Members brainstorm new directions for their movement
BANDUNG, INDONESIA – Can we forgive those who sometimes love us poorly – the people closest to us, like our brother, teacher, father, mother? How does one live the truth that in this world love and woundedness are never separated.
One can, when one keeps reclaiming one’s first love – the Father’s love.
This was the message given to 200 Choice volunteers across Asia who gathered in Bandung, Indonesia, for the 14th Choice Asia Conference (CAC). The conference, held every three years, is to boost fellowship, exchange and renewal among Choice communities.
The recent June 5-8 meeting, which had the theme Falling in Love Again, was organised by a Singapore Choice team.
The focus is on “falling in love again with God, with Choice, with those whom we reach out to, and with those who want to reach us”, said Ms Felicia, a member of the Singapore team.
Bishop Vincentius Sutikno Wisaksono of Surabaya, who celebrated the opening Mass, noted that a challenge for today’s Church ministries, whether for youth, young adults or families, is the attraction of the new evangelical churches.
He asked all Choice communities to continue spreading their message to other parts of their countries, beyond the urban centres and into the provinces.
Some countries are apparently already doing this.
Indonesian Choice members reported that the programme is present in 10 cities or districts. However, as Indonesia is so large, there is still a lot more ground to cover.
Pekanbaru in Riau for example, is one area where Choice can reach out to in the future, it was noted.
Sri Lanka will also start holding Choice weekends.
Choice Singapore has been assisting Sri Lanka to get the weekends started for their youth. The first weekend in Sinhalese is planned for August.
During the conference, the organisers asked participants to share if the movement was still relevant to their cities. The answer was yes, but it was noted that in urban centres such as in Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Penang, Malaysia; Hong Kong and Singapore, busyness was a common trait.
Ministries, especially those involving young adults, had to keep pace with changing needs, participants observed.
Breakout sessions were also held for Choice volunteers from various countries to share their experiences.
For example, Singapore representatives presented their new way of facilitating group sharings on the topic, What’s Sex All About, while their Indonesian counterparts shared how they nurtured small Christian communities among those who recently attended a Choice weekend.
Malaysian representatives shared how they liaised with Choice participants’ parish priests to help them follow up on participants and involve them in the parish’s young adult activities.
During the conference, participants also reflected on their own lives and ministries through enrichment sessions such as MAD (Make A Difference), which include group dynamics, paraliturgies and storytelling.
For many participants, the conference was an inspiring experience.
“I can’t wait for the next conference in Hong Kong in 2016,” said Ms Judy Lan of from Taipei.
Choice is now present in about 40 cities in Asia. Many Asian dioceses, from Surabaya to Seoul have been organising Choice weekends for at least 20 years.
The programme focuses on helping 18-40-year-olds make choices in their lives and reflect on their relationships with the significant people in their lives.
It is run by a team comprising a priest, Religious, lay couples and singles.
For more information about Choice weekends in Singapore, visit www.choice.org.sg
Some of the 200 Choice conference participants in Bandung, Indonesia.
Is Choice still relevant in Asian cities? The answer was yes, but it was noted that in urban centres such as Kaohsiung, Penang, Hong Kong and Singapore, busyness was a common trait.