SUOMEN EKUMEENINEN NEUVOSTO

EKUMENISKA RÅDET I FINLAND

FINNISH ECUMENICAL COUNCIL

Committee of Youth in Finnish Ecumenical Council

Background information: The Committee of Youth is one of the seven Committees within the Finnish Ecumenical Council, founded in 1917, and the Committee has been active since the 1970’s. 

 

The Committee of Youth promotes ecumenical youth work in association with other Christian fellowships and offers young people opportunities to take part in ecumenism on a national and international level. The Committee members represent 17 different Christian churches and associations in Finland and convene approximately 8 times annually. Meetings are attended by representatives of member churches, the President of the Committee along with secretaries of different fields.

 

The Committee organized the Education Program for International and Ecumenical Affairs in co-operation with other associations again in the fall of 2007 and 2008. The program is a registered trademark and has been taking place every fall for over 20 years. The team on behalf of the Committee consisted of the program coordinator, Secretary of Education, two assisting secretaries and helpful volunteers from a variety of Christian churches and associations. The program was organized in Joensuu and Helsinki in different Christian churches and organizations. Guest speakers were invited to address the participants and different services were attended as part of the program that was divided into four weekends over a period of one semester. Approximately 24 to 27 young people in total per year take part in the course.

 

The program aims to educate young people to act in ecumenism, introduce them with useful knowledge of different denominations and provide an opportunity to take part in worship with Christians from different denominational backgrounds. As of 2008 the Committee has been planning a training course on ecumenical affairs and ecumenical youth work for church employees, which most likely will be implemented in 2010 for the first time among church youth workers.

 

The Committee encourages young people to take part in international ecumenical meetings and study sessions and grants financial assistance for domestic and foreign trips, registration fees and other expenses. The Secretary of International Affairs informs people of ecumenical training courses organized by EYCE and other ecumenical functions. In 2008 the Committee endorsed applications and granted funds for people who attended EYCE study sessions, the European Fellowship Easter Course in Copenhagen, the World Student Federation general meeting in Canada and the EYCE meeting for National Contacts in Italy.

 

As of 2006 the Committee has taken part in religious dialogue among young people and continues to develop different forms of active participation in that field. The Committee has two designated secretaries working for the religious dialogue of young people. The Committee promoted ecumenical activity and distributed information on ecumenism at two different three-day meetings organized by the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church in 2008 and took part in an ecumenical advent celebration in December. The Committee’s spirituality project intends to publish prayer and worship music material when all the details have been finalized. Recently EYCE National Contact persons from Nordic and Baltic countries have been co-operating in promoting ecumenical activity and networking in the Nordic-Baltic area and are planning a meeting in Riga at the end of May 2009.

 

Maija Orsila

 



Suomen Ekumeeninen Neuvosto / Ekumeniska Rådet i Finland       Eteläranta 8 / Södra kajen 8            PL / PB 210          00131 Helsinki / Helsingfors


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