He added: “Consultations with young people, participants in WCC gatherings 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.”
Sauca continued: “I want you to be sure to read the reflections of these young authors. They are creating waves and splashes in the ecumenical waters. As we journey together as a movement, as a fellowship, young people remind us of our prophetic voice in the church and society. ‘Let the Waves Roar’ touches on current issues that young people in the ecumenical movement are facing across the world.”
Joy Eva Bohol, WCC programme executive for youth engagement in the ecumenical movement remarked, “Indeed young people are creating waves that are not just passing, but waves that are transforming. We encourage the fellowship to not just read this book, but to continue using it as a resource in your different communities on the different topics addressed, to see how you can engage with young people actively involved and engaged in ecumenical work.”
Bohol stated that choosing the final authors for the book was a very difficult task as the editors had received a lot of submissions from young people globally and she encouraged WCC member churches and ecumenical partners to read and use this resource material.
Rev. Dr Benjamin Simon, WCC programme executive for Church Relations, pointed out that “the topics that the authors are addressing are for all of us. As prophetic voices, the young people are pointing at the issues, articulating injustices and encouraging all of us as people of faith to move forward with hope as we strive to find solutions.”
Bossey Ecumenical Institute student Sashimongla Longchar, from Nagaland Baptist Church, Northeast India, shared that “this book is not just a publication, but it is issues and challenges shared from the depths of the heart of the young people—so it is a must to read and act on it as well. It is a mission of inclusion, not exclusion. A mission of transformation.”
She posed a question about the unjust realities in the Asian context asking: “What can the Asian churches do more towards building a just community? They could perhaps break the silence. Provide safe spaces and inclusion for youth and women for their voices to be heard. Listening and learning from different perspectives and opinions irrespective of age and gender, leaving no one behind in matters that concern all of us.”
Fr. Andria Saria, also a Bossey student and member of the Georgian Orthodox Church, reflected that “the moment we start distinguishing the voices as ‘young voices’ or ‘elder voices’ then we start distinguishing experiences, knowledge and background. This can result in us losing out on getting the message behind the voices, unless we start looking at them as equal voices.”