Oïkonomia Foundation: "We are all stewards of what God has entrusted to us"

Oïkonomia Foundation We are all stewards of what God has entrusted to us (2)

Saturday April 29 was inaugurated in Le Havre, in the presence of Mrs. Firmin le Bodo, Minister Delegate to the Minister of Health, the Oikonoma Foundation. This foundation marks the opening of an important new chapter for the CNEF and its support for works of general interest inspired by evangelical Protestants. A look back at this event with the pastor and entrepreneur Patrick Dudas, secretary general of the Foundation.

Info Chrétienne : Why did you create this Foundation? and how did it happen?

Patrick Dudas: This story began more than fifteen years ago! it was a project that I had an intuition of and the need for which was confirmed over the course of my various commitments: it seemed necessary to have a tool like a foundation to finance projects and support them. This became even more obvious to me when I arrived at the CNEF office as treasurer, then as a member of the representative committee. When I was there, we set up the Bouge ta France event in 2017. Without a foundation, we had to compensate by creating an endowment fund to raise funds. It became obvious that the creation of a foundation in support of evangelical Protestant works was becoming imperative. It was in January 2020 that the 1st phase of consultation with partners and associations began. For 18 months, we consulted, set up the steering committee and put together the file. Thanks to the invaluable help of Antoine Durrleman, the current president of the Fondation du protestantisme, we were able to move forward efficiently on the administrative steps to finally obtain the signing of the decree of public utility last January.

IC: You collaborated with the Foundation of Protestantism?

PD: Yes, and this friendly collaboration is a great source of joy for us. The relations between the institutions are sometimes not simple but there, we were accompanied by the Foundation of Protestantism in all fraternity. Antoine Durrleman was also present at the inauguration, invited to speak, he welcomed the launch of a “sister foundation”!

IC: And why this name?

PD: Oikonomia comes from ancient Greek and gave "economy". We use it in the etymological sense of the term, taken up in the parables of Christ in the sense of “the steward”, of the one who faithfully manages the goods of the house (Oïkos) which are entrusted to him. This is exactly how we see our mission: to be stewards of the goods entrusted to us by God. This name is accompanied by a five-color logo like the five areas of intervention of the Foundation: social, medico-social, education, humanitarian, cultural and artistic.

IC: What projects do you support?

PD: Any project of general interest responding to our five areas of action and of evangelical Christian inspiration. We plan to support more than twenty projects per year with envelopes limited to 5 euros per request. It is enough for that of filing a file by answering the online form. 3 commissions bringing together the different missions will select the projects, then submit them to the Board of Directors. The Foundation is also in charge of two functioning establishments, an EPHAD and a senior residence previously managed by the association Les Toits de l'espoir, a Le Havre association which dissolved in the foundation.

IC: How did the inauguration go?

PD: It was a wonderful moment! moving because the culmination of a long work and the beginning of a beautiful adventure but also an important step for the French evangelical Protestant world and the elected representatives of the Republic. We have in our statutes a strong sentence where it is said that we want, by this foundation, "concretely to prolong the expression of the moral and spiritual values ​​which found the evangelical Protestant faith" and yet this creation was possible, validated by the council of State, the Ministry of the Interior, and rendered of public utility by a decree of the 1st Minister. This thus shows that when we fall within the general framework of the laws, it is quite possible to affirm our identity.

To submit a project click here.

Interview by Herveline Urcun



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