What is our role as Christians in protecting the environment? As the impact of climate change intensifies over time, children and young people are facing the consequences of our actions. This year, the World Council of Churches (WCC) is organizing an online event to observe Ecumenical International Youth Day as a space for young people to discuss climate change.
“International Youth Day is an intentional and proactive way in which the world acknowledges and celebrates the key contributions of young people in both church and society. The WCC-led event this year with the theme on climate justice, provides a common platform for young people from our member churches and ecumenical partners to take ownership of their space in the ecumenical movement,” says Joy Eva Bohol, WCC programme executive for Youth Engagement.
A toolkit will be launched and shared as a starting point for member churches and ecumenical partners to explore the theme on climate justice. “We hope that it will spark deeper, more intentional and engaging intergenerational conversations towards our collective active response in addressing climate change as people of faith!” says Bohol.
The WCC launched Ecumenical International Youth Day in 2019 for the first time in the past decade.
In 2020, areas of deep concern which the young people explored and focused on were industrialization, intergenerational conflict, modern living, COVID-19, the climate emergency, cultural expectations and migration—and how all these issues affect mental health.
For 2021, young people from member churches and ecumenical partners will take over WCC’s social media to showcase the intersectionality of the climate change theme.
The WCC is inviting young people to participate and submit materials for a “youthtakeover” to the 12 August programme, including ideas, video greetings, photos, songs, and dances, to youthwcc-coe [dot] org on or before 31 July.