Wednesday, October 29
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In a country that is predominantly Roman Catholic, a small denomination like the Waldensian Church has mastered the art of working collaboratively with a larger federation of Protestant churches to accomplish its mission. Cultivating young adult leadership is a key aspect of the Waldensian mission.
A Waldensian pastor founded the international AGAPE Ecumenical Centre after World War II in the Waldensian valleys of Italy. At that time, building strong communications networks and learning to work together to solve the many problems Europe faced in the aftermath of war were of utmost importance. The AGAPE Centre continues to offer programs where young adults representing different countries, ethnic groups, religious beliefs, and political perspectives come together to enter into authentic dialogue, engage in experiential learning, and connect faith and ethics.
Dialogue and learning at the centre spans the most challenging political, social, and economic problems facing the international community today—hunger, poverty, climate change, tremendous inequalities in wealth, lack of access to food and clean water for so many. The list could go on. Hope can be found emerging in the spirit and conversations of young adults. Many who participate in AGAPE programs describe the experience as transformative.
Jenn Lindsay traveled with a group sponsored by the World Student Christian Federation of North America to AGAPE to take part in the 2011 International Political Camp. After engaging in a ritual about a Native American approach to ownership, Lindsay reflected on what she had learned: “Love is the only thing that is ours to give, and the more we give away, the more we have to give away. Love is the only infinitely renewable free resource.”
I invite you today to reflect on the importance of ecumenical and interfaith collaboration and to pray with me.
—Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty, associate professor of theology, Bellarmine University, Louisville Kentucky
Let us join in prayer for:
Waldensian Evangelical Church: Rev. Maria Bonafede, moderator • Confronti: Dr. Paolo Naso, director • Waldensian Theological Faculty • Federation of Evangelical Churches in Italy: Ms. Laura Casorio, general secretary, Ms. Bianca de Lecce, Refugee and Migrant Service • Casa Materna: Rosaria Vincenzi, administrator
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
Working together, across national and religious lines, may we increase God’s love. Amen.