Tribute to bishop Jan Szarek

The Bishop of the Church Jan Szarek – Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Augsburg Church (1991-2001), President of the Polish Ecumenical Council (1993-2001), President of the Polish Diaconia (2000-2005) died at the age of 84.
 
Bishop Jan Szarek was born on 13 February 1936 in Bielsko. He studied theology at the Christian Academy of Theology. In 1960 he was ordained by Bishop Andrzej Wantuła on 25 September 1960 in the Church of the Redeemer in Bielsko-Biala.
Afterwards he became parish vicar in Nawiady, in the years 1962-1970 he worked in the parish in Gizycko and later in the years 1970-1975 as diocesan vicar in Bielsko-Biała, where he was elected second parish priest in 1975. In 1980 he was elected senior of the diocese. On 3 May 1991 he was introduced in Warsaw as bishop of the Evangelical Augsburg Church in Poland. During the bishop's term of office many legal questions were clarified, but above all the Church was able to devote herself to mission and evangelization without the restrictions of an undemocratic state, which was most important for the bishop.
 
In 1993-2001 he was President of the Polish Ecumenical Council and was strongly committed to Polish ecumenism and to the image of Polish Christianity abroad.
In March 2000, the Synod elected him as the first President of the Church Diaconia, which he himself co-founded. He held this office until 2005. In 2001 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Christian Academy of Theology in Warsaw.
He has left behind his son, Pastor Piotr Szarek, and his daughter Ewa with their families.

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