As the World Council of Churches (WCC) 11th Assembly preparations progress, the Assembly Worship Planning Committee together with the WCC Youth Engagement programme are presenting a creative opportunity to young people between the ages of 18 and 35 who attend a WCC member church, inviting them to enter a song writing competition. This is part of efforts and initiatives involving and engaging young people in the planning and delivery of the assembly; they continue to be a part of the ecumenical movement with their young voices through music.
"Inspired by their participation and engagement in a global ecumenical event or programme, young people I have encountered in the events we organised, offer a musical reflection in a form of song at the conclusion of the event. Most of these songs are original compositions. There are so many resources that young people today could offer, including musical materials, that we as a fellowship should tap into. Thus, the idea of the Youth Song Writing Competition at the 11th Assembly in 2021 came up. This is also a more intentional effort of the WCC to engage young people in every aspect of what we do in the life and works of the whole fellowship,” said Joy Eva Bohol, WCC programme executive for Youth Engagement.
Contestants are expected to compose their songs around the assembly theme “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity” as the top eight songs selected from each region will be included in assembly worship resources. Songs can be written in any language, but must be accompanied with an English translation. Every submission will be reviewed by a dedicated committee and the top three entries may be invited to lead and perform their songs in a musical event during the assembly.
“Picture this scenario. Engaging young people in this form is a way of WCC paving the direction in which our music will go and the continuity of passing on the spirit of composing original music as part of our worship materials. In the process of preparations for the assembly, we could even have veteran composers to mentor young composers on the journey of spiritual life music not just for the assembly but also beyond,” explained Rev. Dr Mikie Roberts, WCC programme executive for Spiritual Life.