The planning executive has already made good progress, two years before the International Youth Convention on the weekend of Ascension Day 2019. “We have an outline plan and a motto, the participant groups have been defined and the holding company has been given the status as a non-profitable, charitable organisation”, said District Apostle Rainer Storck, naming just a few examples. The third meeting of the youth delegates from many of the district Churches was held on 16th and 17th March 2017 in Düsseldorf.
More than 30,000 young people worldwide will travel to the exhibition centre in Düsseldorf over the weekend of Ascension Day in 2019. The International Youth Convention (IYC) of the New Apostolic Church is being held there from Thursday until Sunday. Hosting this weekend is the New Apostolic Church of North Rhine-Westphalia, under the commission of the New Apostolic Church International. Planning for the occasion has brought representatives from many countries and regions together.
Close involvement of the youth
The framework concept for the International Youth Convention 2019 is directed by the planning executive. Representatives of the District Apostles were sent for this purpose in 2016. As a rule, these are Apostles or Bishops of the district Churches who have the responsibility for youth counselling. Their role is especially to be the link between the planners in North Rhine-Westphalia and the youth in their respective district Church; then one thing is clear – the young Christians must be become closely involved in preparations for the event. For this reason, there will be many working and project groups in which the youth can collaborate and can bring their ideas and talents together.
In the first step, the planners are asking the young Christians what they want to have in the programme of the International Youth Convention. An online survey has been prepared by the “communication” planning group which will be available in April. As Apostle Franz-Wilhelm Otten, project leader and business manager of the holding company, announced, “All potential visitors to the International Youth Convention 2019 will have the chance to tell us what their preferences and interests are, until the end of May”. The results will merge into further programme planning and will be published in summer.
Orientation on the expectations of the youth
The planning group for programme contents further explained at the March meeting, that the youth will be able to input their proposals by spring of 2018 for specific items to be included in the programme, or just their general ideas. As District Apostle Rainer Storck, head of the New Apostolic Church in North Rhine-Westphalia formulated, “This will gradually build a programme which is orientated on the wishes and expectations of our young Church members”.
At the start of the meeting, he reflected on what has so far been achieved. The fundamentals and outline concept for the Youth Convention have been set, and the target group of participants has been defined. Now we can move forward and take up the challenge.
Eligible participants and programme outline
All young Christians between the ages of 14 and 35 are invited to come to the International Youth Convention 2019, regardless of their family status. They will be accompanied by their chaperones, their rectors and district ministers.
Plans made so far for the programme include one or more opening divine services on Ascension Day, 30th May 2019 at 6 p.m. The International Youth Convention will be opened on Friday morning in the Arena, located adjacent to the exhibition grounds. The programme will then start with display booths and presentations in the halls, with over 200 programme items. The weekend will conclude on Sunday with a closing divine service in the Arena, at which all participants can come together with Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider.
The motto and its design
By the end of the second meeting of the planning executive, in September 2016, the representatives from the District Apostle regions had finalised a motto for the International Youth Convention. District Apostle Rainer Storck then presented the motto to the Chief Apostle, as head of the Church, and to all active District Apostles worldwide, in October in Brisbane, Australia.
And now the “communication” project group have publicly presented the design, showing the motto reinforced by a key visual: a recognisable identification which will feature prominently at the event. Around a dozen graphic designers had responded, at the beginning of the year, to an invitation to tender and more than 40 suggested drafts were received.
The motto and its design will be revealed at Pentecost 2017; almost two years before the International Youth Convention.
The exhibition halls and major events
Other topics in the second meeting of the planning executive were use of available floor space for displays in the halls, the anticipated major events in the Arena, the draft of a safety concept and sponsorship and fundraising.
At the end, everyone was very aware that there was very much work remaining. As Apostle Otten said in concluding, “We look forward to the response from the survey of interest and expectations – and then we can take greater strides forward”.