16th -30th August 2015
For two weeks in August young people from the European and Caribbean Region took part in the Exploration Programme in the Netherlands. The theme of the 2015 Exploration Programme was church pioneering and fresh expressions and was based in the context of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN). After a few days of time spent in workshops on mission, the world church, fresh expressions of church and the Dutch context, as well as meaningful worship, the young people were sent out in three groups to go and visit and live alongside pioneer church communities across the Netherlands.
During their visits the young people were tasked to collect information which would help them to deliver a presentation to the PKN in Utrecht which told the stories of their experiences and offer their reflection on the nature of pioneering in the PKN. The young people represented themselves and their member churches superbly and delivered accomplished presentations that demonstrated their maturity and understanding of the complex issues at play in the pioneer church communities.
The whole programme was made possible by the generous hospitality of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands and, in particular, the pioneer church communities that hosted the groups. We and the participants of the programme express our sincere thanks to them.
Some comments from participants: “I learnt the importance of listening to the community and making church relevant to their lives”. “I learnt that mission can come in various ways and that working together within a community is rewarding”. “In the Netherlands I learnt more about pioneering and that to do pioneer work you need courage to try new things but also patience as things may take longer than you want.”
David Cruchley, CWM European Region