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PHOTOS FROM “COME TO ME 2015” IN THE WORLDWIDE
ICCRS has the mandate to promote unity and help the CCR with all its different expressions of grace, in order to spread the culture of Pentecost worldwide. The Youth Committee, created in 2009, has the same task as that of ICCRS, but with its focus on youth of the Renewal. The Committee is still young and, therefore, still in the process of defining the steps that need to be taken regarding the work with youth. After its creation, its members gathered a number of times in order to organize some activities, and during those meetings, we have decided that one of the first challenges would be to promote communication among youth. We are giving priority to the creation of a communication net, where internet stands as an invaluable tool for interaction, sharing of experiences, formation and information.
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Report of the ICCRS-Youth-Committee
by Dn. Christof Hemberger
Since I became a member of the ICCRS-Council I have noticed that “young people” are always on our agenda when and wherever we meet. It seems to me that ICCRS is focusing a lot on the next generation(s). And this is right! Young people are the future of the Renewal. Their faces will be the faces of the CCR in 20, 30 or more years! They will be the leaders of tomorrow.
The ICCRS youth-committee has members from (almost) all regions in the world: Br. James Shin (Asia), Ann Brereton (Australia), Fr. Emmanuel Tusiime (Africa) and Fr. Wojciech Nowacki and myself (Europe). Unfortunately we “lost” our American representative (and up-till-then-chairman) but I am sure we will soon find someone who can take the seat of Marcos Volcan, who resigned at the last ICCRS-council-meeting.
The task of the ICCRS-youth-committee is simple and difficult at the same time: We shall keep an eye on the development of youth in the worldwide CCR and advise the ICCRS-Council in its intentions to serve the younger generation in the CCR all over the world.
In the past years we have done this in various ways:
At the ICCRS-council-meetings we often raised the question, whether what was discussed is also the situation faced by the younger generation. Are our decisions and resolutions including the young people and their way of thinking, planning and believing? Is what we are planning also including the next generation?
We also give advice to the leaders responsible for the ICCRS formation project: What kind of teachings need to be given at the various formation projects to enable young leaders to grow in spiritual maturity and leadership skills? How can we improve in promoting those training courses (because young people do speak a different language, make use of social media etc.)?
During the ICCRS-council meetings we also meet as a committee to prepare the upcoming youth events or youth-streams at ICCRS events. Here I would like to highlight the “First youth-conference” that ICCRS ran in Brazil in 2012, followed by the “2nd youth gathering” during the ICCRS-conference that took place in Uganda in 2014.
It was amazing to see many young men and women coming from all over the world attending these two events! Everyone who came got encouraged in his/her personal discipleship by inspiring teachings, workshops and times of praise, worship and personal prayer. We also had panels and testimonies on stage that discussed and explained the situation of young people in the CCR of today. Besides what was happening on stage those meetings became platforms for networking among the younger generation. Strangers became friends while sharing about their personal experiences and testimonies. I know of a lot of participants who are still in contact with each other, organizing outreaches to the others’ countries, visiting each other and sharing their experiences e.g. via facebook-groups (see: CCR youth!).
The youth-committee also is supporting ICCRS in running special events. We do this in giving advice to those responsible and also by joining in if wanted / needed. Here I would like to mention two projects that had a deep impact on the younger CCR: one with a long tradition, the other one is rather “new born”:
Whenever a World-Youth-Day is taking place ICCRS is collaborating with the local CCR to host a “CCR event” at the heart of WYD. Here we invite all local CCR and those who come from far away to attend WYD to come together for a “praise & worship-event” as part of the official WYD-program.
The other project that I would like to mention is “Come to Me”. The idea was born when some young leaders met at the “ICCRS Prophetic Consultation” in Bethlehem 2013 who were thinking about how to connect all kinds of different CCR-groups, -ministries, -fellowships etc. to participate at one common prayer-project. In the end youth-groups and -initiatives coming from more than 50 (!) nations joined in! This event will be repeated from now onwards on 18th February each year (to remember the “birthday” of the CCR).
CCR Youth united in prayer
This is what we did on February 18th all over the world. On all continents youth and young adults of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal united in prayer for the conversion and baptism in the Holy Spirit of all young people.
In some countries the event was shifted to the previous weekend because of the Ash Wednesday celebrations. These groups have spent even more time in prayer not just one hour and some have decided to do it again on Wednesday evening because of the overwhelming power they have experienced during the weekend.
The date is very special: it is the 48th anniversary of the Duquesne weekend where 25 young people prayed for a new Pentecost and the Holy Spirit changed their lives. See the short video by Patti Mansfield.
This year we united for Ash Wednesday and we started our Lent with this marvelous event. Thousands of young people united in prayer!
We have received feedback from 32 countries so far. You can read testimonies and find some of the pictures on our Facebook page.
God is good! He invited us to come to his presence and be filled again with his power. And we the new generation of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal obeyed His call. We are confident that the Lord is doing new things and this is a new start of a new generation!
We will unite again next year, same day, same goal: new Pentecost for all the youth.
I want to say a big thanks to all who helped in organizing this event at local, country, region or continental level! May the Lord bless you all!