by Bp. Jose Elmer Belmonte
More than being the future of a nation, the youth are the emerging strength and pillar of Jesus Christ’s living community on earth, the Church, “against which the gates of hell cannot prevail.”
There is a crucial mandate set by the Lord for the expansion of His Kingdom and we, His people, have roles to take up. Generations come and go and one of the responsibilities God has placed in our heart in this critical generation is to be of service in preparing the way our young people will trod on, as we turn over to them the tasks we will leave behind sooner or later.
In this light, it is of the essence for us to instill in them the same spiritual commitment, moral fortitude, emotional and intellectual stability that God has gifted us with throughout the span of precious time He bestowed upon us in nurturing, enhancing, enriching, protecting, and revitalizing His Church.
Part of our most vital engagement with our young people as Christian parents, Church leaders, moral guardians and preservers of “the faith once delivered to the saints,”, is to inspire them through our fidelity to Christian teachings and to the Christian way of life. To carry on this faithfulness, we are therefore tasked to guide, motivate, equip, strengthen, and embolden them to uncompromisingly hold up high the unquenchable torch of faith that warms the power of love in our hearts and ignites the hope in anticipation of the coming Kingdom of God.
This is how the Lord summoned the Holy Spirit to inspire His Church–the Charismatic Episcopal Church (CEC)–in Europe to conceptualize and finally organize the Holy Order of St. Timothy (HOST) during the 2008 CEC Youth Camp held in Remagen, Germany.
HOST has adapted as a challenging exemplary the uncompromising and enduring commitment of the youthful St. Timothy to be a steadfast and trustworthy companion of his able mentor in the faith, St. Paul, as they travelled side-by-side with the mission to expand the reaches of the Gospel even “to the ends of the world.” The youthfulness of St. Timothy had never been a hindrance in pursuing his evangelistic duties to the places God’s Spirit led him.
After a break of some years and a pandemic attack of a couple of years, the youth of Diocese of Europe will once again have the opportunity to touch base as HOST celebrates its 15th anniversary in Treviso, Italy, come July 25 – 28 of this year, in a conference that carries the theme IDENTITY.
The conception of the conference’s theme is an expression of how we should get alerted by the looming secularism that has been gaining force in the world and detrimentally infecting in the process the youth’s cultural apparatus basically by way of relentless exposure to all forms of irresponsible social media propaganda and brainwashing brought over by the seemingly unmanageable flow of information via the Internet.
The youth conference is therefore a deliberate step to counteract the evil forces of secularism by amplifying the voice of God and constantly reminding the youth about who Jesus Christ says He is and in that light be infused with the power of the Holy Spirit to desire to be identified with Him.
In the end, the goal of the youth conference is for all the participants to make the committed declaration that they are children of God and they will hold up high once and for all the torch of faith in spreading the Gospel as incorruptible Ambassadors of Christ in the world.
Youth delegates coming to the conference represent their CEC parishes from Spain, Germany, Estonia, France, Italy, the UK as well as the USA. Invitations are also extended to non-CEC-member young people who have the serious desire to experience a life-changing opportunity to commit themselves to follow Jesus through the prodding of the Holy Spirit.
I encourage parents, churches and individuals to support this noble and divine inspired event.