The Steering Committee convened by World YMCA to design and lead a YMCA Movement-wide conversation on Exploring Christian identity, expression and narrative in the 21st Century global YMCA Movement – towards a unifying position, met in Geneva from 23-25 February 2023. This was its first in-person meeting after five meetings held online since September 2022, following the World YMCA Executive Committee’s formal approval of the initiative in July 2022.
The three-day meeting was attended by 15 of the 16 Committee members, including three who joined online. The meeting was facilitated by Leigh Cameron and Ben Wallis of the YouWho Group, Melbourne, Australia. It heard from one external speaker: Ryan Bean, the Archivist with the Kautz Family YMCA Archives at the University of Minnesota, USA.
The group looked very closely at Christian expression in the global YMCA, past and present, examining all that it has brought to the Movement, and setting it in both global and local contexts. It heard five national case studies, four of which were presented by the Committee members aged under 30.
It then began to shape the possible contents of the proposed Movement-wide conversation on the issue, to unfold over a 3-6 month period later in 2023. It established Guiding Principles for this process, key among them the primacy of the involvement of YMCA National Movements and of YMCA young people.
It will now finalise plans to launch this Movement-wide conversation in the coming months of 2023.
The Steering Committee members are:
Steve CLAY, YMCA England & Wales
Yoon-Jae CHANG, YMCA South Korea
Peter DINSDALE, YMCA Canada
Sara DZVONIKOVA, YMCA Czech Republic
Dori GORMAN, YMCA Middle Tennessee, USA
Josh HEASTON, YMCA Indianapolis, USA
Ben HUBBARD, YMCA Australia
Urangoo KHONGHORZUL, YMCA Mongolia
Tapfumanei MAKARATI, YMCA Zimbabwe
NAM Boo Won (South Korea), YMCA Asia Pacific
Patricia PELTON, YMCA Canada
John PHILLIPS (UK), World YMCA
Carlos SANVEE (Togo), World YMCA
Nicolas TELLEZ-ESPANA, YMCA Vancouver, Canada
Alveiro VALENCIA, YMCA Colombia
Mncwango VEZINHLAHLA, YMCA South Africa