A sea of lights made of smartphone flashlights decorated Geneva's "Parc des Bastions" on Friday evening. Thousands of young people had gathered to reflect on their faith and the Reformation - and to have fun together. The fact that reflection and entertainment are not mutually exclusive became clear again and again at the ReformAction festival. In addition to the fun activities and festivities, there were also moments of reflection and contemplation.
A special highlight for us was that at the festival for the first time our Be Young@Mission" video clip was shown. One question in the clip is, "What are we still committed to today?" This question obviously moved not only the young people of the Mission 21 delegation, but also many other of the young festival participants. At our information booth, we had set up a wooden door on which people were allowed to pin Reformation wishes. At the end of the evening, this door was full of wishes for society. They revealed that many of the boys not only want to celebrate, but also actively want to change society. The blue T-shirts of our delegates with the inscription "Agents of Change" underlined this concern very aptly.
A feast for the young
At ReformAction, the young people were at the center and got their money's worth. The opening ceremony consisted of an impressive video projection summarizing the history of the Reformation up to the present day, accompanied by live drumming and singing. The backdrop was the Reformation Monument with the four statues of Farel, Calvin, Beza and Knox. The festival provided an opportunity to meet new people. Participants from all over Switzerland met in workshops. "It's nice to see so many young people engaging with the faith," said a Mission 21 participant, but the festival also had a strengthening effect on the relationships of people who had already known each other: The Mission 21 group grew even stronger together over the weekend. With their blue T-shirts, the youth delegates of Mission 21 were also recognizable as a unit from the outside. This was noticeable, for example, at the main ReformAction event in the Palexpo Arena.
The festive service in the Saint-Pierre church was the final event. This was broadcast live by Swiss television SRF. Despite the size of the church, some spectators had to be content with a screen broadcast in an adjacent building. Our delegation, however, was present in the church. How many young people from all over Switzerland had traveled to this festival became clear once again after the end of the service: people streamed out of the church for almost 20 minutes. After that, the last group photos were taken and people started their way home. Many could still be heard singing songs and talking about the event on the train and bus.