When I was invited to attend the consultation on spirituality, worship and mission, I was asked to prepare some personal reflections on my own spiritual journey as a young person. I was asked to share what advice I had for the WCC with respect to how to engage youth in the Church as they aimed to define what they could say "about the spiritualities of the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace and how to manifest it in worship, spiritual formation, and mission activities of the church as well as in daily life."
WCC Pilgrimage Blog
In Landskron, where I am a pastor of the Lutheran Church in Austria, we have a dynamic, growing and socially engaged congregation. Our town hosts hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers from various countries. While their papers are being processed, they are not allowed to work. In our interactions with the refugees and asylum seekers, they have expressed their frustration at not being able to use their time fruitfully. Most of them miss working, and the contact with the land.
Teenagers pose lots of challenges for any parent. Emotional, rebellious, and subject to inevitable pressures, it is undoubtedly difficult to raise children who are transitioning from becoming children to adults. I am in this situation—I have three. As I reflect on their growing into individualized people, I can only hope that, once they embark on their respective paths, they live in a society that is peaceful and accepting.
We have been breathing joy, optimism and excitement to promote a new way of being a country. 26 September was a very busy day for all of us who were invited to attend the official ceremony of the signing of the Colombia peace agreement, in Cartagena. As I met other participants, a strong common feeling of hope was present in every shake of hands, every hug and every look.