A Concept Note on Moving School in Bangladesh Youth Forum in Mymensingh, Bangladesh
Dr. Paul Hwang/ Director of ALL Forum
The “Moving school” for Youth in Bangladesh will focus more on empowerment for them in the name of “solidarity” in order to ensure harmony and peace among different religious denominations and ethnic groups as well as strengthening their Christian identity among Church workers in Bangladesh. 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” which is 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. 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 needs. It is based on the fact that Christians in Bangladesh are a minority, and under pressure like in many countries in Asia.
- Providing a New Vision and Spirit for Lay leaders based on FABC & CSTs: This Forum will be based on “integral human development” often expressed in 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 Bangladesh: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 will be greatly helped 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.
- Providing Spirit and Ways to Champion for Peace: Aware of the importance and urgency of human rights as a result of peace in many fields more and more, young lay leaders are invited to learn and be a champion for human rights. But it should go together with ecological concerns and sentiments so much so that “integral ecology” based on peace and harmony between ecology and human life should be pursued and stressed. It is why Pope Francis has put much stress on the connection or interrelation between “decent jobs” and “ecological sustainability”. Such connectivity reflects well that human world can’t be sustainable unless human concerns nature or ecology first.
Main themes of the moving school: Youth Working for Interreligious/Intercultural Dialogue and Cooperation, Ecological Sustainability, and Peace
Schedule: February 3rd -8th (arrival and departure included)
Arrival (3rd, Sat.)
Day 1 (4th, Sun.): Opening Mass / Exposure-Immersion
Day 2 (5th, Mon.): Workshop 1 – FABC’s CSTs: “Triple Dialogue” and Spirituality on Diversity
* Morning session – Asian Churches, FABC and Triple Dialogue (Mr. Paul Hwang)
* Afternoon session – “Spirits dwelled in universe”: Spirituality on Diversity (Fr. Niphot)
(*** Each session should be followed by group discussions and activities.)
Day 3 (6th, Tue.): Workshop 2 – Youth for human rights and Interreligious Dialogue
* Morning session – Youth as advocate for human rights especially Women in Bangladesh (Local speaker 1)
* Afternoon session- Interreligious Dialogue, A Lifeline for Peoples in Asia (Local speaker 2)
Day 4 (7th, Wed.): Workshop 3 – Pope Francis’ Teachings
* Morning – Genuine Human Development and Ecological Sustainability in light of Evangelli Gaudium and Laudato Si (Mr. Paul Hwang)
* Afternoon– Synthesis and Integration of the program/Answering questionnaires of the preparation document for bishops’ synod on youth in 2018 (Ms. Felicia Dian)
Day 5 (8th , Thurs) : Departure
Team of guides: Fr. Niphot, Mr. Paul Hwang and two local resource persons
Coordinator: Ms. Felicia Dian