meeting in Hungary where the ESC was formed:
In the Hungarian city of Eztergom, near Budapest, a continental European CHARIS Service of Communion (ESC) was formed in connection with a meeting in September 2021 with about eighty representatives from European countries, representing 19 NSCs, 10 networks and communities and 5 countries. which has not yet formed an NSC.
National delegations came from: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden , Switzerland and Ukraine.
Representatives from the following charismatic networks participated: Beatitudes, Chemin Neuf, Shalom, Gesù Risorto, Emmanuel, Jesus Youth, Koinonia John the Baptist (represented in Sweden, Täby), Sword of the Spirit, Fondatio, European Network of Communities and Schools of St . Andrew.
From Sweden, Ludwig Gelot, Bola and Maria Richards and Firas Daykh (representing young people under 30) participated. Sweden is one of the countries where no NSC has yet been formed.
The members of the ESC shall consist of:
- (a) A representative of each of the National Service Communities (NSCs).
- (b) A representative of each major network of charismatic communities, schools of evangelism, etc. selected by these networks themselves.
- (c) Two representatives of special "ministries", elected by the ESC.
- (d) Two representatives of Catholics under 30 years of age, elected by the members of the community under 30 years of age.
These four categories are described in the CHARIS Statutes, with the right to speak and to vote.
At the meeting in Esztergom, the service community was consolidated in accordance with the above order. For special services, the congregation chose Damien Stayne from England, with a gift of service to proclaim the Word with signs and wonders and to equip God's people to live the supernatural life and reach the poorest and most needy, and Bohumir Zivcak from Slovakia, who works in the gifts of kerygmatic proclamation, worship and prayer for deliverance. The young participants under the age of 30 chose Josip Bilandžija from Croatia and Tamás Pádár from Hungary.
The service community decided to meet physically at least once a year and use Zoom for intermediate meetings. The young participants will continue to meet digitally at Zoom together with Giulia Rancan from Italy. She represents young people under the age of 30 in CISC, the international service community. She was also present at the meeting in Hungary.
A coordination team - TESC has been appointed.
After the ESC was formed, discussions could begin, and the first decision was to create a coordination team which has now been named TESC (Team European Service of Communion).
The team consists of (from left to right on picture above): Tony Laureys from Belgium / European network of Sword of the Spirit communities (contact person for the Nordic countries), Josip Bilandžija from Croatia / repr for young people under 30, Cathy Brenti from France, Zoltan Vegh from Hungary, Pavla Petrášková from the Czech Republic, Fr. Christhophe Blin from Germany / European network of Chemin Neuf communities and Teresa Lally from Scotland who is also the team secretary.
The task of the team is to promote the work of the continental service community together with Etienne Mellot from France and Paolo Maino from Italy, who both represent Europe in the CHARIS International Service Community (CISC).
The meeting in Hungary had been prepared since 2019 by Etienne Mellot and Paolo Maino, european members of the CHARIS International Service Community. A major part of the preparations was to help the nations establish a CHARIS National Service of Communion (NSC) that represents all expressions of charismatic renewal among Catholics in their area. Part of the preparation was also a digital conference at Zoom in April 2021, where Sweden as well as Finland and Denmark took part.
ESC contact person for the Nordic countries.
The newly established coordination team TESC is now taking over the task of helping those nations that do not yet have an NSC to set one up. This includes Sweden and the other Nordic countries. One of the team members, Tony Laureys, has the task of being a special contact person for the Nordic countries. Tony is from Belgium and a member of the community network Sword of the Spirit. Zoom meetings are planned in the coming months with Tony as convener to take this forward. As previously stated, the idea is not to form separate NSCs for each country, but a single NSC for the Nordic countries covered by the Nordic Bishops' Conference.