Forum for Leadership and Reconciliation

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Forum Newsletter May 2017


Dear Friends,

As we are fast approaching the summer of 2017 we would like to share a quick reflection on the work of Forum for Leadership and Reconciliation (Forum) at this time.

The work of Forum embraces the governing of the three amazing leadership ministries with global impact, yet anchored in Southeast Europe (Balkans):

ROM – Renewing Our Minds reconciliation and leadership ministry was born in 1999 in FuΕΎine, a picturesque and welcoming village in Croatia, with the vision and mission to help build a new generation of leaders across all lines of division – ethnic, racial, political and religious; and all of it on the platform of the teachings and example of the person of Jesus. Many ROM alumni have emerged as leaders of influence, and are today making a difference in the political, social, humanitarian and religious arenas of their countries. Our vision and mission continues to grow strong - “Developing Ambassadors for a Better World”.

We are less than three months away (August) from our next, two week long international ROM - Renewing Our Minds Leadership and Reconciliation Gathering to be held in Fuzine, Croatia. We are expecting 60 young and selected leaders from at least 15 countries to take part in the ROM 2017 Gathering.


EDI – Economic Diplomacy and Integrity Forum, a powerful leadership ministry for change built upon the vision of ROM, continues to bring together young professionals whose mission is to serve their countries as business people, economists and politicians. Since 2006 EDI has been instrumental in inspiring the birth of several national EDI initiatives in countries like Romania, Albania, Costa Rica and Serbia.

We are only two months away from the next annual EDI – Economic Diplomacy and Integrity Forum planned for two weeks in Fuzine, Croatia at the end of July. We believe that the best way to fight against unhealthy rivalry among and within nations is by pursuing an economic and political community inspired by Jesus’ life and based on His principles. We are expecting 40 young, promising leaders from at least 10 countries to attend EDI 2017 in Croatia.


Golden Rule Project, a more recent project was born with a vision of becoming a practical expression of service of Forum, that embraces the communities of ROM and EDI into visible demonstrations of love and service to various groups of people in need. Since 2015 our focus has been on serving refugees passing through or staying in the Balkans. In 2017 we will continue to serve a group of Iranian Refugees who left their country due to religious persecution. The words of Jesus, “Whatever you did for the least of those, you did for me” are the guiding principles behind the Golden Rule project.

Our Forum ministry, and our ROM, EDI and Golden Rule programs are becoming more precious and needed than ever, at this time of increasing global distress, international tensions, and growing atmosphere of hatred and conflicts. How we wish we were able to do more, or encourage others to do more in peace making by multiplying the practical means of service, training and mentoring? But all of it calls for funds that we do not have, and frankly, it is becoming increasingly more challenging to secure the financial support we need.
With your support however, we will be able to equip at least one hundred young leaders with a new, Jesus centered vision of leadership and peace making. Please, follow the instructions provided in the sidebar and in our online edition of the latest newsletter. If unclear, or if you would like to know more fell free to contact us and we will gladly to respond to you.

As you give this time we would like you to see our need in the light of our rich history almost twenty years old, and always about lifting up the name of Jesus. This long history of service and education has been proven by success, supported by the prayers of many, and made possible only through the sacrificial donations and gifts given by people like you.
And let us remember that the main fruit of our labor are the hundreds of seasoned leaders who are at this time making a profound difference in many countries of the world.
Thank you for your love, partnership and giving.

Tihomir Kukolja, Forum for Leadership and Reconciliation, Executive Director
                                                                                                         

Community: Romanian Playgrounds of Hope

Mihaela Kovacs speaks in Baytown, TX

Mihaela Kovacs, Romania, Director of a faith based ministry Fundatia Beraca (Blessings Foundation) and a member of the ROM - Renewing Our Minds core leadership group in Europe, has been a source of joy, hope and healing in the lives of the young Roma population in Romania for many years. The latest project of her ministry focuses on building bridges between the Romanian Roma communities and other people in Romania. Recently she shared her experiences at a number of places in the US, including Houston TX. On there way to the Houston Intercontinental Airpot she agreed to share the highlights from her most recent story of how a simple playground project can bring different different people and church communities together in their desire to bring joy and hope into the lives of the Romanian Roma children. Mihaela too shares a Roma background. Time: 13:37 min.

Forum Partners in the News: Samuil Petrovski, Serbia


Samuil Petrovski, EUS Serbia, Director (IFES Serbia) was hosted a few days ago by the Vojvodina TV in Serbia, in a program that focused on the questions of Christianity and Political engagement. Samuil spoke also about the latest EDI - Economic Diplomacy and Integrity workshop that was held in Novi Sad over the past weekend. Samuil Petrovski is a well know faith leader in Serbia, with a visible influence across all spectrums of Serbian society. He has also served as a member of the Renewing Our Minds team for many years, as well as speaker at ROM and EDI events. Watch his latest TV appearance (in Serbian). 

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Video Feature: Forum Regathering 2016


Forum Regathering 2016 was held in Cluj-Napoca, Romania at the end of September. Forum Regathering take place once every two years with the intention to gather together the alumni who attended any of the Forum projects in the Balkans and beyond in previous years. This time 60 participants from 10 countries came together to share their stories, inspire and encourage each other, and go through the refresher course of what it means to be leaders who pursue leadership of service and reconciliation, informed and modeled by the person of Jesus.

Video Feature: EDI 2016



EDI - Economic Diplomacy and Integrity Forum continues to grow in strength and impact. The EDI Forum 2016 held in July in Fuzine, Croatia gathered 30 participants from 10 countries. The relevance of the themes, all of them anchored in the person of Jesus, and calling for the formation of political and business leadership with integrity, continues to make EDI Forum an appealing and transformative experience. The vision and appeal of EDI is often picked up by the participants who are encouraged to organize EDI weekends in their own countries. Thus, very successful 2016 EDI Albania and 2016 EDI Transylvania were held in Albania and Romania in March and November of 2016. 


Monday, 19 December 2016

Your Time to Give


Photo: 
New ROM - Renewing Our Minds Assistant Director Bojan Ruvarac, with his wife Rachel and their son Simon



Dear Friends,

It is that time of the year when Forum for Leadership and Reconciliation looks back with gratitude, and forward with renewed vision, passion and joy.

Let’s first share a few 2016 highlights:

ROM – Renewing Our Minds Leadership and Reconciliation Gathering 2016, held in Fuzine, Croatia this August was one of the most diverse ROM gatherings in many years. In the group of sixty-five participants from 19 countries, five of them were refugees currently staying in Croatia. Their presence and the vulnerability by which they opened their hearts to us were a precious gift and blessing for everyone attending. To the refugees attending ROM was a statement of hope that better days are coming. The words of Jesus, “Whatever you did for the least of those, you did for me” informed the entire two and a half weeks of the 2016 ROM Gathering.

Fuzine, Croatia, Home of ROM and EDI
EDI - Economic Diplomacy and Integrity Forum continues to grow in strength and impact. The EDI Forum 2016 held in July in Fuzine, Croatia gathered 30 participants from 10 countries. The relevance of the themes, all of them anchored in the person of Jesus, and calling for the formation of political and business leadership with integrity, continues to make EDI Forum an appealing and transformative experience. The vision and appeal of EDI is often picked up by the participants who are encouraged to organize EDI weekends in their own countries. Thus, very successful 2016 EDI Albania, 2016 EDI Costa Rica and 2016 EDI Transylvania were held in Albania, Costa Rica and Romania in March, May and November of 2016.

Forum Regathering 2016 was held in Cluj-Napoca, Romania at the end of September. Forum Regatherings take place once every two years with the intention to gather together the alumni who attended any of the Forum projects in the Balkans and beyond in previous years. This time 60 participants from 10 countries came together to share their stories, inspire and encourage each other, and go through the refresher course of what it means to be leaders who pursue leadership of service and reconciliation, informed and modeled by the person of Jesus.

Small Group activity at EDI 2016
Golden Rule Project continues to place a special emphasis on the needs of refugees, who are at this time the most vulnerable group in Europe. Recently a group of refugees, currently staying in Zagreb, Croatia received warm winter jackets, shoes and other winter clothes to help them face the cold winter months in Croatia, and more will be helped soon. Golden Rule Project is a practical tool of Forum through which the principles of servant-leadership, taught at ROM and EDI, are applied in the challenging, real-life circumstances.

Let’s now share the key plans for 2017:

Key Programs in 2017: The 2017 summer months in Fuzine, Croatia will be occupied by the 2017 ROM Leadership and Reconciliation Gathering, and 2017 EDI Forum. Between those two transformative gatherings we are expecting a diverse international group of at least one hundred participants from twenty countries. Also, in 2017 we are planning four EDI national events, and two ROM follow up or team building events in various countries of mostly Southeast Europe, and continue practically serving communities in need through our Golden Rule Project.

ROM 2016 one of the most diverse ROM gatherings
ROM Assistant Director Elected:  The most exciting news and a new development in 2017 will be the investment into developing a sustainable core and regional representatives team in the Balkans with the vision to lead ROM and Forum projects in the Balkans beyond 2019 when we will celebrate 20 years of ROM history and service. To that end the Forum Board recently elected Bojan Ruvarac from Serbia, a young leader with an outstanding and committed history of leadership in the ROM team to assume the role of the ROM Assistant Director from the January 1, 2017.  Tihomir Kukolja, who has been serving as the ROM Director since 2001, will invest the next two years into mentoring the new assistant director, and thus gradually hand over the baton of ROM leadership into the hands of the emerging director. Bojan’s wife Rachel Ruvarac will assist Bojan in his leadership. From now on Forum will be placing a special emphasis in our fundraising efforts to build a sustainable financial platform to help Bojan and Rachel Ruvarac move quickly to the full time directorial commitment to ROM.

JoinUs in Finishing This Year Strong and Starting Next Year Well

To close our expenses in 2016, and with our eyes firmly set on 2017, we would like to ask you to donate generously to Forum for Leadership and Reconciliation at this Christmas Season.

To donate to Forum is easy. Send the check with your generous donation to The Antioch Partners, 7132 Portland Ave, Suite 136, Richfield, MN 55423 (“Forum” in memo), or if you would like to donate online visit CLICK HERE and follow the instructions. Make sure that the “Project of your choice” is set on “Forum for Leadership and Reconciliation”.

Forum Regathering 2016, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Your generous gift will help us finish the current year well, and have an energizing start of the year 2017 as we continue to work on the development of leaders transformed by the person of Jesus in a divided world.

Thank You. May the blessings of our Lord be with you at this Christmas Season and throughout the New Year.

Martha S. Weiss, Board Chair
Forum for Leadership and Reconciliation

Tihomir Kukolja, Executive Director
Forum for Leadership and Reconciliation

More about our needs at this time.