Asian Lay Leaders (ALL) Forum
1. Uniqueness of ALL Forum
Following Pope Francis’ teachings, ALL Forum promotes the spirit of “reaching out” to the marginalized as a Church. In that, those elements are distinguished: Collaborations among partner organizations, providing on-going and holistic programs for youth formation like Asian Youth Academy (AYA)/ Asian Theology Forum(ATF) and “Moving School”. Also ALL Forum is based on concretized and praxis-centered collaborations among five partners: social issues-specialized WTI, spirituality-centered Fondacio Asia, ecology-focused JCIM & RTRC and the centennial-long International Movement of Catholic Students (IMCS) AP. Also ALL Forum focuses on Catholics but is not limited to them. It promotes a wider ecumenical, inter-religious and inter-cultural encounter and learning for mutual growth.
2. Purposes of ALL Forum and Its Methodology
- Young lay leaders working for “social ministries” have played an important role in bridging Church to societies in Asia, but reality of encouraging and empowering them is mostly none except some lay organizations. But their supports have been often stopped at a short term or an event-based occasion. Recognizing it deeply, ALL Forum is to provide them with a solid and systematic formation program for them.
- In order to realize the People of God as a genuine local Church of Asia, ALL Forum is committed to urgent matters such as youth, women and girl children, ecology, migrants, Indigenous peoples (IPs) and other marginalized whom FABC has designated as the “special pastoral concerns” by harnessing the Catholic Social Teachings (CSTs) and “pastoral spiral” assessment of FABC. Especially ALL Forum is to provide young lay leaders with a combined program like AYA/ATF, a “Moving School” for those who cannot afford to join AYA/ATF which is to be held on a national or regional level and Spirituality & Peace-building Pilgrimage in Asia.
- All the three major programs are based on theo-spiritual approach as a contextual doing theology, or “theology of relevance” to Asian peoples and cultures.
3. How to Support ALL Forum
- For our solid partnership, the five partners have coordinated the AYA/ATF programs in Surattani, Thailand and Yogyakarta, Indonesia in 2016 and 2017. Some 70 participants including some 15-20 speakers have acknowledged its synergy and efficiency needed to be strengthened through ALL Forum.
- All the partners agreed that since programs of ALL Forum should be held in a stable manner, it needs to have an office in Manila but not yet have one. They have also suggested that FABC-OHD could make AYA/ATF one of its official programs for solidarity.