Youth are a key pillar in shaping the future
As part of the “Kairos Middle East Towards Churches Global Compact” process, the Theological and Ecumenical Department (TED) of the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) organized the first youth consultation seminar on the 11th of July 2020, at the St Augustine center in Kafra – Ain Saade, Lebanon.
The youth consultation seminar revolved around the presence of Christian youth and their role in the Middle East region. It gathered 20 young people from the council’s member churches as well as 4 young employees working in the Communication and PR department and the Finance department of the council. In order to launch the consultation seminar, Father Gaby Hachem, director of the TED, Ziad El Sayegh, coordinator of the Kairos geopolitical process, and Fr Rouphael Zougheib, executive director and coordinator of the theological process, did a detailed presentation to demonstrate the MECC’s mission and the different phases of the Kairos process. Then, the participants were divided into two groups to discuss the geopolitical and theological contexts respectively.
The meeting revealed the enthusiasm of the youth and their excitement to actively participate in the process. In fact, as representatives of their churches, they were eager to express their concerns, fears and opinions in complete honesty and without constraints. They also focused on suggesting practical and applicable solutions that can encourage the youth to stay in their Middle Eastern countries and play an active role in their churches and consequently, in this wounded region. The discussions were truly rich in ideas, suggestions and creative solutions. During the entire seminar, the friendly ambiance among the youth led to beautiful human connections. In the last session, the participants gathered to draft recommendations that will be submitted to the drafting committee to be included in the final white paper, and will then be presented to the churches’ presidents and official delegations in the upcoming MECC general assembly.
Since youth are a key pillar in the shaping of the future and in the strengthening of Christian presence in the cradle of Christianity, the Middle East, four additional youth consultation seminars will be held in Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt during the summer, to examine the ideas and listen to the opinions of the youth in these different countries.