11-13 FEBRUARY, 2006, PORTO ALEGRE, BRAZIL
The pre-assembly for youth was a time for young delegates (those 18-30 years old and nominated by their churches) and stewards to prepare for the assembly. During this time, they built a strong community together. This community was an essential source of support and sense of 'home' when all the other delegates and participants arrived at the start of the assembly.
It broadened my worldview and made me realise how far-reaching the ecumenical movement is. The youth brought an honest view to the movement that embraced the past and yet reached to the future.
Made the world so much more vivid and each of us so much more a vital link in it all.
(comments from the youth pre-Assembly participants at the 8th WCC Assembly in Harare, Zimbabwe)
The pre-Assembly was also a critical time for ecumenical learning as young people shared stories and learned about each other's contexts, beliefs and experiences. During the programme, the young people were oriented and prepared for the role they would play during the Assembly, with an introduction to the decision-making process of the WCC and how, as young people, they could truly impact and influence the ecumenical movement and future work of the WCC. The community of young people evolved and grew as it welcomed other youth from the Mutirão and Latin American youth camp once the assembly had started.