Zambia Hosts National Youth SCCs Workshop on the Theme “Youth SCCs Embrace the Word of God”

By Joseph Healey and Febian Pikiti

 

36 people participated in a National Youth SCCs Workshop on the theme “Youth SCCs Embrace the Word of God” at the Salesian Pastoral Centre in Lusaka, Zambia from 2 to 5 December, 2013. Participants included representatives from seven dioceses and three youth movements: 14 young men, nine young women, two Youth Coordinators, five Youth Priest Chaplains, one religious sister, three priest visitors and two priest facilitators. The workshop was sponsored by the Pastoral Department of the Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC) and the Zambian National Council for Catholic Youth (ZNCCY) in conjunction with the Pastoral Department of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA).

It is the first of a series of national SCCs Workshops in the nine AMECEA countries. The SCCs Workshop was facilitated by Father Febian Pikiti and Father Joseph Healey, MM.

In the spirit of “learning by doing” participants formed four SCCs (St. Kizito, St. Francis Xavier, St. Francis of Assisi and St. Mary) for three separate sessions:

  •  Lectionary-based faith sharing on the Gospel of the following 2nd Sunday of Advent (Matthew 3: 1-12);
  •  Using the SEE – JUDGE – ACT reflection method/process on topics in the general society in Zambia: “Gender-based Violence; “Poverty” (two SCCs); and “Youth Unemployment” and in the Catholic Church in Zambia: “The Church Hierarchy is Too Closed;” “Resistance to Change in the Catholic Church;” “Youth Do Not Know the Catholic Church Teaching on Sex and Marriage;” and “Youth Leaving the Catholic Church.”
  •  Reflecting on passages in the Bible using the “Reading Guide for Understanding the Bible.”

 

Highlights included two SCCs Masses with plenty of youth participation; a session on “Interacting with Youth in the Social Media” including an online presentation of the Small Christian Communities Global Collaborative Website and “Facebook Page” (www. smallchristiancommunities.org) and participants demonstrating their own websites and Facebook Pages connected to youth in Zambia; and an African-based DVD, The Church in the Neighborhood: Small Christian Communities, that included Segment I on “Life and Activities of SCCs” and Segment II on “Services (Ministries) in the SCC.”

Recommendations included: Plan and schedule Training of Trainers (TOT) Workshops on Youth SCCs on the diocesan and parish levels in Zambia. Importance of sharing resources on SCCs – printed materials, audio-visual materials and online materials. With the help of Diocesan Youth Chaplains, the youth leaders will encourage their fellow youth to embrace the Word of God in their lives and actively participate in Youth SCCs. Communicate the results and follow-up plans of this SCCs Workshop to the Bishop and Youth Chaplain in each diocese in Zambia.

Some feedback and comments on the Youth SCCs Workshop that the youth participants posted on Facebook:  “Wow!!! So youthful and yet so fulfilling. This is a really wonderful experience.”  “It has been nice for me to attend this type of workshop. It has really helped me to know more about Small Christian Communities.” “The lectionary-based Bible sharing in our St. Mary’s SCC was so enriching. We realized that Zambian youth today are so busy preparing for Christmas without understanding the meaning of Advent and what to do during this period. In fact, preparations for the coming Christmas celebrations have hijacked the meaning of this Advent season. A challenge to us all is: Do we understand the meaning of Advent and how can we take Advent to the secular world?”  “I participated in the workshop session on see, judge and act. It was awesome.” “Surely Small Christian Communities is the way to go. Can’t wait to implement the lectionary-based Bible sharing in Ndola Diocese.” “Having such a workshop at parish level would really help to reboost our Youth SCCs.”

 

 

 

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