Last weekend, from 14 to16 February, a congress for the laity organized by the Spanish Episcopal Conference took place on the theme “the People of God which goes forth”. There were several days of meeting, working groups and above all a response to the call of the Church to deepen our role as laity within the Church.

It was not a one-day event but the result of a process of work and analysis of more than one year which led to the preparation of four itineraries to be deepened. As far as we were concerned, we took part in two of them : “First announcement” and “Formation process”, linked with our mission to help many people outside the Church to know Jesus Christ and for the complementary work we do through  integral formation of everyone, which are part of our objectives.

We have become aware that, not only as Guides and Scouts of Europe we have to give a testimony, but that we are a tool of great value in the work with young people, as we have shared it in our discussions with others.

But, at the same time, WE ARE NOT ALONE, as we were told repeatedly during the congress. Indeed, this congress made us see how many people of good will are working in very different areas, all of them to help people know Jesus Christ and to help those in need. Starting from initiatives at the national level down to the level of a concrete village, they work with families, with the poor, attentive to diversity, so many things that are needed… This makes us very proud to see that we are all members of the Church, that all of us are needed, and makes us open our eyes to discover, value and even serve according to our possibilities.

And this need is all the greater because it seems that only a few ideas reign on social networks, which are not at all the ideas of the Church, and we must remember that our mission has to begin with those who are nearest to us, the parish and our neighbourhood.

We were also able to benefit from this reality by meeting scouts (not old scouts, because we are scouts for life) who are now serving in other contexts such as Caritas, Aid to the Church in Need, or in their dioceses. These exchanges, the joy of seeing brothers whose eyes light up at seeing our scout uniform… all this reminds us of the scout brotherhood that unites us and surpasses all.

Participating in such meetings is very rich for all that is said, the testimony, the encounter, the discovery of so many realities, so many wonderful people who work for the Church in other movements, with other initiatives… Who will register for the next congress?

Text and photo: Equipo nacional communicación Espana