Young Reformers Network Explores Cooperation With Taizé Community

Young Reformers Steering Committee at Taizé. Photo: LWF/C. Kästner
Young Reformers Steering Committee at Taizé. Photo: LWF/C. Kästner

Youth Empowerment and On-Going Reformation

(LWI) - The Global Young Reformers Network of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is exploring ways of cooperation with the Ecumenical Community of Taizé.

On a visit to Taizé, the Steering Group of the Young Reformer´s Network invited brothers and young volunteers in Taizé to be part of the Young Reformers Conference from 22 August to 4 September 2015 in Wittenberg, Germany. The conference will unite Young Reformer delegates from all 144 LWF member churches.

Bring Alive the Gifts of Churches

“The brothers and volunteers of Taizé can bring an ecumenical and spiritual perspective to the conference” LWF Youth Secretary Caroline Richter said in a meeting with Brother Alois Löser, the prior of the community.

“2017 should not be about finding our confessional identity against one another, but with each other”, Brother Alois said. “The many gifts of our churches only come alive in ecumenical ways. You, the young people, can show that”.

“The Wittenberg Conference is a wonderful way to bring an international perspective to the reformation” Steering Group member Julia Braband from the Evangelical Church in Central Germany says. “Taizé shares our view of ‘ecclesia semper reformanda’, of a church in on-going reformation”.

The ecumenical community of brothers in Taizé, France has been conducting Youth meetings since the 1970´s, each week inviting thousands of young Christians from all over the world. It is especially known for its spirituality, which includes three daily prayers with chants in many languages. In 2015, it will celebrate its 75th anniversary. The anniversary also commemorates the 100th  birthday of Brother Roger Schütz, the founder of the Taizé community who was killed in 2005.

What are you freed from? - Ecumenical Discussions

For these celebrations, the community has also invited young people to discuss ways of engaging in the world, grounded in faith. “We started to explore ways of contributing to that celebration with young witnesses from the LWF”, Richter said. The LWF Youth Desk has already sent a young delegate to conduct a workshop about climate justice and the #fastfortheclimate initiative in the Taizé youth meetings, earlier this summer

In a workshop, the Steering Group also presented the LWF Global Young Reformers Network to young people visiting Taizé. “Our theme ‘Freed by God´s Love’ was very well received”, Rev.Monica Villareal, the Steering member representing North America, said. “It provoked many discussions about freedom in a theological sense, and in everyday experience”.

The visit to Taizé was part of  the Young Reformer´s Steering Group meeting in Geneva from 19-26 August 2014. In seminars and meetings, they together prepared the upcoming activities such as the Virtual Conference “Freed by God’s love- to change the world” on Reformation day 2014 and the Young Reformers Wittenberg Conference in 2015.

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