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29.06.2022 15:23:33 2886x read.
“FIC Heritage” By Bro. Bruno v.d. Made (August 1990, Ghana)

  1. “FIC Heritage” By Bro. Bruno v.d. Made (August 1990, Ghana)


What did Rutten leave us as spiritual heritage? A great deal. Let me begin with something that is often forgotten. Rutten has taught us: to have the courage to start something and then to persevere, even though there may be many disappointments and setbacks. When he was trying to find his first members for our congregation, he met with numerous disappointments, but he did not give up, he had the courage to continue. If he had not done so, the FIC would never have existed.

I sometimes think that a bit of that courage and of the trust in God Rutten had, have been preserved in our congregation as a kind of heritage. Be accessible to the signs of our times, to possibilities that occur. Continue to struggle in spite of difficulties. I could mention many examples.

You know that for many years we worked to re-write our Constitutions. 

While we were working on our Constitutions we again often reflected on the question, what exactly is the heritage our founders have left us. Which points should we give special attention to, if we want to remain faithful to the spirit of our founders?

I quote here the very text that appears in our Constitutions on this matter. It says: 

Our Founders were committed people,

 filled with the Spirit of Jesus. 

They were seized by his person and his message. 

They sensed a vocation and a mission to

spread his Good News.

Living according to the spirit of our Founders 

means that we try to follow their example,

in our time and in our circumstances, 

and that we protect their heritage.


Then follows what we think are important points in that heritage. 

It reads:


Protecting their heritage (Const. art.10)

Protecting the heritage of our Founders implies for us:

-     that we feel an intense concern for spiritual

 and religious needs; a great concern too for 

a contemporary and culturally integrated transfer 

of faith;

-     that we see as our principal apostolic tradition: 

education, formation and teaching;

-     that - in various circumstances – 

we, again and again, show a special concern 

for the poor and the needy;

-     that we keep an open eye to sound developments;

-     that we attach great value to fraternal community

life: we call one another brothers and intend

 to live up to this word in our everyday life;

-     that we have a special veneration towards Mary. )


More points could be mentioned, but we think, that these six points are very important. Let us first look at the lines preceding these six points. 

We read: 

“They sensed a vocation and a mission to spread the good news.”

Mind you, it does not say:

“The FIC is a teaching congregation,” or: 

“Our Founders thought it most important thing to start good schools”

No, the most important thing our Founders aimed at was: the spreading of the good news. And they thought that schools could be essential for it. These schools were a means; spreading the good news was their deepest aim. 

That’s why as the first point of our spiritual heritage is mentioned: “that we feel an intense concern for spiritual and religious needs. A great concern too for transfer of faith”. You will notice that for the moment I have left out: “contemporary and culturally integrated.”  Not because it is not important, but because I want to deal with it at length in the following lectures.

Then follows in point 2

“that we see as our principal apostolic tradition: education, formation and teaching.” This is an extremely important phrase: throughout the 150 years of our existence, the FIC has been a teaching congregation. By far the majority of our brothers have worked in schools. As a congregation we have built up an enormous amount of experience and knowledge in this field. We should not underestimate this. 

Moreover, I think that schools are extremely appropriate for passing on the good news. That is possible – and the two points that follow are wholly in the spirit of Rutten:

  1. by religious instructions,
  2. by seeing to it that in those schools there is a good evangelical climate. That the atmosphere in our schools is an EVANGELICAL ATMOSPHERE.

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