LWF invites youth to apply for Peace Messengers training in June
15 April deadline to submit applications endorsed by an LWF member church
(LWI) – The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has invited youth from its member churches around the world to apply for this year’s training on peacebuilding under the Peace Messengers program. The deadline for signing up for the 1-5 June event is 15 April.
Applicants should be 18-30 years old. They must meet three criteria: experience in church leadership and commitment to LWF’s values; readiness to organize and implement a local peace project; and endorsement from an LWF member church.
The LWF Youth desk will lead the training, which will take place in Geneva. Participants will reflect on the spiritual call to peacebuilding, learn from professionals in the field, and exchange experiences from different countries.
The goal is to mobilize young people as peace advocates in their local settings. It is expected that trainees will gain skills to set up small-scale peace projects with LWF’s financial support and technical accompaniment.
This will be the third in-person global training since the LWF initiated the Peace Messengers Training program in Jerusalem in 2017. It is structured around a training manual under the same name, which is available on the LWF website in English, French and Spanish.
The training “impacted my life”
Recommending the program to youth across the LWF communion, a 2019 trainee, Ms Oneyda Fuentes, Salvadoran Lutheran Church (ILS), said it “impacted my life and made me reflect on the different conflicts and injustices around the world.”
She continued, “I learned about conflict resolutions and how you, as a young person, can work for peace and contribute to building a more just and peaceful future.” The subjects taught are all related, Oneyda noted. “We cannot talk about peace if we do not talk about justice, and we cannot talk about justice if we do not talk about human rights.”
I learned about conflict resolutions and how you, as a young person, can work for peace and contribute to building a more just and peaceful future.
Thanks to the Peace Messengers program, ILS youth have organized retreats in El Salvador where they discuss how to work for peace in their context.
For Oneyda, the training “was also an opportunity to learn good things for your life, a time for sharing and meeting friends from other countries.”
LWF Program Executive for Youth Ms Savanna Sullivan said peace has been a constant theme that also featured in 2021 during conversations in the Global Young Reformers Network.
“In light of the current context of the war in Ukraine, continued concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, and other sources of anxiety affecting youth, the training is an important juncture to come together and talk about what it means to be a peacebuilder in one’s own community,” Sullivan added.
The Peace Messengers program is part of the 2022 Year of Peace theme, around which LWF Youth has invited young people in the member churches to engage in different activities throughout the year. The focus is on responding to the gospel’s call to be peacebuilders through conflict transformation skills, exploring the intersections of climate justice, gender justice, human rights and many other topics.