Global Young Reformers: Advent is a time to reflect on peace and community building

The participants of the LWF Global Young Reformers “Peace on Earth Advent Gathering” said that connection, acceptance, and dialogue are actions toward peace. Photo: Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash
The participants of the LWF Global Young Reformers “Peace on Earth Advent Gathering” said that connection, acceptance, and dialogue are actions toward peace. Photo: Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash

“Youth can be at the forefront of peacebuilding”  

(LWI) - Advent is a time to reflect on peace on earth was the message of members of the the Lutheran World Federation’s (LWF) Global Young Reformers Network (GYRN) at an online event on 11 December.

The “Global Young Reformers Peace on Earth Advent Gathering” was an opportunity for them to share ways in which they imagined peace in the local context and across the globe. The event included fellowship, worship and conversation with youth from every LWF region.

“During Advent we talk about the coming Prince of Peace. As our God modeled through the incarnation of Christ, real, lasting peace comes though relationship and by building community,” said Savanna Sullivan, LWF Program Executive for Youth. “At this event we dreamed together and talked about the joys and struggles that face our communities,” she added.

“Global Young Reformers Peace on Earth Gathering” symbol, by Bence Slezák of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary.  

 

Presenting a reflection on the theme of peace through “relationship and community,” Sally Azar, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, an LWF Council member and a young reformer said that the key to future peace in her community in Jerusalem is “acceptance.”  

“If Mary and Joseph were to walk from Nazareth to Bethlehem today, they would be met by a separation wall dividing the two territories and they would have to go through a checkpoint,” Azar said, adding that she believes dialogues between religions in that part of the world “can lead to acceptance of each other and peace in the region.”

“Religious youth can be at the forefront of peacebuilding,” said Young Reformer Anania Ndondole of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania.  

During Advent we talk about the coming Prince of Peace. As our God modeled through the incarnation of Christ. Real, lasting peace comes though relationship and by building community.
Savanna Sullivan, LWF Program Executive for Youth

Emphasizing that gatherings like “Peace on Earth” are examples of how peacebuilding can be done in other communities Sullivan said, “Peacebuilding can look like what we experienced today, gathering across continents and cultures, praying, singing, worshipping God, listening to one another, and dreaming together.”

This was the first Advent peace gathering for the group that plans to meet annually under this theme. 

LWF/A. Gray

* Global Young Reformers Network 2.0 is a project of the LWF that engages the next generation of youth from the LWF member churches who are eager to contribute to the life and reformation of church and society.