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Last Updated (Friday, 07 February 2020 14:09)

ASIA AND ALLIANCE OF YMCAs
4th Leaders’ Quadrennial Roundtable
3-6 December 2015, YMCA Chiangmai, Thailand

Quadrennial Program Plan 2015-2019

‘Call for Servant Leadership’

 

We, the 41 participants from 14 National Movements that gathered at the 4th Leaders’ Quadrennial Roundtable held in Chiangmai, Thailand, were reminded again of our YMCA identity as a Christian faith-based ecumenical, volunteer movement fostering participation of youth to respond to issues in the society. We also recognized that the call for servant leadership for this quadrennial is rooted from our history as a labor movement serving the most marginalized members of society in the 19th century.

Rev. Dr. Chang Yoon-Jae, in his keynote address underscored Justice, Peace and Life: An Ecumenical Trinity Agenda for YMCAs in Asia and Pacific. Here are some excerpts from his paper:

Asia is a continent where justice is denied, peace is under threat and life is constantly abused and destroyed. As the most populous continent, it has been the home for the largest number of the poor in the world, with more than a billion hungry people, for military dictatorships, for terrorism, for religious fundamentalism and militant religious ideologies, for threats to religious freedom, for gross violation of human rights and human abuse, for the abominable caste system, for rampant abuse of women and children and human trafficking, for striking contrasts between the rich and the poor, and for the continued exclusion of millions of people from access to basic health care, education and shelter.

The Kingdom of God means how this world would be ruled if God sits on the throne instead of the Roman Emperor. Jesus’s definition of the Kingdom of God was an alternative justice that was interested in what fell ‘outside’ the boundaries. It focuses on the people who are excluded from society. Jesus compares this noble Kingdom of God to a mustard plant, which is like a weed. The mustard plant is not a perennial tree, but merely an annual grass. The Kingdom of God that Jesus declared was a kingdom for people who were like weeds — without name, without power and without wealth. In particular, it was a kingdom of grace that was given to people who were called ‘sinners’ according to the Jewish purity code.

The Bible says that to know God is to act out justice, and to defend the rights of the poor and weak. Without pursuing justice, we cannot build peace, because peace is the fruit of justice. There is also a fundamental link between justice and life. The prophet Isaiah was certain that when justice is realized the people of the Lord will enjoy the blessing of long life. Furthermore, justice is the basic order of God’s creation. Creation is the expression of God’s justice and righteousness, wisdom and dynamism.

YMCA is a movement organization working to establish God's kingdom on earth, following Jesus' movement. It is, in other words, an association of sisters and brothers who in faith dare to break away from the current unjust, violent, and unsustainable civilization of self-destruction and to pronounce and establish a new order of God’s justice, peace, and life by living and practicing it in their grassroots communities.

 

Read more: Quadrennial Program Plan 2015-2019