ECHOS Commission on youth in the ecumenical movement
“We, as young Christians, (…) strive for sustainable and active involvement of young adults in all levels of the WCC by developing leadership skills and advocating for broader participation of youth in the ecumenical movement. (…) We are called to strengthen the fellowship, build new relations among WCC member churches, continue the dialogue and share with our partner ecumenical organizations.” ECHOS Commission report, May 2015.
The ECHOS Commission consists of 20 young people from a broad cross-section of churches and youth organizations within the ecumenical movement. The commission is regionally balanced, gender-balanced, and enriched with the indigenous voice.
The name ECHOS, which is a transcription of the Greek word Hχος meaning sound, was taken in 2007, with the explanation:
"We realized that our generation did not create many of the structures existing today. We are called to respond to the echos from the past of those ecumenical leaders ― young and old ― who have gone before us. We must also lay the groundwork for the youth that will come after this generation. So we hope to send our voices as echos into the future."
The WCC 10th Assembly in Busan affirmed the need to have a body that enables active involvement of young adults and ensures sustainable development of youth engagement within ecumenical movements, the ECHOS Commission. In 2015, the commissioners stated:
“We do not only want to be an echo, we wish to be a real young voice. We are all on a pilgrimage of justice and peace!”
Members of the ECHOS Commission come from:
- each of the other WCC commissions
- from the Executive Committee to moderate and provide on-going follow-up with WCC governing structures
- from the Central Committee and member churches
- from the broader ecumenical constituency
The ECHOS Commission gathers once a year, and entertains three working groups, on communication, ecumenical formation, and networking, respectively.