HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Mennonite World Conference Global Youth Summit concluded July 19 with a strong desire to impact the world by sharing young adults’ gifts.
Under the theme “Called to Share: My Gifts, Our Gifts,” 42 delegates and more than 400 participants discussed what they want 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 discussed how they could use those gifts for the kingdom of God.
GYS is an event for young adults 18 and older, occurring just before the MWC assembly. Delegates chosen by national conferences discuss a particular topic relevant to the global church, while participants experience cross-cultural fellowship and reconnect with Anabaptist teachings.
“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, or 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.
“We believe that they will be able to do even bigger things after they return.”
He hopes 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,” Pedroza said.
An MWC Koinonia delegation — consisting of MWC incoming president Nelson Kraybill, treasurer Ernst Bergen and general secretary César García — appreciated this offering of gifts.
“Never forget that while you need the wisdom of those older and more experienced than you, revolution starts with young people,” García said. “Jesus was young. So were Jesus’ disciples. And they turned the world upside down.”
Workshop subjects included interfaith and cross-cultural engagement, incorporating social media while still making relationships real, exchange programs and examples of living out peace and justice.