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LWF Global Training for Young Leaders Starts in Bangkok :: Asia Lutheran Communion :: Communication Creates Communion

Topic: 5.Geneva

LWF Global Training for Young Leaders Starts in Bangkok

Posted by: LWF-Asia on Apr 04, 2008 – 02:30 AM | Read 1281 times

Youth workshop participants "Engage" Program Targets More Visible Youth Contribution to Church Life

BANGKOK, Thailand/GENEVA, 2 April 2008 (LWI) – A three-year Lutheran World Federation (LWF) global youth training program was inaugurated mid-March in Bangkok, Thailand, with a workshop attended by young adults from LWF member churches in Asia and the Pacific region.

"Give Us Today Our Daily Bread" – the theme of the LWF 11th Assembly in July 2010 provides the basis for deliberations by young adults participating in the 2008-2010 program titled, "Engage: LWF Global Training for Young Leaders." It is an initiative of the LWF Department for Mission and Development and its youth desk, LWF Youth.

At the 12 – 18 March inaugural workshop, 10 participants representing an equal number of LWF member churches from eight countries, discussed the current concerns among young people in the respective churches and communities. The gathering was the first in a series of regional workshops that will take place also in Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean and North America, with the aim to make the contributions of young people more visible in the work of the LWF and its member churches.

Youth workshop participants in a boat"Engage" invites young adults (18-30 years old) from LWF member churches "to reflect on God’s promise for our churches and our communities. Jesus teaches us to pray ‘Give us today our daily bread.’ What significance does this prayer have for youth in a small community in Indonesia or Australia, in Hong Kong or Myanmar?" explained Rev. Roger Schmidt, secretary, LWF Youth. The program, he noted, "strives to translate intense inter-cultural and biblical reflection into action."

During the Bangkok workshop, the participants explored together the concept of "daily bread" in different biblical texts. Envisioning and analysis formed part of the training, thus the group studied project planning methods to develop small-scale activities that would effectively respond to their respective needs and contexts.

In one exercise, the participants wrote a letter dated ten years in the future, projecting what should have happened within this period. "Today no child has to sleep on an empty stomach; no girl has to sell herself just for food," wrote Ms Helga Thomas, Jeypore Evangelical Lutheran Church in India .The people in her community, she says, "now are much more informed about diseases,and are leading a hygienic life." She plans to set up a street-theater project with young people to provide information on HIV and AIDS.

Ms Lydia Fong, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hong Kong, hoped for a spiritual renewal among the youth in her church: "For our church, the greatest changes were in the choir, music section, and youth fellowship. We finally set up our own band, with our own set of drums, and all the [other] instruments. It’s really amazing to have a band, so that we can have more communication within the youth group." Lydia is starting a song-writing competition for all the church’s youth groups.

Schmidt said he was optimistic the program would achieve its goal. "Young Christians in our churches have so much to offer.

They provide their perspectives on various contemporary issues and on the biblical message. They are energized to make things happen together with other young people. Many churches could use more of this energy and involve them in decision making," he added. (553 words)

More information about LWF Youth activities is available on the LWF Web site at: http://www.lutheranworld.org/What_We_Do/DMD/DMD-Youth.html
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