YOUNGER GENERATION LEADERS
Generation Leaders meeting at the 17th World Congress of the International
Council of Christian Churches (ICCC), June 7th, 2005 at the 21st Century
Glory Youth Training Center, Heongseong, Korea, noted the importance
of addressing the need of challenging today's younger generation leaders
to think and act biblically, and hereby submit this statement.
it is largely recognized that the key to the continuity of a religious
movement lies in the younger generation leaders;
the ecumenical movement started in the last century with young people
taking leadership in the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF),
the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) and the Young Women's Christian
younger generation leaders in the World Council of Churches are now
calling for a concerted plan of action, as evidenced in the following
Statement by one group who met from 14-16 November 2004 at Antellias
as guests of the Armenian Apostolic Church (Cilicia) and at the invitation
of the WCC; the declared thus their "Vision of the Ecumenical Movement":
We … affirm the need to revisit the vision and direction of the ecumenical
movement, and to look beyond the current structures and organisational
formulas. The very word "movement" implies dynamism, constant
self-evaluation, and change.
Despite the declining presence and activity of young people in churches
in most parts of the world, many young Christians remain passionately
committed to the ecumenical movement. This gives us hope and encouragement.
However, we witness that their desire to solve the current problems
of the "oikoumene" is finding more and more expression outside
the churches and ecumenical organisations. This questions the relevance
of the ecumenical movement….
We envision a new ecumenical movement characterised by a renewed commitment
of churches and ecumenical organisations. Being ecumenical belongs to
the very essence of being Church, and is not just an issue of external
relations. New understanding of the role of the ecumenical movement
will emanate from a "new" understanding of the mission of
the Church as an inclusive community caring for life, not only for Christians,
but for all people of God, for creation, for the whole "oikoumene".
The 21st century will see churches sharing in the eucharistic fellowship,
praying and acting together for a reconciled and healed "oikoumene"
in visible unity. The ecumenical movement of the 21st century must provide
a safe space for honest and respectful dialogue that is devoid of "cosy
ecumenism" but fosters a loving relationship among partners with
trust, mutual accountability and lasting commitment as key values.
We dream of an ecumenical movement where young people, with all their
talents and skills, take an active part and leadership in all its dimensions.
The ecumenical movement bears witness to the inclusive nature of the
Church as the body of Christ. In its diversity lies its full strength
and richness. The ecumenical movement of the 21st century needs to be
owned by all churches and ecumenical organisations. Embracing diversity
is essential for the sustainability of the ecumenical movement as a
movement of the people where the people set the agenda.
…. We envision that ecumenical organisations and churches will work
together for justice on the basis of their common faith, rooted in the
Bible, and will transform unjust structures. Sharing of material and
non-material resources, of gifts, stories and capacities but also of
burdens and duties will reflect our unity in Christ….
The ecumenical movement is called to offer an alternative to globalisation.
Churches and ecumenical organisations need to think "oikoumenically"
and act locally. A vision of "oikoumenisation", as opposed
to globalisation, will strive for global community in full respect of
the diversity of its members.
The ecumenical movement, as a movement deeply rooted in the realities
and traditions of our churches and ecumenical organisations, needs to
be a movement of all people, not just a clique of "ecumeniacs".
This requires a "mainstreaming" of ecumenical formation through
sharing of wisdom and knowledge, education and ongoing formation for
people of all ages and ranks.
The 21st century needs cohesion and transparency in the cooperation
of strong ecumenical groups and bodies on local, national, regional
and global levels. Considering the complexity of many of the issues
the world is facing, the ecumenical movement needs to connect the prophetic
voice of the Church with the voices of peoples' organisations and movements
struggling for the same objectives.
Our vision is that churches in the ecumenical movement of the 21st century
will view people of other faiths as being part of God's household. The
daily dialogue of life offers a basis for peaceful and constructive
relationships and cooperation….
WHEREAS the ICCC and its member bodies are facing a leadership shortage
and needs to prepare for leadership succession; and a decision was reached
at both its World Congresses and Regional Congresses to prepare actively
the younger generation for leadership;
BE IT RESOLVED that the Younger Generation Leaders of the ICCC now summons
all young people in its churches to rise up and take up the challenge