Category Archives: LWF together – the earth needs you

LWF Youth Core Group for the UNFCCC COP18 delegation meets in Geneva

LWF Youth Core Group for the UNFCCC COP18 delegation

LWF Youth Core Group for the UNFCCC COP18 delegation (L to R) Ms. Kleber, Ms. Rakoto and Mr. Guti

The core group of the LWF Youth delegation to the 18th Conference of Parties (COP 18) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) met last week (1st-4thOctober 2012) at the Ecumenical Center, in Geneva, with the outgoing LWF Youth Secretary Rev. Roger Schmidt. The core group consists of the three co-leaders of the expected 10 LWF Youth delegates to the COP18: Ms. Tsiri Rakoto from Madagascar, who is now doing her internship at the LWF Human Rights and International Relations Office, Ms. Raquel Kleber from Brazil  who is about to complete her undergraduate degree in International Relations and me, Mr. Warime Guti from Papua New Guinea one of the LWF Council member as a youth.

It was a challenging task to brainstorm ideas on how to prepare the delegation before  COP18, and to think about our strategies and perspectives during the conference and what what is generally expected to be the output by mid 2013.

The core group’s meeting this week brought together ideas and we strategically set up four main goals this delegation is aimed to achieve by mid 2013. The four goals are:

  1. By mid 2013 the delegation members have mobilized 300 young people from at least 8 member church to be active on Climate Justice in their respective context
  2. By mid 2013 the leadership of at least 8 member church have heard about the urgent and continuing importance of Climate Change
  3. By mid 2013 the delegation members have meaningfully contributed to civil society and ecumenical coalition
  4. By mid 2013 the delegation members have meaningfully accompanied and advocated in the UNFCCC process

In order to prepare the whole group before attending the meeting in Doha we have planned to facilitate two webinars. The two webinar will be co-facilitated by the three of us with Roger. Basically the webinar will look into deepening the understanding of the delegates about Climate Change in general, UNFCC processes, the COP meeting itself and explore more into understanding respective delegate’s local context of how Climate Change is dealt with in the local church and the country.

COP18 and the Meeting of the Parties of the Kyoto Protocol will be held from 26th November to the 7th December 2012 in Doha, Qatar. For the Conference we have we have strategies to facilitate our delegates to understand more into the process of discussion in the two major areas; MITIGATION and ADAPTATION. We are also expected to join ecumenical and civil society’s coalitions to advocate on specific issues that are in line with the values and visions of LWF. The time there in Doha will be hectic and we are also expecting last minute planning and strategies depending on what we see there on the ground.

And now after the meeting each one of the delegate is expected to develop a concept of what they will be doing back at their local churches in order for us to achieve our four main goals by mid 2013. As co-leaders we hope to facilitate with the rest of the delegates during the stay in Doha to develop ideas so delegates grasp what they can do effectively back at their respective context.

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LWF Youth Core Group for the UNFCCC COP18 delegation meets in Geneva

LWF Youth Core Group for the UNFCCC COP18 delegation

LWF Youth Core Group for the UNFCCC COP18 delegation (L to R) Ms. Kleber, Ms. Rakoto and Mr. Guti

The core group of the LWF Youth delegation to the 18th Conference of Parties (COP 18) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) met last week (1st-4th October 2012) at the Ecumenical Center, in Geneva, with the outgoing LWF Youth Secretary Rev. Roger Schmidt. The core group consists of the three co-leaders of the expected 10 LWF Youth delegates to the COP18: Ms. Tsiri Rakoto from Madagascar, who is now doing her internship at the LWF Human Rights and International Relations Office, Ms. Raquel Kleber from Brazil who is about to complete her undergraduate degree in International Relations and me, Mr. Warime Guti from Papua New Guinea one of the LWF Council member as a youth.

It was a challenging task to brainstorm ideas on how to prepare the delegation before COP18, and to think about our strategies and perspectives during the conference and what what is generally expected to be the output by mid 2013.
The core group’s meeting this week brought together ideas and we strategically set up four main goals this delegation is aimed to achieve by mid 2013. The four goals are:

  1. By mid 2013 the delegation members have mobilized 300 young people from at least 8 member church to be active on Climate Justice in their respective context
  2. By mid 2013 the leadership of at least 8 member church have heard about the urgent and continuing importance of Climate Change
  3. By mid 2013 the delegation members have meaningfully contributed to civil society and ecumenical coalition
  4. By mid 2013 the delegation members have meaningfully accompanied and advocated in the UNFCCC process

In order to prepare the whole group before attending the meeting in Doha we have planned to facilitate two webinars. The two webinar will be co-facilitated by the three of us with Roger. Basically the webinar will look into deepening the understanding of the delegates about Climate Change in general, UNFCC processes, the COP meeting itself and explore more into understanding respective delegate’s local context of how Climate Change is dealt with in the local church and the country.

COP18 and the Meeting of the Parties of the Kyoto Protocol will be held from 26th November to the 7th December 2012 in Doha, Qatar. For the Conference we have we have strategies to facilitate our delegates to understand more into the process of discussion in the two major areas; MITIGATION and ADAPTATION. We are also expected to join ecumenical and civil society’s coalitions to advocate on specific issues that are in line with the values and visions of LWF. The time there in Doha will be hectic and we are also expecting last minute planning and strategies depending on what we see there on the ground.

And now after the meeting each one of the delegate is expected to develop a concept of what they will be doing back at their local churches in order for us to achieve our four main goals by mid 2013. As co-leaders we hope to facilitate with the rest of the delegates during the stay in Doha to develop ideas so delegates grasp what they can do effectively back at their respective context.

Ideas for LWF together in 2012


It was an experiment. For the first time, the Lutheran World Federation invited youth groups around the world to share their hopes and dreams by partnering to groups in other parts of the world (as you can see in the short video above).

But how can this experiment move on and take on concerns that were raised? Here is the idea.

More languages actively supported: The last guide book is already available in five languages. Besides that, there would be volunteer language coordinators for six languages or so who would help run the program and are able to support the youth groups in their respective languages.

Not one, but three programs: There would be three different types of LWF together:

  • LWF together intensive: This is similar to the setup in 2011. Three youth groups from different continents work together for a longer period of time. This form is for groups that have a better endurance but will be rewarded with friendships and deep learning.
  • LWF together camp: In the Lutheran communion, there are many youth ministries that organize camps of different sorts: Some just for a weekend, others for several weeks. In this segment, LWF provides resources for leaders of camps in order to help them prepare their programs and offer a way to connect their work with the wider communion.
  • LWF together action: Every month or so, a youth group suggests an action that they are doing in their own context. That might waste cleaning, a special worship service or something completely different. They are inviting other youth groups to do the same in their context. This way, ideas and concrete actions spread around the world.
These are some of the ideas we are discussing. It would be great if you could give your input below. What do you think about these ideas for the LWF together next year?

The final stretch of the journey of LWF together

A journey is nearing its end. Many of the participants are going to end it with prayer and a celebration.

It was a journey that brought together 100 groups of young people from different places in the world. There were many exchanges on biblical texts and how young people see current problems – surrounding the environment and  justice.

This journey was not always easy. Some groups lost momentum and stopped meeting. The contact between groups was difficult in most cases; it is just not easy to communicate with people you have never met, in a language which is not your native one and using the Internet.

Next Sunday, Reformation Sunday, many groups are going to talk about LWF together in the worship services of their congregations. And they are all going to pray for the partner groups.

We are also going to use this week in order to discuss about the future of LWF together. Tomorrow, there will be a post on some ideas for next year’s program and your comments on it.  Later this week, we are also going to invite applications for coordinators of the program.

So, stay tuned for a week of conversation about LWF together, leading up to the Reformation Day finale.

Ideas for Durban – Advocating for a global approach on Climate Change

The World meets in Durban at the end of the year for another round of negotiations around a unified response to climate change. The stakes are high. Currently, the countries of the world have not agreed how they react to climate change together in the next years.

LWF Youth is going to be part of the conference with seven young people from around the communion together with a bigger group organized by the World Council of churches. Our approach is to look at the wider issues of justice and not to get lost in the technical details of the negotiations. Therefore, we are not going to spend most of our time in observing the talks but rather work on the future of a theological approach to ecological justice and what that may mean in the home contexts of the participants.

Therefore, also your ideas and contributions are needed. We are going to send out much more information in the following weeks.

And definitely, your  governments need encouragement to get the job done in Durban. They are going to negotiate on the basis of a inter-governmental treaty called United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. There are two basic goals: (1) To mitigate the impact of climate change by minimizing the human contribution to climate, ie. reducing the output of Carbon Dioxide and other climate gases. (2) To adapt to the changing climate by financing for poorer countries measures like improving agriculture and preparation against disasters.

It would be highly important that the governments come up with a clear and binding outcome.

Two months to go – LWF together

Reformation Day marks the end of the first run of LWF together – the earth needs you. But there is still a lot to do until then!

The first part of the year, the groups spent in understanding better the biblical connections to creation and justice. They also tried to understand their context better and analyzed particular environmental problems.

Now, it is about to start a concrete activity. The guidebook of LWF together lays out some ideas. But obviously, the activities are supposed to fit into the context and does not overburden the group.

Then the groups are also invited to celebrate the conclusion of the program with a prayer or by leading a part of the worship of the congregation. More ideas for that will be shared later.

Mid-term reviews for LWF together

Less than four months ago, the Lutheran World Federation launched an exciting new program for young adults: LWF together – the earth needs you. More than 100 groups of young people joined and are since then in contact with two other groups in different continents. We asked the leaders of the groups to give their impressions of the first months.

How is it going?

Many groups report to be quite happy with the program. Motiviated groups are working on the basis of the LWF together guidebook and are in contact with other groups. They are doing the bible studies and exchange perspectives.

Many groups, however, report problems to be in contact with one or sometimes even both partner groups. Also, groups differ very much in speed. There are groups that meet once a week, others only once a month.

Another issue for groups is the different timing of school holidays. There are countries in the Northern hemisphere that have school vacations from June to September. During that time, it is very difficult for groups to meet. For many groups in the Southern hemisphere, it is exactly the opposite. It is school time and it is easy to meet regularly.

Ideas to improve

The leaders of the groups contributed several ideas:

  • More frequent communication from the LWF office could help keep the groups on track.
  • Perhaps inviting to concrete action would help the groups to do specific things (beyond the action ideas in the guidebook).
  • Share the snail mail addresses in order to make contacts possible for those who have bad Internet connection.
  • Organize real life meeting within a given country.
  • The guidebook should be more clear about how the outcome of the group should be shared.
Certainly, there are even more ideas of what could be improved. Please share your ideas in the comment section.