Global Youth Summit calls young people to share gifts

PA 2015

August 12, 2015 | Feature | Volume 19 Issue 16
Elina Ciptadi-Perkins | For Mennonite World Conference
<p>Participants in the Global Youth Summit wrote messages of encouragement to Lee Sang Min, a conscientious objector under detention in South Korea. (MWC photo)</p>

The three-day Mennonite World Conference (MWC) Global Youth Summit (GYS) concluded Sunday, July 19, with a strong call to young adults to impact the world by sharing their gifts.

Under the theme, “Called to Share: My Gifts, Our Gifts,” 42 delegates and more than 400 participants discussed what they wanted to offer the global church. For three days, they gave gifts of presence, stewardship, service, empathy, creativity, knowledge, leadership, the ability to accept different opinions and use technology, among many others. They also spent considerable time discussing how they could use those for the kingdom of God.

“GYS delegates are already doing good work in their respective churches and communities. They work well together and have empathy for each other,” said Rodrigo Pedroza, Latin American representative and chair of the Young Anabaptists (YABs) committee. “But after three days of cross-cultural interaction and exploration of biblical texts about gifts and callings, their confidence and understanding of sharing has grown.

“Now, their task is to share this message and energy to enrich their church conferences,” Pedroza said. “We hope that their church leaders will support them to grow in their spirituality and leadership capacity. The gifts from the different generations in the church will be a powerful testimony for the kingdom of God.”

This offering of gifts to the church was highly appreciated by the MWC Koinonia delegation consisting of MWC incoming president Nelson Kraybill, treasurer Ernst Bergen, and general-secretary César García.

“Never forget that while you need the wisdom of those older and more experienced than you, revolution starts with young people,” said García. “Jesus was young. So were Jesus’ disciples. And they turned the world upside down.”

While delegates focused on discerning how to use their gifts for the global church, participants were offered many activities to learn more about their Anabaptist roots and the global church.

Workshop subjects ranged from interfaith and cross-cultural engagement, incorporating social media in the church while still making relationships real, to case studies on living out peace and justice in different parts of the world.

Activities from concerts, sports and games, a collaborative art project, drumming and dance showcases, to movie nights enhanced the cross-cultural experience.

Elina Ciptadi-Perkins is a copywriter and communications consultant. She is an Indonesian Mennonite who lives in Singapore with her family.

To see videos of the GYS sessions, go the PA 2015 site:

See coverage of the MWC assembly, which followed the Global Youth Summit.

Participants in the Global Youth Summit wrote messages of encouragement to Lee Sang Min, a conscientious objector under detention in South Korea. (MWC photo)

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