Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Launch of the Book of Lutheran Identity for Youth

After more than a year of planning, writing, organizing and editing, last Thursday, February 23rd, the National Youth Ministry of the IELCO, launched their very own (and first in Latin America) book of workshops and activities to strengthen Lutheran identity. The youth held a celebration in the IELCO library to tell the story of the construction of this book, which is supported by the Lutheran World Federation, and to thank all those who helped write the book.

At the launch of the book in the IELCO library. From left to right: Liria Suárez Preciado (youth leader), Pastor Luzmarly Díaz (adviser to the National Youth Ministry), Marian Coy (coordinator of the National Youth Ministry), Pastor Atahualpa Hernández (Bishop of IELCO), and July Pinzón (communicator for the National Youth Ministry). Photo by Katie.
The book is divided into four chapters based on the Solas of the reformation (in English: Word Alone, Grace Alone, Faith Alone, and Christ Alone). Each of these four chapters contains the four components to Lutheran identity as named by the Lutheran World Federation; to be Lutheran means: to be Doctrinal, to be Political, to be Ecumenical, and to have a commitment to protecting the natural environment.

It is intended to be implemented in each of the Lutheran congregations in Colombia as part of celebration of the 500 years of the Reformation, which is happening all year. The local youth groups will work through it all year. As the first of its kind, this book will also be distributed through the Lutheran World Federation to other countries in Latin America, a very exciting achievement for the youth of Colombia. The National Youth Ministry was also informed that during the Lutheran World Federation’s global assembly this year in Namibia, two projects have been chosen to be showcased from each region of the world. This book was chosen to be one of the two to be shown from Latin America.

During the weekend (25 - 26 of February) the youth held a retreat for all local youth group leaders, to work on understanding the book and to practice using it. The retreat was also a great space to strengthen the youth ministry through building relationships across leaders from congregations very far away from each other. 

Youth leaders from around the country (with myself and Pastor Jairo Suarez) during an ice-breaker activity. The youth leaders are themselves youth, volunteering in the position. Photo by Jorge Díaz, director of communication of IELCO).

Arley Hernández (left) and Caterin Franco (right) looking over the book for the first time.
Photo by Jorge Díaz, director of communications for IELCO.
Curtis leading a workshop out of the book, as an example, for the youth leaders.
Photo by Mauricio Chala.

The youth leaders from around the country at their retreat, proudly showing their books.
Photo by Jorge Díaz, director of communications of IELCO.