EurECA Conference 2013

Reflections on the EurECA 2013 Conference: Answering Atheism

Over a hundred educators from across Europe and beyond came to Beukenhof in the Netherlands to consider the topic “Answering Atheism” led by the eminent Christian Apologist, Professor John Lennox.  There was a positive response to this opportunity, not only to debate but also to share in Christian fellowship over the Ascension holiday weekend. 

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Werner Cloete,whose book “First Class: the Calling and Impact of a Christian Teacher” was reviewed in the January 2013 edition of the Newsletter, attended the EurECA conference for the first time.  We asked him to reflect on his visit: 

What do Christian teachers need? This simple question is of utmost importance for an organisation such as EurECA with its mission to motivate, inspire and connect Christian teachers. Christian teachers from 17 different countries converged at the recent EurECA conference held at the Beukenhof in s’Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.

“Answering Atheism” was a theme splendidly chosen for Christian educators seeking to be relevant and ready to meet the challenges of a secular worldview: and who better to equip and challenge the minds of Christian teachers in this regard than renowned speaker Professor John Lennox?  As anticipated by attendees, listening to Prof Lennox was a sheer pleasure. Not only did he strike the audience as highly articulate and intelligent, but also as approachable and loving. By mixing personal anecdotes with accounts of high level debates, Prof Lennox stretched his listeners’ thinking for the ultimate benefit of those who form part of the respective school communities represented.

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Apart from the success of the formal conference, the informal conference was a massive highlight for many too. It was most edifying and encouraging to share meals and coffee with educators from a delightful variety of nations while exchanging stories about circumstances, challenges and commitment to Christ.  The range of activities organised apart from the lectures included a time prayer for the nations, cycling in the nearby village, a trip to a concentration camp and a canal cruise.  These, together with late night refreshments in the lounge all contributed to the buzzing atmosphere when new friendships were forged and old were rekindled.

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So, what do Christian educators need? The combination of vision for the life of a teacher, warm fellowship, answers to tough questions, inspiration, intellectual challenge and restful time in the presence of God certainly provided a healthy portion of what was needed in the lives of educators today.

As a first time attendee, I was impressed by the hard work of the organisers to make sure that everything ran smoothly as well as with the obvious love that exists in the network of EurECA.  I would like to thank the organising committee and all in attendance for a superb experience that added value to all present. May the Lord continue to use EurECA’s annual conference to inspire and equip Christians who labour for the kingdom of God in the all-important field of education.

For more information about the topic and John Lennox go to: http://johnlennox.org