Global Young Reformers Network: A place to connect with the wider church

2017 May. LWF Youth Pre-Twelfth Assembly participants on a road trip to Ondangwa. Photo: LWF/JC Valeriano

New program executive for youth shares vision for network

(LWI) - The Global Young Reformers Network 2.0 (GYRN) is “a place for youth to organize and connect with the wider church,” said the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Program Executive for Youth Ms. Savanna Sullivan where she shared her vision for the GYRN with its steering committee last week.

“There is a need to continue supporting intergenerational dialogue for mutual understanding and increasing collaboration,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan, the former Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Program Director for Young Adult Ministry was addressing the committee for the first time. “I will not have all of the ideas, but I want to be the person to whom you bring the ideas, and we work together to implement.”

Emphasizing that the work of the network is “youth-led” Sullivan reminded the steering committee that the “GYRN is for youth initiatives and for leadership development.”

The network aims to develop activities according to its three LWF Youth priorities: revival of churches, equity, and education and two sub-priorities: climate justice and youth participation as reflected in the youth message to the LWF Twelfth Assembly (2017).

“If youth participation is to be truly valued, these priorities named by youth must become priorities for the whole communion,” Sullivan reiterated.

The overall focus of the GYRN are to strengthen relationships and build community among member church youth, share best practices and challenges of youth leadership, and coordinate activities within the scope of the GYRN priorities.

“There must be meaningful inclusion of youth in every aspect of the church,” Sullivan said during her introduction to the network.

The GYRN steering committee includes representatives from each LWF region. Further clarifying the tasks of the GYRN, Sullivan asked “How do we build a strong community among ourselves and take action?”

Plans for the steering committee include regional meetings to discuss specific ideas and challenges to the context and monthly project collaboration meetings. An in-person gathering later this year is pending due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.

The LWF GYRN is a continuation of the Global Young Reformers Network from 2012-2017, a network formed by youth in the Lutheran communion. The network functions as the main platform for young people within the LWF to connect with each other, promote initiatives and organize youth leadership in member churches.

By LWF/A.Gray

Global Young Reformers Network 2.0 is a program of the LWF that engages the next generation of youth from the LWF member churches who are eager to contribute to the life and reformation of church and society.