Celebrating the Grandeur of Helping Humanity
Through the grand chorale and orchestra, the three-day Världens Fest opened with a musical concert depicting Church of Sweden’s international work through the decades.
International work for the Church of Sweden has been a tradition imbedded in this church across borders.
During the three days in Karlstad, discussing the current issues in the world today was given focus through seminars, forums, concerts, worship services and Masses.
Talking about grandeur, Church of Sweden’s international work can be seen as grandiose in the eyes of a young person coming from a third world country.
As an international participant, I described Feast of the World as a celebration of unified cause for humanity.
In its truest sense, helping the world to become a better place for people to live in is a grandiose work. This work is what the Church of Sweden has been pursuing for several decades and it is a proof of an extravagant love for the world.
“To be a true Christian is to turn faith into action,” was the most striking statement uttered by the Church of Sweden youth leader. It was a living testament how the youth from the church looks at the important ministry not just for those who are living here in Sweden but for all humanity, regardless of race, creed and color.
People from different churches, different cultures and traditions meet to answer the common need of people who suffer from different problems in the society.
Make the church a safe space, a shelter, a refuge for those who are neglected by their respective communities
Not just Church of the poor, the needy, the common people but a church with the poor, the needy, and the common people.
Discussing issues, meeting people, sharing insights, united church moving towards caring for humanity
Open Table for the World
Reflecting upon the phrase “Open Table” which the Church of Sweden often uses to describe the way they conduct the Mass and answers who can take communion.
Before the Opening Mass began, a special table made of wood was prepared by children with special needs assisted by some church workers. That was a very touching moment which symbolized how the Eucharistic table is made alive through international work and in the table, it is where the world meets Christ and to partake of His meal.
The absence of the liturgical vestment on the altar table was a reminder of how the Church of Sweden works for people from different cultures, traditions, religions.
Also, the cups in different sizes and colors used during the communion rite was the symbols of the variations in each setting of the Swedish Church and yet still, they are one in the purpose to become instruments of care for the world and humanity.
Building God’s Kingdom on Earth
Humanitarian work for nations a modern day version of Jesus’ feeding of the five thousand. Symbolized by the wooden cross hanging in the Lofbergs Arena, God’s reign on earth would simply mean all of the basic needs of the people are addressed, rights are rendered and issues are given solutions.
Though people may not see the difference today like the stonecutter who was getting some materials for the big church, the Church of Sweden also aims to build the Cathedral of God’s Reign on earth and the international work is a move towards the goal.
Flashback of the Congregation Periods
Three months of stay in Sweden for the exchange program went fast like lightning but Världens Fest served like a flashback of the times spent in the two congregation periods for the participants.
Such a feast became a reminder of the relationships and efforts made in the congregations and in the dioceses.
Personally, it also provided a time to assess and ask myself, “How far have I been in this program? Did I truly live the purpose of the program?”
Yet meeting the people from the congregations, diocesan level and some other people I met months ago gave me the answers. The good feedback from people gave me more inspiration to go on with the work.
Taking the farther leap of faith from being the ordinary exchange program participant was a tough yet fulfilling job. Part of which was singing for people of different ages and blogging my feelings, insights and reflections about Sweden’s church and society.
Doing the blogs from the heart was what I can only offer as payback for a wonderful and once in a lifetime experience.
Three months in Sweden has given me so much learning and was genuinely life-changing.
For my stay, I prayed to the Spirit and vowed to my self that my goal would be to touch lives, share my gifts, give hope for the Church of Sweden and not just utter the usual and old has been negative comments.
The Church of Sweden has taught me to look deeper at the church as more than a worshipping entity. Through the experience, it has given me the fresh eyes to view the church in a worldwide perspective and that the relationship between churches is important to enrich, sustain and help one another through constant prayers and encouragements.
//Klein F. Emperado is one of the exchange students in the exchange programme ”Young in the World Wide Chuch” 2014. During three months he will be spending time in Sweden, sharing life, faith and every day life. Klein is a Mass Communications graduate from Silliman University, Dumaguete, Philippines and also he works as Editorial Assistant for the said university. In the exchange he represents the Philippine Independent Church/Iglesia Filipina Independiente. His line of ministry is focused mainly on Liturgy and Music for the Diocese of Negros Oriental and Siquijor.
// Klein F. Emperado är en av deltagarna i utbytesprogrammet Ung i den världsvida kyrkan 2014. Under tre månader delar han vardag, tro och liv med människor här i Sverige. Under sin första månad spenderar han tid i St Mikaels församling i Stockholms stift. Klein har tagit examen i masskommunikation vid Silliman University, Dumaguete, Filippinerna och han jobbar idag som redaktörsassistent för nämnda universitet. I utbytesprogrammet representerar han den Filippinska oberoende kyrkan (Iglesia Filipina Independiente). Hans stora intresse och inriktning innom kyrkan är främst liturgi och musik för stiftet i Negros Oriental och Siquijor.