Ikuméni, the Good Interreligious and Ecumenic Practices Lab, coordinated by CREAS, simultaneously held an in-person gathering in four Latin American and Caribbean cities (Lima, Peru; Bogota, Colombia; Cunaco, Chile and San Jose, Costa Rica) with over one hundred and ten youngsters belonging to different christian denominations to wrap up the third edition of their training course.
The motto of the event was “We walked under the guidance of faith. ( 2 Corinthians 5,7). Shared paths for a fraternal world,” which inspired and guided the topics of the event an the moments lived during the gathering. Such included the participation of catholic, lutheran, methodist, pentecostal, anglican, presbiterian and evangelic youngsters from Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Ecuador, Honduras and Venezuela.
The number of young people enrolled was of one hundred and fourteen, with over seventy-five of them aged between 18 and 35, who had the chance to meet in person after four months of online training.
Elena López Ruf, head of the Ikuméni team and responsible for the area Religion and Development in CREAS, expressed: “we are very happy for this third Ikuméni edition’s wrap up and for so many new young people coming over year by year and feeling summoned to learn, sharing the experience from different christian denominations, to live
the art of hospitality and carry out good ecumenic and interreligious practices in their communities and lands surrounded by a fraternal spirit and with hope.”
A special moment ocurred with the youngsters had the chance to show the design of their Good Ecumenic and Interreligious Actions and made a commitment to comply with the steps to be followed with the implementation guided by faith within their lands, so they and their communities are able to provide a constructive offering to the challenges presented to them and be recipients of hope. Fors uch goal, they had to choose one of the three
proposed outlines: humanitarian issues, sustainable development and global ecology, and peace building.
Colin, a Peruvian catholic, expressed: “I’m taking with me these Good Practices. While listening to my pairs I was thinking that I could do that, too. We need these environments for dialogue and listening to each other.”
Ikuméni joins the creation time
The beginning of this gathering matched the Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, which gives start to the Creation Time. So, the youngsters started with an activity that they call “The Prayer Tent” where they prayed a special ecumenic prayer in line with the proposed motto for this year (“Let peace and justice flow.”) They talked about environmentaly friendly practices and made focus on the way in which human relations that distinguish our societies today unfold with the goal to learn how to develop the necessary behaviours for living together in our shared home with a “fraternal spirit”.
Ikuméni keeps growing
In every edition, Ikuméni increases its audience and this shows that ecumenic and interreligious realities exist in new generations.
At the end, participants receive the certification from CELAM – CEBITEPAL – CUR Unireformada – Qonakuy and CREAS – Ikuméni. This project is carried out too with the collaboration of Focolare Movement, Caritas Latin America and the Caribbean, Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church, the Colombian Episcopal Conference (CEC, in
Spanish), the Pastoral Institution of Youngsters and Seculars of the Peruvian Episcopal Conference (CEP).