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Stewards statement: "God, in Your grace, let youth transform the world!"

22 February 2005

The ecumenical movement has for a long time existed without taking into consideration the importance of young people in decision-making. We stand before you this morning, after being brought together by a programme which has had great impact in our lives. We have been introduced to a movement which is taking into consideration all the possible forms of human indignity. We young people represent different nations, cultures, and churches the world over. Our title is that of "Steward". But besides assisting the WCC staff during this Central Committee meeting, we have assembled to discuss, to learn, to raise awareness, to build our own identities, and to celebrate being sisters and brothers in Christ. [Jacintha]

We have learned about the challenges that each of us confront in our specific context. Moreover, we have become aware of the vision and the great hope that we possess for transforming the present and striving for a better future. In our exchanges, we have learned that throughout the world, there are young people who, with the help of God, are yearning to take part in the transformation of this Earth. (In your own language:) "God, in Your grace, let youth transform the world!" [Angelious]

All together: "God, in Your grace, let youth transform the world!"

We live in a world in which the dominant structures of governments, organizations, institutions, and churches fail to represent reality correctly. Too often, these structures are sluggish and cumbersome and fail to provide concrete results in an ever-changing world. [Wendy]

We want a church in which everyone - women and men, young and old - are represented equally and cooperate with one another to help renew our faith and to rectify the unjust realities that exist within our cultures. (In your own language:) "God, in Your grace, let youth transform the world!" [Antti]

All together: "God, in Your grace, let youth transform the world!"

In a fast-moving, multi-cultural, and media-dominated world, the youth have a unique perspective by belonging to both the present and the future. In Christ, people of all generations from their various points of view have the responsibility to constantly develop new tools to interpret, to judge, and to revolutionize our current systems of injustice - it is our God-given task. [Sarah]

We don't need a closed theological system in which answers are already provided; rather, we need a vivid theology that interacts with daily living so that all of God's people are engaged. Living theology can provide a relevant road map to make another world possible. (In your own language:) "God, in Your grace, let youth transform the world!" [Rodolfo]

All together: "God, in Your grace, let youth transform the world!"

It is the youth who are sent to war. It is the youth who are forced to fight against each other. And it is the youth who in the future will be most affected by the ever-accelerating destruction of our precious environment and deterioration of basic human infrastructure. The concerns of women, youth, and children are frequently ignored in the great conflicts and stalemates of political and ecclesial powers. [Becky]

The world in which we live cries out to us. As we speak, many people's most basic needs are not being fulfilled. The balance between rich and poor is uneven. Clearly, the transformation of the current world to one of balance and justice will be a long and hard road; however, this transformation is of utmost importance. The renewal of our earth is our responsibility as Christians. Therefore, we need to commit to making change possible. We need to commit to working with one another. And we, the youth, offer our assistance. (In your own language:) "God, in Your grace, let youth transform the world!" [Noaman]

All together: "God, in Your grace, let youth transform the world!"

Even as we speak women, children, and those who are weak experience discrimination. Th,ese are the people who are also affected by widespread economic injustice. Poverty rates are skyrocketing; in many parts of the world, health conditions are horrific, and millions are living right now with HIV or AIDS. Yesterday, we heard that ‘the healing process includes empowering the powerless,' and how the process of healing belongs to the whole church, and every one of its members, women and men, young and old. (In your own language:) "God, in Your grace, let youth transform the world!" [Eveline]

All together: "God, in Your grace, let youth transform the world!"

The ecumenical movement is rooted deep within the youth and their perspective. Following the general secretary's report yesterday we ask you to test the strength of those roots and be serious about allowing young people to lead the way. Youth want to transform the world and can. [Iselin]

Let us not just talk about theology, but live theology; let's not just talk about faith, but live faith. Let's not just talk about youth but let youth talk. And let us not just let youth talk, but put trust in them to make decisions. Please listen - stand by your word, urge your churches and insure that youth from your confession and country are adequately represented and actively involved in the Ninth Assembly of the WCC in Porto Allegre. Make it the youngest Assembly ever. Let us journey together and involve youths in the ecumenical movement.

(In your own language:) "Ambuye, muchisomo chanu lekani Anyamata ndi asikana atenge danga yo Chinja dzik. [Penias]

All together: "God, in Your grace, let youth transform the world!"

We ask you to stand up and declare: "God, in Your grace, let youth transform the world!"