30 international church leaders come to Zwolle for international conference at Viaa

Viaa Christian University of Applied Sciences, Verre Naasten and Theological University Kampen/Utrecht organise International Conference

About 30 foreign pastors, evangelists and church leaders will come to Zwolle from September 29 to October 11. They participate in an International Conference that mission organisation Verre Naasten, the Theological University of Utrecht/Kampen and Viaa Christian University of Applied Sciences are organising together. The participants follow an intensive programme of lectures and workshops in the Viaa building and go on an excursion to The Hague, where they meet Stieneke van der Graaf, among others. The theme of this conference is: ‘Resident Aliens: how can churches contribute to the wellbeing of their society?’. The arrival of these foreign ministers offers Dutch churches an excellent opportunity to experience the connection with God’s worldwide church during a special Meeting Church Service. The conference participants will be available on Sundays October 2 and 9, especially for such Meeting Church Services.

Meeting with Stieneke van der Graaf

In the intensive programme, there is plenty of room for personal encounters. During an excursion to The Hague, the church leaders meet Stieneke van der Graaf (member of the House of Representatives of the States General of the Netherlands). There will also be lectures by Roel Kuiper (Dutch historian, philosopher, political theorist and politician), Jos Colijn (International Officer & Coordinator of the Master of Intercultural Reformed Theology Programme) and Egbert Brink (pastor and writer). In addition, the guests meet the students of the Theology programme at Viaa Christian University of Applied Sciences, and they exchange what the cultural challenges are as Christian.

Being a Christian in the Netherlands

During the visit, there is also room to learn from each other. For example, foreign guests will visit more than 60 services throughout the country on Sundays, 2 and 9 October. They will preach or give a presentation there; and, together with the congregation, marvel at what God is doing worldwide. They also spend the night with a host family, so they can get a taste of daily life in the Netherlands and Dutch culture.

Personal action plan

An active attitude is expected from the participants. One goal is for all participants to go home after the conference with a personal action plan. They will write about the vocation they experience to stand (in their own country) as a Christian in society.