LWF youth amplify ‘Peace Messengers’ role in churches and communities
Delegates from LWF’s seven regions meet in-person for third international training
(LWI) – Youth representing all seven regions of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) continue to promote 2022 as the Global Young Reformers’ Year of Peace, as they gather in-person for the third international Peace Messengers Training in Geneva, 1-5 June.
Hosted by LWF Youth, the 16 delegates from 14 member churches in the communion are in leadership positions in their churches in Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Hungary, Malaysia, Madagascar, India, Indonesia, Palestine, Peru, Sweden, Tanzania, Ukraine and the United States. It is the first time in three years that a face-to-face training is taking place since the program was started in 2017. The last event was held in Tallinn, Estonia in 2019.
The young men and women will focus on the intersection between peacebuilding and LWF’s youth priorities and thematic areas, namely equity, education, revival of churches, climate justice, and gender justice. Peer learning is a major part of the training and participants will give presentations about their contexts. They will share both the biggest threats to peace and the peace-seeking solutions being implemented in their communities and churches.
The LWF Peace Messengers Training Manual is the core module for the sessions, which will be co-facilitated by LWF program executives Ms Savanna Sullivan (Youth) and Rev. Dr Sivin Kit (Public Theology and Interreligious Relations).
We are excited to welcome such a dynamic group of youth leaders, whose leadership in local communities is a tangible witness of LWF’s vision of building a just, peaceful and reconciled world.
“We are excited to welcome such a dynamic group of youth leaders, whose leadership in local communities is a tangible witness of LWF’s vision of building a just, peaceful and reconciled world,” said Sullivan. She went on to explain that the group was selected from over 50 applicants endorsed by their respective churches. “Due to the overwhelming interest, we hope to be able to hold a similar event toward the end of this year, hosted by one of the member churches, and include more participants,” she added.
Sullivan said one of the goals of the training, like other events under LWF’s Global Young Reformers Network, is to engage youth in spaces where they can grow their leadership skills and become more connected to their churches. The communion provides small grants to youth for peacebuilding projects in their own churches. These youth-led initiatives are valuable in building young people’s confidence and capacity as leaders and strengthening their connections back to their home churches.
The five-day training will close with a session whereby the facilitators and participants will collaborate to identify and plan projects that will empower youth across the communion to be peace multipliers in their communities and churches.