Ecumenical Youth Gathering

Ecumenical Youth Gathering and Youth pre-assembly of the 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches

The Ecumenical Youth Gathering (EYG) is part of the global celebration that will be held prior to the assembly. The EYG is the umbrella event of and the official name to be used for all youth-led, youth-focused activities and to refer to the following: the Stewards Programme, the Pre-Assembly Youth, and other activities for young people.

The EYG will be held on 27-30 August 2022 before the WCC 11th Assembly. Around 400 young people from member churches and ecumenical partners will gather for this event. It is envisaged that it will provide an open and inclusive space for youth-led and intergenerational dialogue and consultation with young people to strategize together a common message that will be brought forward to the assembly. This event also aims to help frame a more inclusive agenda for the ecumenical movement, moving forward.

Young people, 35 years old and below, have experienced exclusion from decision-making bodies. Youth have a great potential to be positive agents within the churches and beyond them; nonetheless, tergiversate narratives and intergenerational differences have generated mistrust.

Young people -both in church and society- have been at the forefront of social, political, economic, and environmental issues while creating their own spaces of dialogue to confront such realities (WCC 2021). WCC has seen notable contributions of young engaged people and recognizes the need to include their voices in decision-making processes, programs and gatherings.

Many young people are shying away from affiliating themselves with religious institutions; however, their spirituality remains (Pew Center 2018). Young people from WCC agree that they see the church becoming less prophetic in addressing pressing global and local issues. Yet, reformation is possible by recognizing the prophetic call “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity”—and young people being part of it.

The EYG 2022 brings an opportunity for the World Council of Churches to build back better the necessary intergenerational trust, youth empowerment and shared responsibility on the church mission (Amba 1990: 235). The gathering is a demonstration of WCC and its young community to engage its global network of young people and sister organizations in order to influence the outcomes of the assembly and the response of the churches through the voice of 400 participants who are addressing current global and local issues.


Christ’s love reconciles and restores young people in the church and the society

We have been facing a crisis of divisions among ourselves, with others and within the created world. The current pandemic only widened the rift between the divisions and deepened fundamental questions on the climate emergency, worldwide racism, structural economic inequalities, gender discrimination, and other forms of injustice in our societies and in our world.

In this fragmented world in which we live, young people in the ecumenical movement want to affirm that Christ’s love reconciles and restores humankind and oikos from ignorance, stereotype, distortion, discrimination and violence, by participating in sincere encounters together with openness for diversity and acceptance of differences. We are reconciled with God through the cross. This reflects the reconciliation we have between sisters and brothers, and the whole oikos.

Under the theme “Christ’s love reconciles and restores young people in the church and the society,” we will focus on emerging issues of young people with three sub-themes: Reconciliation with ourselves, Reconciliation with others; and Reconciliation with oikos. It will lead to wider dialogues, including mental health and identity within individuals, intergenerational work, ecumenical and interreligious tensions, violation of human rights, destruction of the environment, and respect for diversity, among others.

Resources for the Ecumenical Youth Gathering / Youth pre-assembly

Let the Waves Roar

Perspectives of Young Prophetic Voices in the Ecumenical Movement

Consultations with young people, participants in WCC events between the 10th and the 11th assemblies, and a number of church leaders have concluded that there is a need to provide an updated resource to get to know young people of today and to explore ways for the church to effectively engage the 18–30-year-old age group in the ecumenical movement.

The 17 young people whose voices are heard in these pages represent eight regions and diverse church traditions. Another three chapters have been contributed by the editors and former WCC youth department staff. The book invites all generations to discern the signs of our times and to be proactive in our response to them.

Voices of Lament, Hope, and Courage

A Week of Prayer in the Time of the COVID-19 Pandemic

To commemorate a year since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the spread of COVID-19 a pandemic, the World Council of Churches provides this resource for a week of prayer.

This book was designed as a resource for use in prayer groups, congregational services, personal prayer, and in the pastoral accompaniment of those directly affected in different ways by the pandemic. The prayers, messages, reflections, statistics and WCC resources have roots in faith challenged by mourning, fear and uncertainty in different contexts worldwide. 

Ecumenical International Youth Day 2021 Event Toolkit

Young People and Climate Justice

The World Council of Churches provides this toolkit as a resource for the fellowship to plan and organize unique celebrations of Ecumenical International Youth Day 2021. It includes background information and a description of this year’s theme, climate justice, tools and resources and a suggested programme format to use and adapt in local contexts.

The WCC programmes on Youth Engagement in the Ecumenical Movement, Churches Commitment to Children, and Climate and Economic Justice are collaborating for this year’s focus area.

Christ’s Love Moves the World to Reconciliation and Unity: A reflection on the theme of the 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches, Karlsruhe 2022.

The result of the work of an international group drawn from different regions and confessional traditions, the text is intended as a resource for churches and Christians worldwide in advance of the WCC’s 11th Assembly, to take place in Karlsruhe, Germany, from 31 August to 8 September 2022. It offers biblical and theological reflections on the assembly theme, inspired by a biblical verse – “For the love of Christ urges us on” (2 Cor. 5:14) – against the backdrop of critical issues confronting churches and humanity as a whole. The text is available initially in four languages – English, French, German, and Spanish.