Sofia Strinnholm is a youth delegate from the Church of Sweden attending her first Assembly with the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). She is enthusiastic about the possibility of meeting and engaging with other delegates and the issues that the LWF is involved in.
“The LWF Youth Pre-Assembly in the northern Namibian town of Ondangwa was a gateway into the LWF Assembly where we were able to create a common understanding of our differences and similarities as young Lutherans,” says Strinnholm.
During the beginning of the Pre-Assembly an Open Space was conducted and the participants suggested and voted for which topics to focus on. The top three topics were revival of the churches, equity and education. Throughout the Pre-Assembly the keyword was justice.
“For me equity concerning education is a very important issue. And not only basic education but also the possibility to participate in higher education,” says Strinnholm. “While recently visiting a refugee camp in Uganda, I understood that without higher education it is more difficult to achieve positive change when finally being able to return home. This is a subject that I believe we need to address in our future advocacy and diaconal work.”
Strinnholm is hopeful concerning the future of youth participation in the LWF. The Nordics and the Church of Sweden have a positive movement within their church organizations. Within her home church it is Church of Sweden’s Youth.
“We need to encourage this work and involve even more young people in participating in the international communion and the work it includes,” says Strinnholm.
She is aware that different regions face different challenges and realities concerning getting more young people involved in the international communion. But she has high hopes for the LWF’s new initiative “Waking the Giant”. The initiative is a program to strengthen local member churches’ capacity to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals, also known as the 2030 Agenda.
“It will provide us with the opportunity and tools to further the understanding of our global communion as Lutheran churches. We are millions praying and working together all over the world to create the basis for just living for all human beings,” Strinnholm highlights.