Moving the Church towards the Reign of God
Moving School in Lahore, Pakistan
Dr. Paul Hwang / Director of ALL Forum
In 2018, ALL Forum plans to conduct the “Moving school” for Youth in Pakistan and Philippines. Apart from Bangladesh in which ALL Forum has completed the moving school last Feb. with some 35 participants from 7 dioceses in the country joining it, the lay-centered umbrella body will focus more on empowerment for the young laypeople. It is not exaggerated to say that harmony and peace with different religious denominations especially Islam as the major religion and ethnic groups is the lifeline without which a minority like Christianity in Pakistan cannot survive indeed. On the other hand strengthening their Christian identity among Church workers in those countries is also crucial. Inwardly, solidarity should be made manifest with increased laity involvement in decision making at all levels of the Church in order to serve the poor and marginalized people in the country.
To achieve this goal, ALL Forum will promote various formation programs especially for young lay leaders. We employ the Catholic Social Teachings (CSTs) as main tool, as well as the spirit or principles of FABC like “Triple dialogue” and “Pastoral spiral practice” based on a dialectical methodology “from below”. As an effective spiritual formation, the youth forum places much emphasis on the religious identity amid the all-things-mixed global world. Mentioned above, strengthening the Christian identity of the young is very urgent and relevant because they need to be conscious of their role in peace-building and serving people in need. It is based on the fact that Christians in Pakistan is a minority unlike the Philippines where Christianity is majority, and experience pressures from dominant cultures and religions like in many countries in Asia.
- Providing a New Vision and Spirit for Lay leaders based on FABC & CSTs:
The moving school is a youth forum which will be based on “integral human development” often expressed in the Pope Francis’ documents like Joy of the Gospel and Laudato Si. On the other hand, it stresses the “spiritual dimension” in human development by placing more emphasis on local people’s spirituality, inter-subjectivities and inter-becoming in building their communities where the Spirit of God works. It has a close relationship with practicing interreligious dialogue and collaborations as “dialogue in daily life”, which must be “lay-centered” simply because they are the ones who live out actual lives with different religious followers or non-believers as their neighbors.
- Providing “Asian Theologies and spirituality” based on the Context of specific countries in Asia:
The program will encourage lay people to become good church workers and activists by reflecting their concrete lives in the light of the Bible, their concrete lives reflected in the dialogues with poor, diverse cultures and religions. Therefore, the theologies we mention should be localized and contextualized. It could be a momentum for lay workers to become “contemplative actors” armed with “praying in action”. It is so that the Church of Asia could get great help from them in her mission. Church workers should work together with theologians, scholars on religions, experts on cultures and many others in various fields, to make Christian theology relevant to the concrete realities in Asia.
- Stressing Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation for Common Good and Peace:
Aware of the importance and urgency of interfaith dialogue as a lifeline for minority like Christians in the country. Young lay leaders are invited to learn and be vibrant actors for promoting interfaith harmony led to peace among religious and ethnic groups. Considering the situation of predominant Islamic culture and social orders like in Pakistan, how Christian young workers for human rights and justice could combine their task through “interreligious dialogue” which is crucial and even a lifeline tool for achieving the task. Here we will confront two things to be done before they involve any interfaith dialogue and cooperation. One is Christian youth should be equipped with a better and deeper knowledge of Christian traditions and the meaning of being a Christian today. We have often witnessed that many young church workers working for social ministries have some knowledge in those fields while little knowledge of the church teachings including Vatican II and FABC which is a serious weakness to be gotten over. The other is for the youth to be given a new and big picture of socio-cultural situation in their countries so that they could figure out what they have been doing and will do in the future. The following program is for this year moving school.
Key words or main themes of the 2018 moving school are as follows: Realities in Asia, Asian Churches, Catholic Social Teachings (CSTs), Vatican II, FABC, Triple dialogue and Interreligious /Intercultural Dialogue and Cooperation, Ecological Sustainability, and Peace Provisional
Day 1: Arrival/ Orientation
Day 2: Opening Mass / Exposure-Immersion
Day 3: Workshop 1 – Realities in Asia, Asian Churches, Unsustainability of the Earth and Peoples
Morning session: Socio-political and economic Analysis of the Unsustainability of the Global
economy: Extreme gap between the Rich and the Poor esp. in Asia By Fr. Antonie Sondag
Afternoon session : Vatican II and Asian Churches: “Triple Dialogue” and Spirituality on Diversity By Mr. Paul Hwang (*** Each session should be followed by group discussions and activities.)
Day 4: Workshop 2 – Human Rights and Interreligious Dialogue for Common Good By Local Speakers Morning session – Youth as advocate for human rights and justice esp. for women By Ms.Noreen
Afternoon session- Christian-Muslim Dialogue and Human Rights Solidarity for Common Good By
Day 5: Workshop 3 – Pope Francis’ Teachings on Integral Ecology & Synthesis
Morning – Genuine Human Development and Ecological Sustainability in light of Evangelli Gaudium
and Laudato Si By Fr. Antonie Sondag
-Synthesis and Integration of the program By Ms. Felicia Dian Afternoon – Evaluation and Cultural Night Day 6: Departure