Free to love and serve our neighbor

Delegates from LWF regions other than Latin America and the Caribbean will attend the 23rd Youth Congress of the Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil. Photo: IECLB
Delegates from LWF regions other than Latin America and the Caribbean will attend the 23rd Youth Congress of the Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil. Photo: IECLB

Young reformers and nearly 2,000 delegates expected at Brazil's youth congress

(LWI) – More than 30 delegates from the seven regions of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) will be among 1,800 participants at this year’s National Youth Congress of the Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil (IECLB), 24-29 July.

This is the first time that the biennial IECLB congress, held since 1970, is receiving youth representatives from all the LWF member churches in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region and beyond. The event contributes to discussions on the role and contribution of young people in the church, and the challenges they face.

“Special opportunity for our youth”

The LAC Youth Network, which is organizing the international program, widened the participation in the conference as part of preparations for the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation next year. Delegates will include members of the LWF Global Young Reformers’ Network, which was started in 2013 to mobilize youth contribution to the 2017 commemorations.

As Christians liberated by God’s grace, we are free. Free to love and serve our neighbor, free to be responsible citizens in the world and free to be good stewards of God’s creation.
Carolina Huth, Argentina’s United Evangelical Lutheran Church

The 23rd IECLB Youth Congress will meet under the theme, “By grace, we have value” [Pela graça temos valor]. The focus offers “a special opportunity for our youth to show the strength of the IECLB; that we are a strong and living church, with youth united around the theme of God’s grace that surpasses our works,” says Rev. Breno Carlos Willrich of the Itajaí Valley Synod, which will host the event.

Delegates will agree on activities to commemorate the Reformation anniversary in Brazil. Panel discussions will focus on diakonia with topics such as human trafficking, gender justice, environmental care, commodification of human beings and goods, human rights and spirituality.

Free to serve the neighbor

LAC Youth network member, Carolina Huth from Argentina’s United Evangelical Lutheran Church says: “As Christians liberated by God’s grace, we are free. Free to love and serve our neighbor,free to be responsible citizens in the world and free to be good stewards of God’s creation.”

LWF Youth secretary Caroline Bader will attend and speak on the Young Reformers’ movement in LWF’s member churches across the globe. “By connecting with each other across the regions we can learn about churches in reformation in the 21st century. We will welcome young reformers from churches in Ethiopia, Indonesia, Lithuania and Myanmar. Through the intercultural experience and discussions on how young people are serving people in need and being stewards of creation, we become an expression of the global communion,” she says.

“We hope the Congress will be a place for young people to grow in their faith and to be empowered to sustain their own church in a spirit of ongoing reformation” Bader added.

Rev. Dr Patricia Cuyatti, LWF area secretary for LAC, commended the Brazilian church for opening up its youth congress to LWF member churches beyond the country and region. “In the context of celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, it is important to talk together about what inspires youth and what strengthens their Lutheran identity and belonging in the church.”

 

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