08 August 2019
Church leaders and young people are having both lively discussions and deep reflection at the Bossey Ecumenical Institute this week as they participate in a seminar on equipping each other for Christian witness in a multi-cultural and multi-faith world.
With honest sharing and storytelling at its centre, participants were already reporting that the seminar is an active, exciting – and yet safe – place to share. Music and prayer are an integral part of the programme as well.
From 5-15 August, the dialogue will focus on the multi-cultural and multi-faith realities Christians live in today as a world of post-modern values and concepts is challenging the public witness and pastoral accompaniment of pastors, congregations and churches almost everywhere. In reaction to increasing plurality xenophobia, racism and nationalist populism are growing.
“This is the extremely challenging world of young people that they know and experience, and it is also the context for leadership decisions that respond to the situation,” said Stefan Wilson, a young church leader from Trinidad and Tobago. “One of the biggest problems churches, but also other faith communities, are facing is the sharing of faith with the younger generation in meaningful and constructive ways.”
To address that problem, older and younger people will explore how to share their faith together on the way as Christian disciples, so that people of all ages can hear, understand and find meaning and fulfilment for their lives. Participants hope to develop a shared vision, discover approaches to address challenges together, and support each other on their journeys. A visit to the Taizé community is part of the programme.
The approach of the seminar builds on the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace by celebrating life, visiting the wounds and transforming injustices together. “We are sharing our own experiences and examples from our many contexts, so that we learn together from best practices as well as failures, which we are not afraid to talk about,” said Andrea Reily Rocha Soares of the United Methodist Women.
World Council of Churches, Weekly Summary, August 2-8, August 8, 2019