Dear Friends,

Warmest greetings on Easter Holidays!

May Lord bless you on this happy day of Easter and fill your heart with peace and joy! Today we open our souls to God and ask Him to fill them with spiritual

strength and hope.

May Lord comfort you with his grace, teach you happiness, and lead you on your life journey together with the risen Christ.  May Lord’s love each day be in your homes and strengthen your love to your neighbors and toward Lord Jesus, who is glorified today.

With Love in Christ,

The team of the Institute of Ecumenical Studies.

From November 21 to 23, 2014, the 89th Social Week of France was held at the Catholic University of Lille. It was attended by the Assistant Director of the Institute of Ecumenical Studies, Iryna Rohovska, and the Methodologist of the MPES, Uliana Fedorovych. The Social Week of France was dedicated to life in a time of digital technology and technical science. On the first day of the conference the participants had the opportunity to attend educational trips and enter the world of technical science. Depending on the type of trip, the participants visited enterprises, laboratories and, at the Catholic University met with experts who presented their research.

The next day a documentary film by Philip Borel, “A world without humans?”, was shown and small group discussions were held. Also in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de la Treille ecumenical worship took place, involving Pastor Klaveroli, Chairman of the Federation of Protestants in France, and Bishop Ulrich, Archbishop of Lille.

On Sunday morning, the last day of the conference began with worship in the Church of Sts. Peter and Paul. The events continued with interesting conversations about the acceleration of time in small groups with various specialists. The participants of the Social Week of France tried to answer the question: "How to remain human in this changing world? How to deal with human relationships, which are replaced by the growing omnipresence of machines?"

On October 4 the traditional fair of social organizations was organized in Lviv. With this event the 7th ESW was completed. Participating in the exhibition-fair were: L'Arche, Emmaus Center (UCU), Lviv City NGO Refuge-Community of Mutual Aid, Ray of Light- Center for Down’s Syndrome, Workshop of Good, Dzherelo Education and Rehabilitation Center, Caritas-Lviv UGCC, Foundation of Spiritual Revival.

The visitors were presented with items, most of which were made by people with disabilities. The project Center of Social Assistance of the Caritas-Lviv UGCC presented both decorative household items and practical items. "Our Mrs. Lidia, 86 years old, made cloth dolls. Mrs. Olha, disabled in an industrial injury, presented embroidered pictures and cards and Mrs. Tamara, 92 years old, presented knitted hats,” the head of the Center of Social Assistance, Halyna Hii, said.

The Dzherelo Education and Rehabilitation Center offered candles, cards, cloth dolls and various accessories.
Visitors of the exhibition-fair liked the range of products. But they said that the important thing is that these funds will go to a good cause.

On October 3, as part of the 7th ESW the BarCamp «Youth Initiatives: The requirements of time - the needs of society" was held at UCU. Participants of the BarCamp attended master classes and creative workshops.

The training session "Development of grant projects" was conducted by Olexandra Sladkova, Head of the dministration, Construction and Infrastructure Development Department of the Lviv City Council. "In the work of drafting a project it often seems that 80% of the effort gives no results. Only a small number of contests is won. But, in fact, there are results," Olexandra Sladkova said.

The workshop "My Dream Team" was conducted by Olha Sadokha, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of the River of Knowledge Training Program and a business coach. She denoted the criteria by which participants must be choosen to a team. The Vice President of the Ukrainian Students in France Association, Anastasia Fomichova, spoke about
the activity of her organization, cooperation with Ukrainian students, and support of the Maidan. Afterwards there was a creative workshop "Friends of the L'Arche Community share their experience." The members conducted a workshop on soap making.

At the end of the BarCamp a biographical film about Bohdan Havrylyshyn, a known economist and public figure, and his video appeal were shown.

The round table "Models of socialization of disabled people on the basis of experiences in L'Arche communities" was held on October 3, as part of the 7th ESW. The event was attended by leaders of the L'Arche community in Ukraine and abroad.

The moderator of the round table, Natalia Bordun, Director of the Institute of Leadership and Management at UCU, stressed that people who want to be around the disabled and remain children even in adulthood have particular success in working with disabled people.

Michelle Dormal, Head of the L'Arche Community, France, related the origin of the community in France. "Jean Vanier visited the monk Thomas and met a lot of disabled in his community. As he was leaving, people asked him to return. This was the beginning of L'Arche.” Barbara Wojcik, National Head of L'Arche in Poland, shared how the life of disabled people is organized in the Polish community. She told about common prayers, dinners and celebrations with "friends" of the community, volunteers and assistants. However, Ms. Wojcik sees a broader main task for L'Arche: "We need to change people's attitudes to disabled people, so that they understand their talent and are not afraid of them. We have to share their gifts with the world, so that it can learn openness from them."

In the Church of the Holy Eucharist, as a part of the ESW an evening of choral spiritual singing "Prayer for Ukraine" took place on October 2. The choristers performed traditional hymns in new arrangements and folk songs.

The presenters of the spiritual concert, Anastasia Voytyuk and Dmytro Bartkovo, introduced the choirs and their programs. The chamber choir of the Church of the Holy Eucharist SOLI DEO was the first to perform. They sang "Our Father" and "Hail Mary." When the chorus performed the song "The duck sails on Tysa river," everyone rose and paid
tribute to fallen heroes. The choir Eterija, choir of the Lviv Regional Stavropigion Brotherhood of St. Andrew STAVROS, and the liturgical choir of the Armenian Cathedral in Lviv, SAHMOS, also presented their programs during the evening of spiritual singing. The evening "Prayer for Ukraine" ended with a joint performance of the song "God alone is great."

The round table "The Social Responsibility of a Sociologist and Social Worker as a Sign of Professionalism" was held on October 2 during the 7th ESW. According to Ruslan Savchynsky, with a Candidate’s degree in Social Sciences, the main task of any social institution is to satisfy the needs of society. Sociology in this issue is no exception. "The
professional modern sociologist is a person who not only transmits information, but provides the information with which society can make decisions," Ruslan Savchynsky noted.

Larysa Klymanska, Doctor of Social Sciences, Head of the Department of Sociology and Social Work at Lviv Polytechnic National University, marked the problems of modern Ukraine and emphasized the special weight of the word in crisis situations. Iryna Kurlyak, Doctor of Pedagogical Sciences, Professor, Head of the General and Social Pedagogy Department at UCU, addressed the problem of coming out of life crises that an individual faces. 

A specialist in training social workers, Nina Hayduk (Lviv Polytechnic), shared her vision of conflict resolution. "Understanding is possible only through mediation. The basic principles of dialogue should be respect and recognition of each individual," she said.

On October 2, as part of the 7th ESW, a seminar of the Ukrainian Christian Academic Society, "Memory, History, Identity," was held. The event was moderated by Taras Dmytryk, Executive Secretary of the UCAS and Head of the Lviv Stauropegion Brotherhood of St. Andrew UAOC, and Dr. Antoine Arjakovsky, the Founding Director of the Institute of Ecumenical Studies at UCU and now Research Director of Bernadine College,.

Archbishop Ihor (Isichenko), Archbishop of the Kharkiv-Poltava Eparchy of the UAOC, spoke about religious myths which are used by Russian ideologues in the information war against Ukraine and outlined fighting tactics against the separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Fr. Mykhailo Dymyd in his report "From the Union of Hearts to a Joint Eucharist" compared the Maidan with one of the most important Christian sacraments, holy Communion. He claims that the revolution was effective thanks to sincere prayer and unity of intent.

Archbishop Yevstratiy (Zoria), Archbishop of Chernihiv and Nizhyn, UOC-KP, drew attention to the crisis in traditional family values. And Father Ihor Shaban, head of the UGCC for Promoting Christian Unity, spoke about common baptism and expressed hope that this meeting would be a good basis for future interfaith dialogue.

On October 2, a book by IES’s Founding Director, Antoine Arjakovsky, "Waiting for a Pan-Orthodox Council. Volume II," was presented at UCU. The publication of the book was praised by Taras Kurylets, doctoral student at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas; Andriy Yurash, religious expert, Associate Professor at Ivan Franko University; Oleksandr Sahan, Ph.D., Professor at the G.Skovoroda Institute of Philosophy; and Vitaliy Khromets, Associate Professor of the Cultural Studies Department, M.P. Drahomanov National Pedagogical University.

Taras Kurylets spoke about the importance of the book and the difficulties associated with its publication: "The book is written in language at a highly scholarly level, which is why there were difficulties in translation, in particular, theological terms. It raises a huge range of issues on relevant problems, from social and religious to philosophical."
"The author not only states the facts but provides advice to people who are working on assembling a council," Oleksandr Sahan said. "This is a stimulus to thought. This is theology, church ideology that makes us seek peace
with ourselves and the outside world," Andriy Yurash says. Vitaliy Khromets noted the importance of the book: "Its idea will inspire inter-Christian dialogue and theological studies in Ukraine."

On October 2, as part of the 7th ESW the round table "Civil Liability in Times of Social Transformation" was held. The round table focused on the responsibility of politicians, the role of the Church in times of crisis, the influence of the civil sector, and cooperation between the Church and the military. Professor Antonina Kolodii, Ph.D., head of the Department of Political Science and Philosophy of the Lviv Regional Institute of Public Administration of the National Academy of Public Administration under the President of Ukraine, affirmed that the Maidan in 2014 disproved the idea that Ukraine has a weak civil society, that Ukrainians are passive and detached.

Zenoviy Svereda, Doctor of Social Economics, lecturer at the Pontifical Gregorian University, talked about what crisis" means, the concept of "the state" and its main tasks, and the Church and its social mission.

Mychailo Cherenkov, Ph.D., professor of philosophy at UCU, associate editor of "Theological Portal," the portal Religion in Ukraine," and the magazine "Theological Reflections," drew attention to the uniting of Christians due to difficult times.

Father Stepan Sus, pastor of the Church of Sts. Peter and Paul, encouraged attempts to unite people around common values, to build the society that we want to see in our nation with one’s own efforts.