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Plenary: Youth Caring for Life

02 September 2003

World Council of Churches
Geneva, Switzerland
26 August - 2 September 2003

Plenary: Youth Caring for Life

Young people engage daily in issues that relate to the ethics of life. How can our caring for life guide us when we are approached by justifications of violence and war? How can we transform our profit centred economies to life centred economies? How can our caring for life help us to mobilise against the HIV/AIDS pandemic? These are existential challenges that are relevant to the lives of young people all over the world. Today we can see an increasing number of youth taking active part in movements that care for life whether it is against war, for just economies, for better environmental policies or addressing HIV/AIDS.
How can we make our theologies more relevant and accessible to the existential challenges young people are facing? How can the churches further develop their spiritualities around these issues? Some young people in the churches have already started walking in this direction. Believing that they can make another world possible young people are already assuming leadership using their charisma in the mission of the churches caring for life.

The morning worship (lead by Rev. Zoltan Tarr) will help us recognise that the powers behind wars and unjust economies are not our masters. As young people we are not meant to be oppressed and to go to war or to suffer under the burden of debt. The worship will affirm that life is a gift from God and that the triumph we have in Christ is bringing us closer to caring for the creation and celebrating life. Col. 1,15-16.

The plenary will focus on:
1. Challenges facing young people today (violence, economic justice, HIV/AIDS).
2. Young people assuming leadership in caring for life.
3. Caring for life in our theology, spirituality and mission.

Moderator of the plenary: Ms Donnalie Edwards-Cabey

10 min Video - “Ecumenical Youth Encounter” (produced by Peter Williams)

2 min Introduction

22 min Bible study and sharing around the tables (10 + 12 minutes)

Rev. Ashley Seaman will lead the Bible study on Matt 5,13-16. The Bible study will help us rediscover the power and energies of salt and how young people and the churches are called to care for life by being salt.

5 min Stewards animation

16 min Visions and actions from ecumenical youth
- Challenges youth are facing and their actions in seeking for alternatives.
- Actions from youth in churches and ecumenical youth movements.

Mr Matome Makgoba, President of the SACC Youth Forum, South Africa
Ms Tale Hungnes, President of Changemaker, Norway.

15 min Sharing around the tables
1. How is your church recognising the ministry of youth in caring for life?
2. How can the WCC work together with the churches in strengthening young people's ministry in caring for life?

20 min Sharing from the plenary