During the Youth Exchange Programme in Sweden I saw and learn different things that are connected direct to the church and the society in general. I experienced these things in two ways, positive and negative altitude as explained here below starting with positive altitude.
i. Big and beautiful churches in every congregation have the church that have been built for a long time ago and today they still looks new, modern and attractive with good music organs. This was a big different compered to home countries where we have small church and not old.
ii. Another thing was how the church of sweden offer different social services to the society inside and outside Sweden especially to special groups like old people, orphans, widow, youth, and young children with different problems by sending either money or other basic needs like clothes, food etc. in and outside Sweden.
iii. How the church through parishes and dioceses gives special services to the members of the church, these includes funeral services, wedding services, communion, baptizing services to every one even if someone never comes church for service and participate in other church activities, this was due to the reason that all people in Sweden pay taxes for these services
iv. Partnership within and outside Sweden. The church of Sweden allows Parishes and diocese to have friends with other parishes and dioceses out of Sweden like Africa, America and Asia and neighboring counties in Europe.
v. Another thing is how the church of Sweden gives aids and help to different groups outside country to people who face different problems such like famine, war and drought. This was good service that must be learnt by other churches all over the world.
Apart from the above strange and good things that the church of Sweden do also i experienced some weakness as shown below:
i. Few number of people ranging between 10 to 20 in country side and 15 to 30 in towns during Sunday service this is a bad thing since people stay at home and going into different sports and fail to use only one hour for the services. This is a big different when compared with my home country (Tanzania) where you find a hundred and thousands of people in Sunday services.
ii. Another thing that was bad to me is that the church of Sweden do not involves young children fully in church activities. For example to run the service, read the bible in Sunday services, preaching , forming their choir or joining adult choir so as they can learn and adopt to involve in church activities.
iii. Lack of freedom, the church of Sweden in one way or another fail to make its own decision and implementing the church rules as it interfered by the government for example, teaching and preaching gospel or having player in schools.
iv. The church of Sweden has no special day either from the congregation level or to the national level where Youths they can meet with leaders of the church of Sweden to talk and discuss different problems that they face as young generation for the future church and nation
Lastly i would like to say thanks to church of Sweden to come up with this ideas of Youth Exchange Programmme that allows most of young people to learn beliefs, social, economic and political matter from different parts of the world.
This will help us to build our church and the society in the future life by coming up with new skills and knowledge on solving problems facing our society and individuals.
I wish if one day we should have a conference for all participants who participated from when the programme was started so as we can have evaluation on the achievements of the programme.
YEP is for change
CHANGE IS ME, YOU, US
”TOGETHER AS ONE WE CAN”