Ecumenical Social Week “Care about your neighbour” launched in Lviv


Lviv- On 9 June 2008, the First Ecumenical Social Week was launched in Lviv under the motto "Help your Neighbor". The weeklong event will include an international academic conference entitled "The Cooperative Movement in Ukraine", workshops for social organizations of Lviv, and an ecumenical cultural festival with the participation of musicians, actors, painters, and photographers. The organizers of the event are the Lviv City Government, the Lviv Regional Government, the Ukrainian Catholic University, and the Institute of Ecumenical Studies. In partnership with the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, the World Council of Churches, the Ukraine 3000 International Charitable Foundation, and the Lviv Association of Credit Unions, among others.

One of the event's organizers, Dr. Antoine Arjakovskyi, the director of the Institute of Ecumenical Studies, defined the purpose of the ecumenical social week in the following way: "to unite all the confessions in Ukraine around social issues, because social doctrines tend to coalesce around shared all-human values. We want follow in the footsteps of Western European states, which have held social weeks that have influenced social policy since the beginning of the last century."

The academic conference will centre on the Ukrainian Cooperative Movement, an example of the unification of Ukrainians of different confessions around common goals in the post-war period. This movement was also proliferated by Ukrainian Diaspora, whose banks, credit unions, and cooperatives became an important factor in the wellbeing of the community and the preservation of its cultural identity. The conference will be held on 12-13 June at the Lviv National University of Ivan Franko and aims to bring this positive experience to modern native Ukrainians.

The main topics of the conference include: "Models of social policy in Ukraine and their incorporation into the work of Ukrainian churches" and "The Experience of the Western Europe with Christian Social Policy".

The ecumenical week will also include workshops for Christian and Jewish organizations. Round table discussions are to be held on the topics of social work and ecumenical engagement, social policy in the Lviv region, Christian approaches to problems of family and youth, Christian approaches to the environment, and international cooperation on social policy.

A cultural festival also spans the entire week and will include a drawing competition, theatre performances, a photo exhibition, documentary showings, and a concert.;7070/