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Stewards Programme

WCC stewards participate in leadership training and serve at WCC governing body meetings

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WCC invites youth to Stewards Programme for 2020 Central Committee

WCC invites youth to Stewards Programme for 2020 Central Committee

The World Council of Churches (WCC) invites ecumenical youth to be stewards at the 2020 Central Committee in Geneva, Switzerland. With an application deadline of 1 December 2019, the Stewards Programme aims to bring together a dynamic and diverse group of 20 young people from all over the world on 12-25 March 2020. The invitation is open to people from a variety of backgrounds, churches and regions.

WCC invites youth to Stewards Programme for 2018 Central Committee

WCC invites youth to Stewards Programme for 2018 Central Committee

The WCC invites ecumenical youth to be stewards at the 2018 Central Committee in Geneva, Switzerland. With application deadline 31 January, the Stewards Programme aims to bring together a dynamic and diverse group of 20 young people from all over the world from 5-23 June 2018.

“You don't all have to be the same”

“You don't all have to be the same”

As young people help to facilitate the meeting of the WCC's governing body, they are pursuing a collective pilgrimage of their own.

Youth learn “different ways of living Christian faith”

Youth learn “different ways of living Christian faith”

It might seem like a trivial task to help with the logistical arrangements of a major meeting. However, for the “stewards” of the WCC, this task means more than merely helping out.

Peace message closes convocation, but work has only begun

Peace message closes convocation, but work has only begun

Participants at the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation (IEPC) released a message on Tuesday expressing their unified experience of a week-long exploration of a just peace and to navigate a path forward as they return to their homes and churches across the world.

"Like being in the center of the globe"

"Like being in the center of the globe"

Nazeli Kandakarjian, a member of the Armenian Apostolic Church (Holy See of Cilicia) in Lebanon, is serving as a young adult steward at these central committee meetings. She arrived five days late for the training programme due to a series of visa difficulties, ultimately receiving her visa just a few hours before her rescheduled flight on 11 Feb. "It was like in the movies", she said of the last-minute rush. When she finally arrived in Geneva, though--her first trip outside the Middle East--she was warmly welcomed by the other stewards. They were eager to learn about her, and she enjoyed hearing their stories, as well. She said the group bonded quickly and has worked well together. "It's like being in the center of the globe", said Kandakarjian, who was born in Kuwait. "I have people from all over the world telling me their experiences. It couldn't be any better than this. I'm so happy to be here". A friend who attended the WCC Assembly in Porto Alegre in 2006 encouraged her to apply for the stewards programme. She did, because she liked the idea of actually working at the meetings and not just being an observer. Now Kandakarjian is carrying that same message to others. "I would like to encourage everyone to be in this kind of experience", she said, expressing an appreciation for the ecumenical work she was able to witness. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It's great". All of the stewards were recognised at the conclusion of the meetings Wednesday with a round of applause and the moderator's thanks, and each received the gift of a WCC watch.

Serving as stewards

Serving as stewards

A group of young adults again has a significant role at these Central Committee meetings in Geneva, with two dozen young people from 22 countries on five continents serving as stewards. They can be easily spotted around the building, all wearing their royal blue WCC shirts. The stewards assist in a variety of ways during the meetings, often behind the scenes, while learning about the ecumenical movement and the work of the WCC. Their tasks include distributing documents and translation headsets, monitoring the doors of the main hall, setting up for morning prayers, assisting the press operation, running errands, and much more---including the job of ringing bells to summon Central Committee members back to their tables after breaks. Stewards, chosen through a competitive application process, serve during each Central Committee meeting and Assembly.

Being a steward is a life-changing experience

Being a steward is a life-changing experience

The coordinator of the stewards programme at central committee says he is in that position because he himself was inspired by being part of a similar programme seven years ago.