The 2019 Protestant Youth Meeting: Open Space

Dsc_3252.1On the first weekend of October, approximately 500 young people arrived in Nové Město na Moravě, Czech Republic, for the 29th edition of the (Not Only) Protestant Youth Meeting, this time with the topic of  “Open Space”.

How do we keep an open mind and attitude toward others and yet protect our own personal boundaries? Does open space provide safety? Are we willing to enter it and share our testimonies, or do we prefer running to the safety of our own “social bubbles”? Is freedom and openness a source of hope, or is it rather an opportunity to question any values and principles, any ground on which one can firmly stand?

Throughout the weekend, the participants were seeking answers to these questions during lectures, debates and discussions, films, common meals, walks, meditation, but also through singing, praying, or attending a concert.

Dsc_1559The guests and lecturers included a famous Czech journalist, an architect, pastors, but also a member of the ECCB management, or professors from the Protestant Theological Faculty. The participants shared their thoughts on ecumenical openness, the world of media and fake news, exploring the universe, they discussed the message of the Resurrection, the strength of Biblical parables, Biblical stories…

The most inspiring part, however, is the community itself. Young Protestants come from all corners of the country to spend three days with their peers, to talk about and think about their faith. Nearly six hundred people attended the final Sunday service, including brothers and sisters from the local ECCB church.

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The next meeting of this kind will take place in Vsetín, Moravia, in September 2020 and will last four days.

Jiří Hofman