Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church

European Churches responding to migration 2010 (for detailed information, please visit  www.evl.fi/siirtolaisuus2010)

We have set the following goals for the thematic year and invited all the Christian churches and organizations as well as church media to join in working together for them.

Goals

 The year Migration 2010

• Advises churches and congregations to study the essence, meaning and identity of Christian congregation in relation to global migration.

We are one church. Diversity and interaction with diverse people enrich the expression of faith and the parish life. As Christians we have the right and duty to welcome our new neighbors who have migrated from different parts of the world.

• Urges congregations to develop their activities and services, so that people from all parts of the world can experience genuine fellowship and belonging.

Migrants are not only objects, but should be included more and more in planning and organizing church life.

• Challenges churches and congregations to work against racism and discrimination.

• Encourages churches and congregations to speak for migrants’ and refugees’.

The diaconical mission of the Church is to speak for those, whose voice is not heard. Statements and appeals can be made by church employees, elected officials, local church councils, diaconia boards or by church leaders at all levels. 

In September 2009 a brochure, in Finnish and Swedish, introducing the thematic year was sent to all the churches and congregations with invitations to join in. The website for the thematic year was opened in October.

On the Finnish website you can find ( www.evl.fi/siirtolaisuus2010):

• examples of migrants’ participation in congregations

• an event calendar for Migration 2010

• a thematic calendar with major Christian festivals and international thematic days

Each thematic day is focused on migrants or refugees, has a prayer suggestion, biblical reflections and some ideas for activities

Thematic calendar for Migration 2010
6.1.  Epiphany

18.-25.1.  Ecumenical Prayer week, the National Prayer Day focusing on the Sacred

27.1.  Holocaust Memorial Day

14.2.  Valentine’s Day

5.3. International Women’s Prayer Day

8.3.  International Women’s Day

21.3.  The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

28.3. - 5.4.  Easter

7.4.  World Health Day

9.5.  Mother’s Day

15.5.  International Family Day

23.5.  Pentecost

20.6.  World Refugee Day

26.6.  International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

30.8.  Memory Day for Missing People

21.9.  International Day of Prayer for Peace

23.9.  The day of Global Sharing

26.9.  European Language Day

1-3.10: The Christian Cultural Forum in Turku, focus on migration. 

8.10: Multicultural Women’s Days in Längelmäki.

16.10.  World Food Day

17.10. International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

17.-24.10. Ecumenical Responsibility Week and Week against Violence

18.10.  European Day against Human Trafficking

24.10.  UN Day, National Prayer Day focusing on Migration

6.11.  All Saints’ Day

14.11.  Father’s Day

 At the end of November: The week of Muslim- Christian Encounters

20.11.  International Children’s Rights Day

25.11.  International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

28.11.  First Advent

6.12.  Finnish Independence Day

10.12. International Human Rights Day

18.12.  International Migrants’ Day

24.12.  Christmas

The Finnish events calendar

The main event in Finland:

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland together with the Finnish Ecumenical Council and other partners organize between 17th and 18th November 2010 a theological symposium “Churches and Migration of Peoples – the Challenges of Migration to Churches’ Self-Understanding” . The focus of the symposium is on the influence of migration and multi-cultural development on the ecclesiological identity and self –understanding of churches. The topic will be observed in the light of past and present both in Finish and in global framework.

14-16 May: International Church Days in Tampere

1-3 October: The Christian Cultural Forum in Turku , focus on migration

8-10 October: Multicultural Women’s Days in Längelmäki

The national network meeting for multicultural parish work in Espoo between the 2nd and 4th of November.