Affirmation of Faith by Youth

During the Assembly of the Alliance of Presbyterian and Reformed Churches in Latin America (AIPRAL), a Pre-Assembly of youth took place. During this time they were guided in reflection and prayer by the pastor Jorge Zijlstra. As one of the results of this event, the following affirmation of faith was born, which we share in the hope that it will be mobilizing for each person that comes across it.

Katie Fiegenbaum, my faithful translator used the word “mobilizing” and I immediately thought of changing that to “energizing” or “inspiring,” and then I thought … no. Let it be “mobilizing.”

In the spirit of Jesus we confess our faith, for, in the spirit of Jesus we believe that we are activists for justice in all fronts and sectors of society, based on practices that defend life, promote gender equality and respect diverse ethnicities.

In the spirit of Jesus, as women and men, we dream of a society that does not condemn, a society with opportunities for all, a society where love transforms us into a great family.

In the spirit of Jesus, we dream of being an inclusive community that recognizes the grace of God in all areas of life and in all people, especially those who suffer the most.

In the spirit of Jesus, we dream of a strong, united, resilient and transforming church following the example of Jesus Christ.

In the spirit of Jesus, we believe in a missionary church that cares about and walks with people who are the most excluded from the rest of society.

In the spirit of Jesus, we believe in a church that educates all, denounces injustice, and proclaims the Good News.

In the spirit of Jesus, we believe in a communal and inclusive church, that through its gifts transforms reality, being salt and light for a new world, fulfilling its mission as a community that glorifies God.

In the spirit of Jesus, we believe in a Reformed Church that is always reforming itself, to be faithfully contextual, inclusive and inter-generational.

In the spirit of Jesus, we believe in a Church engaged in the care of creation, adopting all that that means in everyday practice.

This we say — Because God has called us to give reason for our hope. (1 Peter 3:15).
Amen.

Pre-Assembly of youth of AIPRAL
San Pablo, August 13, 2016

En el marco de la Asamblea de la Alianza de Iglesias Presbiterianas y Reformadas en América Latina, tuvo lugar una Pre-Asamblea de jóvenes en la que fueron guiados en reflexión y oración por el pastor Jorge Zijlstra. Como uno de los resultados de este evento, nació la siguiente afirmación de fe, que compartimos en la esperanza que sea movilizadora para cada persona que se encuentre con ella.

En el espíritu de Jesús

Confesamos nuestra fe y en el espíritu de Jesús creemos que somos militantes por la justicia en todos los frentes y sectores de la sociedad, a partir de prácticas que defiendan la vida, promuevan la equidad de género y el respeto a las diversas etnias.

En el espíritu de Jesús, mujeres y varones, soñamos con una sociedad que no condene, con oportunidades para todos y todas, donde el amor nos convierta en una gran familia.

En el espíritu de Jesús soñamos ser una comunidad inclusiva que reconozca la gracia de Dios en todos los ámbitos de la vida y en todas las personas, en especial las que más sufren.

En el espíritu de Jesús soñamos con una iglesia fortalecida, unida, resiliente y transformadora desde el ejemplo de Jesucristo.

En el espíritu de Jesús creemos en una iglesia misionera que se preocupa y camina con las personas más excluidas de la sociedad.

En el espíritu de Jesús creemos en una iglesia que educa, denuncia y proclama las Buenas Nuevas.

En el espíritu de Jesús creemos en una iglesia comunitaria e integradora, que a través de sus dones transforma la realidad, siendo sal y luz de un mundo nuevo, cumpliendo la misión como una comunidad que glorifica a Dios.

En el espíritu de Jesús creemos en una Iglesia Reformada siempre reformándose, contextual, inclusiva e inter-generacional.

En el espíritu de Jesús creemos en una Iglesia comprometida con el cuidado de la creación y lo asumimos en las prácticas cotidianas.

Porque Dios nos ha llamado a dar razón de nuestra esperanza. (1° Pedro 3:15)

Amén.

Pre-Asamblea de jóvenes de AIPRAL
San Pablo, 13 de agosto de 2016

Jorge Zijlstra, an Argentinean by birth and Puerto Rican by vocation, is the Pastor of the Presbyterian church of Levittown Puerto Rico. Rev. Zijlstra is the current moderator of the Presbytery of San Juan of the Presbyterian Church USA (CPUSA) and serves on the Board of Directors of the Latin American Council of Church. His articles and liturgy are widely published.

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2 Responses to Affirmation of Faith by Youth

  1. Linda Cetrulo says:

    beautiful words by the youth. wish I knew how to walk with others who are not like me…Fear (not so much of the other but of how to be with the other, nervousness I guess…) And where and how? And if it’s not a natural, in-the-course-of-my-life kind of meet-up, how not to be perceived or feel as the “other”, a clueless “do-gooder”?

    funny, I’m going to San Juan PR over the Christmas holidays. Maybe I should drop in on a prayer group and be with others “not like me”

    blessings, Linda

    On Thu, Aug 25, 2016 at 1:23 AM, Gifts in Open Hands wrote:

    > Maren posted: “During the Assembly of the Alliance of Presbyterian and > Reformed Churches in Latin America (AIPRAL), a Pre-Assembly of youth took > place. During this time they were guided in reflection and prayer by the > pastor Jorge Zijlstra. As one of the results of this” >

    • Maren says:

      I guess the greatest concerns are not people like you — who worry about connection but those — often Americans, but not always — who feel that everyone else should adapt to them. and, on visiting a prayer group, the Levittown Presbyterian church appears to be suburban San Juan. I could contact him and make an introduction … for you to think about and let me know later.

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