World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

Statement on youth contribution

14 February 2006

Extract from the report of the policy reference committee:

"In light of the meeting of the Moderator and the General Secretary with young adult delegates to the Ninth Assembly, and the Statement on Youth Contribution delivered to the Assembly, the Assembly directs the Central Committee to create a representative body of young adults who would coordinate the various roles of young adults connected to the WCC and facilitate communication between them. Such a body would create space for a meaningful participation of young adults in the life and decision making of the WCC, and would be able to hold the WCC accountable to its goals regarding young adults. In light of the meeting of the Moderator and the General Secretary with young adult delegates to the Ninth Assembly, and the Statement on Youth Contribution delivered to the Assembly, the Assembly directs the Central Committee to create a representative body of young adults who would coordinate the various roles of young adults connected to the WCC and facilitate communication between them. Such a body would create space for a meaningful participation of young adults in the life and decision making of the WCC, and would be able to hold the WCC accountable to its goals regarding young adults."

The text presented to the Assembly in relation to the policy reference committee report, outlining the concerns of young people and the proposals to strengthen their participation, follows:

In the spirit of the 9th Assembly as a "youth assembly", the youth gathered here, through a Committee created with an attempt to be as representative as possible, present the following summary of youth consensus in regards to their contributions to the WCC and the global ecumenical movement.

It is of grave concern to the youth present at this assembly that the WCC may not be able to meet the stated goal of 25% youth members on the Central Committee. Hence, we are strongly recommending that member churches of the WCC assume their responsibility in the development and promotion of youth leadership. In this manner, encouraging and supporting youth to form part of the different committees. We are aware of the many difficulties presented by this goal but we are seeking constructive ways to make effective contributions through the building of bridges between the youth concerns and the work of the WCC. We believe that possibilities for youth contribution to all program areas of the WCC would be furthered by the creation of a structure such as the following:

Special Body to Facilitate Youth Contribution to the WCC

Purpose

The creation of a permament body of young people would coordinate the various roles of young people within the WCC and facilitate communication between them. Such a body would create space for youth leadership in the WCC as it reconfigures; and would be able to hold the WCC accountable to its goals regarding young people. This body should meet prior to every central committee meeting.

Recommended Objectives

  1. Promote leadership of young people in the global ecumenical movement.

  2. Serve as a consultative body that can give voice to youth concerns.

  3. Encourage "youth mainstreaming" throughout the life of the WCC.

  4. Support and inform the work of the WCC youth desk and central committees.

  5. Strengthen youth contributions to all program areas.

  6. Serve as a network between local ecumenical youth and the youth leadership in the WCC.

  7. Equip youth leadership with ecumenical formation on topics of general interest in the ecumenical movement.

  8. Facilitate the comunication process between the grass-root, national and global levels.

  9. Liason between member churches and the WCC on youth concerns.

Composition:

A process would need to be created to determine the size of this body, the appropriate members, and how they would be selected.