Dear Leaders of the Unions, Filelds, Mission Fields, and members of the Church,
May the grace of our Lord Jesus assist you, confirm you and encourage you on your journey to heaven. I greet you with the Word of God: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
With this letter, we want to inform you about the plans and activities that the Youth Department of the General Conference will develop in the next five-year period.
We are aware of the enormous importance of our youth in the church. We want to extend our helping hand and together we must do everything possible, with the help of God, to encourage, motivate and give hope to our beloved young people so that the Christian ideal can be achieved:
“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word” (Psalm 119:9); “I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father” (1 John 2:13); “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an exam
ple of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12); “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth…” (Ecclesiastes 12:1).
“Now is our time and opportunity to labor for the young people. Tell them that we are now in a perilous crisis, and we want to know how to discern true godliness. Our young people need to be helped, uplifted, and encouraged, but in the right manner; not, perhaps, as they would desire it, but in a way that will help them to have sanctified minds. They need good, sanctifying religion more than anything else.” – Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 547.
First of all, we would like to thank you for all the letters you have sent us from different countries, inviting us to your conferences, and sharing with the Department the different needs of your young people, as well as your work plans, concerns, advice, etc. We will try, to the best of our ability and with the help of our God, to do everything possible to meet your expectations. Here follows a list of the different activities of the Department for this coming year 2018, together with some of the plans for the next five years. We will inform you about what we are doing and we are open to your suggestions.
1. An exclusive monthly pastoral letter will be sent to our young people worldwide, with motivating themes and in different languages. This material will later be available on the Department’s website. We ask that everything possible may be done to reach the maximum number of young people, using several means and social media (Facebook, E- mails, WhatsApp, etc.) The Department’s suggestion is that this letter may be read and commented the last Sabbath afternoon of each month, during a youth program. Attached to this circular letter, you may find the first one for December 2017.
2. Participation of the Department leader in a Seminar for young people in Estonia from December 28, 2017, to January 2, 2018, where special topics for youth and children will be presented.
3. Creation of the website of the Department, where appropriate materials for the youth will be posted and available for download (articles, health section, pastoral counseling, professional guidance, etc.). January- February 2018.
4. International Youth Conference in the month of August 2018 in Greece. The program and all the details will be sent as soon as possible. We had already prepared a program for a conference in Israel and we were going to send out the invitations, but due to the latest political events and tensions in the area, we have decided to suspend it for now. Greece is a plan B and we are going to visit places related to the Word of God, such as Corinth, Thessaloniki, Philippi, etc. In each place, we will have specific Bible studies; baptisms will also be carried out. We advise you to be attentive to the information that will soon be sent to you.
5. Participation of the Department leader in a Seminar for young people in Colombia, from December 18 to 23, 2018.
6. Youth revival week, during the month of June 2018.
7. Guideline and material for Sabbath afternoon-programs for young people. May 2018.
8. Book on the subject of purity. Some themes of its content: prisoners of ourselves, the radioactivity of sin, breaking the taboo, between Bible and fashion, the dangers of pornography, breaking chains, what about premarital relationships, and others. October 2018. FOR THE NEXT YEARS (2019-2020)
9. Morning devotional audio in several languages with encouraging themes for young people. Every day an audio will be sent through the technological means we have to our disposition. The goal is to share a spiritual message with the largest possible number of young people, taking advantage of the immediacy of the network. Its title is “Light on the Way”. January 2019 – December 2019.
10.Premarital course. Full course presented to couples who wish to marry. Pastors or qualified personnel can use this material as a guide to present a complete seminar. It will be translated into several languages. Date of delivery to fields and unions: January 2019. (Departments responsible for the project: Family and Youth).
11.Youth Hymnal with exclusive content of hymns from our members. March 2020.
12.Guidelines for churches around the world, to properly organize programs for the development of young people. May 2020.
13.Manual for youth leaders. December 2020.
14.PowerPoint seminars for young people (courtship, marriage, drugs, sex, professional training, health, etc.).
There are other projects and activities to develop; we hope with the favor of God to carry them out. We will communicate them to you in due time. May the Lord be with you all and grant you peace. Amen.
For the Youth Department of the General Conference, Pastor José V. Giner