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Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and Evangelical Church of the Czech Brethren hosting conference on youth involvement

‘Although our circumstances are different, I think there is much we can learn from one another’

by Kathy Melvin | Presbyterian News Service

Photo by Jacob Adamson via Unsplash

LOUISVILLE — The Evangelical Church of the Czech Brethren (ECCB) and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) are hosting a virtual conference on youth involvement from 2 p.m. through 4 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday, October 17.

The conference topic was chosen by the ECCB and the Czech Mission Network Partnership was asked to participate. Sarah Bird Kneff of First Presbyterian Church of Nashville and Jan Dostál and Jan Levicky of the ECCB, as well as members of both churches, have helped organize the event. Destini Hodges, interim coordinator of the Young Adult Volunteer Program (YAV) will act as co-host.

“This youth partnership conference will bring together people of all ages from both Czech Republic and USA to get to know the different ways youth can become involved, gain inspiration from them and share their mutual experience,” said Betty McGinnis, chair of the partnership network.

McGinnis said there will be four thematic workshops, including youth activities in civil society, leading summer camps, various ways to be active outside the church, and youth involvement inside the church. The planning team led by Dostál selected the topics.

In a virtual interview, Dostál said, “Although our circumstances are different, I think there is much we can learn from one another.”

To register for the conference, click on

PC(USA) supports Christian witness in the Czech Republic through a long and active partnership with ECCB.

Today, ECCB has more than 70,000 members and 250 congregations in the country and is the largest Protestant denomination in a very secular society. The church’s Diakonia operates 150 diaconal centers that offer extensive and much-needed social services for the underserved.

The PC(USA) works alongside ECCB partners to support outreach to the Roma population, who are believed to be more than 250,000 in the Czech Republic. Church members share the lessons of faith they learned from persevering through four decades of communism.

The PC(USA) and the ECCB have strong links through a partnership network of congregations, which has developed over the last 30 years. A partnership working group coordinates the network’s activities.

Partnership conferences have occurred four times since 2008 in both the U.S. and the Czech Republic. The next in-person conference is planned for July 2023 in Olomouc, Czech Republic. Since June 2020 both partnership groups have been meeting regularly online, sharing questions about worship and education, Christian life and witness and the mission of the church in society and worldwide.

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