Reflection week for 18-35 year-olds

The next week of reflection for 18-35 year olds is scheduled to take place in the week of August 21-28, 2022.

This week of reflection is open to 18-35 year olds, students, young professionals, volunteers or those looking for a job.

Due to this specific program, we ask secondary school students, adults over 35 and families to choose another week to come to Taizé.

Review of the week of reflection in August 2021

In this document is included the complete program of workshops scheduled for the last week of August 2021:

PDF - 104 kb

Here are some echoes of the workshops written by young adults who participated in the week of reflection.

Ecological transition on the scale of a particular locality - with Jean-Luc Delpeuch (France), president of the community of the communes of the Clunisois.

Jean-Luc Delpeuch presented the local project of the community of the communes of the Clunisois. The aim of this project is to make the territory more resilient and to prepare it to face present and future challenges. This intercommunality of 42 municipalities has 450 representatives for 14,000 inhabitants and calls on participatory democracy and collective intelligence to fuel this project. From the weaknesses identified (including droughts, social division, aging of the population) and strengths (including biodiversity, communal forests, short circuits), three concrete actions were identified for each area. This example of ecological transition applied at a local level was of great interest to us, because the subject concerns us and is close to our hearts.

Nicolas (France), Tina and Lea (Germany)

Between Hope and Despair - Can Biblical Texts Open Up New Perspectives for Us in Times of Crisis? - with Katharina Opalka (Germany), Protestant theologian.

Katherina Opalka, a Protestant theologist working at the University of Bonn, presented her research on our capacity for resilience in the crises that we may encounter. A crisis can be defined as a time in our life when we lose control over a situation such as a break-up or a stressful job. She described to us different practices that allow us to endure the crisis, such as verbalizing and accepting the circumstances, sharing our emotions with friends or in prayer or maintaining our daily routines to restore a feeling of control. We were able to share our own experiences and strategies in order to, together, keep hope for a future that remains uncertain.

Fanny (France), Jara (Germany) and Ross (United States)

How to build a sustainable future in Africa in the current context? - with Germain Dasylva (Congo / France), former senior official of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

Formerly a volunteer in Taizé before working for 30 years at the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) of the United Nations as an economist in fisheries planning, Germain Dasylva began by painting a general portrait of the different dynamics and issues of the African continent, by insisting on the plurality of situations. He has hopeful view on the future of this continent carried by its youth and local initiatives. We appreciated his anecdotes fueled by his vast experience and his ability to provide interesting answers to the many questions asked.

Laeticia and Laëticia (France)

Ecological crisis and polarization of opinions: talking about climate change while remaining united - with Lea Fischer (Germany), psychologist.

This workshop was not a classic talk about climate change. Even though we have access to a lot of information about what is going on, most of the time we don’t know what to do with it. How do you communicate this concern without exhausting yourself or attacking others? Lea Fischer offers a psychological approach for this. While scientific facts are needed to convince others, emotional reactions are what people remember most in conversations: it means that taking care of the way we communicate is as important as presentng logical arguments. It’s not always easy to have pleasant conversations with people who seemingly have little in common with us. The speaker therefore encouraged us to try to understand the other’s point of view in terms of human values. When people feel understood, it is easier to exchange views and reach compromises. It may be a challenge, but it is another useful way to contribute to the ecological transition - we encourage you to talk about climate change in this new way.

Maria and Sofia (Spain)

Green Deal, Covid-19, migration: exchange on European news - with Philippe Lamberts (Belgium), MEP.

Philippe Lamberts, a seasoned MEP, presented his vision of how the European Union is tackling major current issues. While there are some notable successes, in particular for the distribution of vaccines against Covid-19, or for the development of the Green Deal (a package of laws aimed at combating climate change), the European Union is still not up to the task on migration issues. By answering questions from young people, Philippe Lamberts shared with us the place of his Christian faith in considering subjects in a systemic way and tackling them from the right end. Thus, he declared that "faith is more important than anything" in facing crises. He also insisted on maintaining confidence in institutions and representative democracy, and called for migrants to be considered as human beings and not as instruments.

Joan (Spain) & Annamaria (Hungary)

Image (icon) of God, of Creation, of the Kingdom: an eastern three-dimensional perspective of the Icon - with Joan Lena (Albania / Netherlands), Orthodox priest.

Should we create icons when it says we must not create an image of God? By becoming incarnate in Jesus, God makes the human being greater and opens a door to him of access to the knowledge of God in the person of Jesus. From a review of the history of internal struggles within Christendom to find out if we can make icons, Father Joan Lena dusted off the image we had of icons and updated it. The icon is a door that allows the human being to enter into a relationship with God. Not an image that we idolize, not even necessarily an image - the Church is an icon of the Kingdom of God - the icon is a viaticum that comes to the rescue of our loneliness and our narcissism. In a creation where humans have taken up all the space to the point of threatening their very existence, the icon represents a salutary openness to God and thus reminds us of the divine vocation of man on Earth. "We are not the kings of creation but the crucified kings of creation".

Robbert-Jan (Netherlands) and Ambroise (Spain)

Understanding the situation of Christians in the Orient, with a focus on current events and testimonies from the field - with Marielle Fontanilles (France), director of the France network of L’Œuvre d’Orient and Beatrix Nester (France), Volunteer returning from a mission in Lebanon.

Pope John Paul II used to say that Christianity has two lungs: the West and the East. This workshop on Eastern Christians was touching and fascinating. Two young women, members of l’Oeuvre d’Orient, and some Christians from the East, offered us complementary points of view on the situation. The historical and political context as well as concrete testimonies allowed us to understand the need to defend this cultural heritage.

Quentin and Aurélien (France)

Women in the Bible, women in the Church. - with Sr. Christina (sisters of St. André) and Orsi Hardi (Hungary / France).

What do you think of the place of Mary, Martha, Elisabeth and more generally of women in the Bible? If, to this question, you do not know what to answer then the rest of this text is made for you. A theme? The women. Where? In the Bible but also in the Church. How? ’Or’ What? through stories, testimonies. A question? Which woman has been inspiring in your life as a Christian? An idea that marked us in this workshop: "the Bible was written by men, for men and interpreted by men." It is important to redefine woman not by her role of mother, wife, child or by her relation to the man, but by what she is.

Marie and Mathilde (France)

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