Filed under: Next Events |

The MOOT organization gave a serious opportunity to the Faith and Belief Zone to work, with a budget for a big size circular tent. The MOOT dedicated a lot of IST to build and organize the Dialogue Tent.

The Tent was opportunely build close to an old charming and venerable historical Lutheran Chapel, both of them defined an attractive Faith and Belief Zone, as you can see in attached.

The MOOT asked to the Interreligious Forum to send IST “specialists” able to provide a specific spiritual animation as the core of F&B Zone activity. Three specialists for each religion were awaited. Only ICCS (two people), Sikhs (three people) and Buddhists (one (?) people) went to serve the Faith and Belief Zone. The big part of the attendees of the MOOT visited the F&B Zone, so the number of ‘specialists’ was definitely not enough. The “non specialist” IST of the F&B Zone friendly animated some activities as they could. Obviously it was more fun that religious.

For an internal view of the big Tent click here:

Nevertheless, the big tent with his big tree on the midst was beautiful. The preparation and the proposed activities produced an understandable message of friendship of Religions. Most of the proposed activities were simply –not fulfilling so much the spiritual and religious expectation of visitors. Like: Wear a turban, receive religious/decorative tattoos… quick very first experience of Buddhist meditation, quick discussions circles emulated with some interesting proposed questions. T

Most of the discussions were short and not often really “spiritual”.

In the Chapel, the discussion circles were much longer and meaningful. Indeed, many groups of five, then or fifteen Rovers had patient exchanges concerning religion and spirituality. Sensitive topics, like euthanasia, homosexuality, were freely addressed.

It is meaningful to address religions topics in discussion circles with the eighteen—twenty years old young people, sharing with them thought, feelings, spiritual responsibilities. Wester, Latin American and Asian attendees didn’t have the same ways. Latin American people are more believers and solidary. The more comfortable with the religious diversity are Asian ones. Many Western young people are much less comfortable with their national religion which is not able to interact with the religious diversity (specially with not Christian religions).

In the Chapel, were provided many Masses. Three Catholic priests (Portuguese, Italian and French) offered daily Masses and communitarian Masses in various languages (for example, a holy Mass with Latinos in occasion of the National Day of Peru). No Africans in the MOOT, because it is expansive.

The Catholic Church of Iceland helped ICCS in many ways (material for Mass, hosting at Reykjavik before and after).

The beautiful Sunday Mass was organized with their help. Hundreds of young people attended despite not performing communication (the place of the ceremony was known half an hour before).

The interreligious ceremony was good with various traditional prayers, and the special participation of a priest of the old Islandic religion. It was a pity that attendees were very few (40) just because of the place of the ceremony was not communicated.

In conclusion:

–         The MOOT turns to be bigger.

–         Many people dedicate themselves to the F&B Zone and does an extremely useful work.

–         Young people could experience how friend and close religions were with one another.

–         There is a lake of experienced people able to animate qualitative spiritual dialogues, ‘specialists’.

–         The interest of young people for serious, and qualitative discussions highlights the importance of the

Faith and Belief Zone of the MOOT. In other words, MOOT is an enormous opportunity for adults involved in spiritual matters and chaplains to give a spiritual hand. It’s difficult to discuss with people of this age, they are worth it, discussing is very productive at this age, as they know well take advantage of that to change their mind helping each other.

–         Therefore, ICCS and the IFoWS should evaluate this MOOT and anticipate the next one.

–         Questions for the next MOOT are: can IFoWS be more engaged? Could more that one volunteer of IFoWS prepare earlier in the organization? Could MOOT organization invite they on time for that? Two Christians ‘specialist IST’ are not enough as the major part of visitors are Christians or atheists (atheist = not having a religion) Western people.

–         It was not easy to promote the MOOT specialist IST because it is expensive. Shouldn’t MOOT organization offer a reasonable financial support which could be divided by IFoWS between the ‘specialist IST’ of our different religions? just a way for MOOT board to say to IFoWS: “yes, we want you to prepare with us the next MOOT in Ireland, yes we want you to be many specialists”. But then the next question is who are the specialists? Who is able? Could we offer to them a specific – spiritual, religious, interreligious ! – training?

An enormous thank needs to go to Jon (Islandic) and Troll (UK) the two fantastic leaders of the F&B Zone. Fair, friendly, dedicated. Spiritually involved. So nice! Thank you guys. We are fortunate to have you.”


Rev. Jacques Gagey

ICCS World Chaplain