Week of reflection for 18-35 year-olds

Allow friendship to grow in order to prepare peace

From 20 to 27 August, the third week of reflection for 18-35 year-olds was held in Taizé. It brought together more than 2,000 participants from various European countries and from around the world, with the 200 volunteers from all the continents present on the hill this summer.
The dates for a similar week next year have been announced: it will be held from 19 to 26 August, 2018.

Human Responsibility and the search for God

As Brother Alois said in his meditation on Thursday night, "This week, we are having many exchanges concerning our responsibility as Christians in our societies. At the same time, we are going together to the sources of faith, by means of common prayer and meditating on Scripture. Human responsibility and the search for God, these two realities are so inseparable.It is the third year that we are holding such a week of deeper searching on the hill, supported by the very precious presence of speakers from various backgrounds and to whom we express our gratitude."

Some specific features of the programme

  • Each day, at the end of the morning prayer, a brother gave a biblical meditation for all the young adults present. These meditations will be published in the coming months as Commented Bible Passages.
  • At the end of the afternoon, the young people found their sharing groups, formed according to age, to get acquainted and to deepen the theme of the day.
  • After lunch, a festive moment was offered every day next in tent 18, behind Oyak: a "festival of peoples" offering musical insights into various cultures
  • Every evening at 8 pm, two young people from all parts of the world gave personal testimony. On Thursday evening, after his meditation, Brother Alois also gave the microphone to a young Lebanese Orthodox Theodore, whose text is on line.

A wide range of themes

Morning and afternoon, workshops were held with many speakers from various countries and from all walks of life: leaders of NGOs, academics, high-ranking officials and political representatives, witnesses engaged in interreligious dialogue, artists.

Particularly welcome was the presence of the founder of L’Arche, Jean Vanier, who led four roundtables, one on God’s omnipotence and his humility, with a Muslim intellectual, Abdelkader Oukrid.

Several workshops each day allowed the young participants to deepen their understanding of the great questions of faith. Among the theologians of various churches, for example:

  • Katharina Opalka, a German Protestant, participated in several exchanges on God’s response to the suffering or the modalities of the call of God addressed to each one.
  • Andrew Bigg, a young Anglican priest, a physicist by training, shared his interest in the dialogue between science and faith, specifically the concept of stability applied to modern physics and theology, the subject of his thesis.
  • Bishop Ryś, who is in charge of the new evangelization in the Polish Bishops’ Conference, had made a special trip from Poland. During a workshop, he made the link between vocation and creation - by creating, God calls to existence.
  • Martin Kopp, a Protestant theologian responsible for monitoring environmental issues for the Protestant Federation of France, participated in an exchange with Agata Kroh, professor of Hebrew and Judaic culture, on the theme of "re-reading Genesis in the light of Jewish tradition and contemporary ecological challenges".

Among the themes of reflection on the major issues of solidarity at the moment, let us emphasize for example:

  • "Are our identities threatened by globalization?" With among others Dominique Quinio, president of the Semaines Sociales de France and Mark Buck, a young politician from the Netherlands
  • "The first victim is the truth: a few keys to reading the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the reasons for hope and commitment.” With Faustin Gahima, solidarity actor and founder of NGOs in the DRC
  • "Being young and Roma in Europe today", a meeting hosted by a group of young people from the Roma community in Hungary.
  • "What is the right place of religions in society?" With Philippe Lamberts, member of the European Parliament (Belgium), Botond Feledy, international policy expert (Hungary) and Mohamad Saleh, Adyan Foundation (Lebanon).
  • How should European countries respond to the arrival of many migrants? Together with Jérôme Vignon, President of the National Observatory of Poverty and Social Exclusion (France), Philippe Segretain, member of the Semaines Sociales de France and members of the Jesuit Refugee Service.

Several artistic workshops were proposed in Wanagi Tacanku, the place that hosts each summer since 2015 the project "ArtTogether". Here are some of the artistic themes:

  • Christian Hanser spent a day in Taizé with his caravans of the Rêvothèque allowing everyone, through a fairy universe, to pause, to dream, to catch their breath.
  • "The breath of Etty", a French performance by the company "Le Puits", taken from the diary of Etty Hillesum.
  • Several concerts were proposed, including two on the organ of the Church of Reconciliation
  • The Freedom Singers choir from Myanmar offered a recital under the title "Let freedom ring!"

A special number of the “Taizé Times”

During the week, the members of the media team prepared a journal to report on the week, including various feedbacks on the workshops and giving the speakers a chance to speak. Most of the websites of the organizations represented have also been included on page 4. The PDF version of the journal is available here:

PDF - 4.4 Mb

A special program on « Facebook Live » the Thursday evening

During the week of reflection, a special program was broadcast on Thursday evening via "Facebook Live" [http://www.facebook.com/taize] and on the Taizé site. Speakers and young participants shared the highlights of their week, followed by evening prayer and brother Alois’s meditation.

Printed from: http://www.taize.fr/en_article22603.html - 6 August 2020
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