Jacob spent one night during his complicated journey from home at a place of an ancient sanctuary. „And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, ...“
The Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren in Kobylisy, Prague is a place for staying overnight, for prayer, for bracing up before the journey, but first of all it is a place of God’s nearness, God’s protection and God’s Word not only for the evangelics from the Severní město (Nord Town) district, but also for anybody, coming from any nation or religion, who find themselves for whatever reason somewhere on the path between their home and their goal that may be still unclear. With its solid base and courageous openness, the church wants to be a modern sanctuary for those, who were able to realise their subtlety, who find it difficult to bear their hurts, who are given no dignity anywhere else, even for those, who had hurt other people and now suffer for their trespass and sin. The church was built in 1971 as the only sacral building constructed during the communist period from the funds of Swiss evangelical churches (HEKS), with contribution from German church resources (GAW) and from the resources of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren and the congregation of Kobylisy. The project was a gift from Swiss architect E. Giessel. And thanks to this favourable assignment the building has served as a gifted sanctuary for the whole quarter of a century. This special function of sanctuary is still maintained and developed in a purposeful manner. The building provides room for committed groups, conferences and seminars, but also accommodation for private persons and families devoted to the service to other people. The place is fully accessible for the disabled, therefore visitors can find there a very natural social environment inviting also any physically handicapped person.
For three decade it has been a place for building European relations, for promotion of the ecumenical spirit and esteem for every individual member. The centre of the community's life is the Sunday service with the Supper of the Lord. From it emanates inspiration for effective life.
We try to understand the needs of the place of our activities and to find effective methods of our work (e.g. the itinerary of the spiritual stay in the house is based on Jacob's life story). Traditionally we have been developing meetings between people from various nations, races and minorities. (Aktion Suhnezeichen, The Terezín Initiative, The Ecumenical Academy, the Christian homosexual and lesbian community Logos and others). Very important is our co-operation with the Deacon of the Czech Brethren Evangelical Church, with the Evangelical Theological Faculty of Charles University and The Presbyterian Church of Korea. We dedicate ourselves also to the pastoral work in the Bohnice Psychiatric Hospital, support musical, artistic and literary productions (musicians P. Eben, The Stamic Quarter, Society for Ancient Music with P. Jurkovič, Ms. S. Georgieva and others, artists M. Rada and sons, J. Šplíchal, V. Komárek, M. Kubičková and others, theologians M. Buber, M. Hájek, J. Smolík, J. Štefan, M. Prudký and others).
This work is propelled by prayers and devotion of our congregation.
Reconstruction of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren congregation building in Kobylisy, Prague 8, U školské zahrady 1, was forming in hearts of the congregation, in struggles, studies and experiments for ten years. The project developed by atelier Schaufler-Roskovec from Prague was chosen out of two tens of bids, including foreign ones, because it was the only one to meet all requirements of the order and it was prepared in a way which provoked unambiguous trust in the possibility of its implementation.
Since Whitsun 1997 the church is called „At Jacob’s ladder“.