WSCF is an organisation in partnership of the Conference of the European Churches (CEC), we bring youth voices, priorities and expertise into the shared Agenda of European Churches.
From June 14 to June 20, CEC held its General Assembly in Tallinn, Estonia., exploring the theme “Under God’s blessing – shaping the future”. Our Vicechair Patrick Ramsey and our Regional Secretary Serena Tiburtini particpiated in the event.
Over the first two days, our Vice-Chair attended the Youth Pre-Assembly, a time intended for young delegates and representatives of partner organisations to get to know each other and learn about how to participate most effectively in the conference. As a result of the bonds formed throughout this time of shared activity, we and many other young delegates were able to persuade the assembly to pass a motion to work more effectively against climate change. Measures encouraged by this motion included divestment from fossil fuels and not handing out conference memorabilia to all the delegates as they arrive.
On Saturday 17 June, our Regional Secretary participated in the Bible Study – led by our senior friend and Pastor of the Italian Methodist Church Peter Ciaccio – “Public Theology – the public voice of the church. People from different generations who are treated as equals – what is the point of having faith if you don’t have good works? What is the point of our existence?”
In a group interview with speakers from Estonia and Hungary, Serena was asked to share about the relationship between deeds and faith, in her personal experience and daily work. Her invitation to European Churches was: “If you can do the right thing in the face of injustice, do it! If it is inspired by faith, all the better!” This conviction stems from our daily work at WSCF: we strive to always take a stance against injustice and to advocate for human rights; we do so supported by our shared faith, in line with our mission: “Inspired by our common Christian faith: We campaign for a just and peaceful world; We are a progressive Christian voice, aware of our political responsibility.”
Keynote speakers provided inspiration and critical thinking; for examle Rowan Williams’ statement “the stranger is not a passive recepient of our privilege, rather a source of life, a partner in a relationship” is a powerful reminder on how to develop and implement our own activities to embrace diversity and learn from it.
The GA was rich in human exchanges and connections, it provided an invaluable opportunity to nurture our existing relations with Church leaders, especially the young delegates – with whom we worked together on proposals to prioritise Eco-justice in the agenda of European Churches, and to adopt concrete measures to mitigate the impact of Churches’ activities on climate change – but also sibling organisations, such as EYCE, and senior friends.
The war in Ukraine, migration and Eco-justice were the main themes discussed, with testimonies from those affected by the war, and those relentlessly working to bring aid, relief and solidarity.
Young people’s engagement and protagonism were another focus of the assembly and were repetatedly mentioned in CEC’s final press realease: WSCF-E will be there to support streamlining youth voices in CEC’s activities for the upcoming 5 years.