For Alex Xiong Chun Lim, a young Malaysian public policy analyst currently based in Rwanda, the week-long programme enabled him to find synergies between everyday work and what he “holds true in (his) heart.” “GEM School has equipped me with learnings, that the things I hold dear – justice for the marginalised – is scriptural,” Lim said.
The school offered sessions on foundations for international financial and economic transformation as well as on advocacy tools for economic justice focusing on church campaigns for national and global tax justice.
Participants also exchanged knowledge and experience from different contexts. Rev. Jenne Pieter from Indonesia shared about practices of “indigenous economics” from the Maluku Islands that have at core the values of sharing and caring.
The school, which brings together church leaders and youth in an intergenerational discussion, generated project proposals that could be implemented in the short-term.
Tabita Shamshad from Pakistan is looking to roll out a “Change for Climate Change” booklet linking environment and ecology. The booklet will be targeted at children and could be used in Sunday School.
Rev. Dr Russell Meyer from the United States is planning to develop a toolkit titled, “Forgive us our debts: Jubilee in the 21st century,” to enable Christians and congregations to apply jubilee concepts locally, nationally, regionally, and globally.
Meyer expressed much gratitude for GEM School and for his co-participants. Meyer reflected, “We each and all are GEM School…The school is all that we shall learn as we live out the intentions that we blessed in each other. We have become an iteration of hope in the world.”
GEM School is co-convened by the World Council of Churches, World Communion of Reformed Churches, Lutheran World Federation, World Methodist Council, and Council for World Mission as part of the New International Financial and Economic Architecture Initiative.