On Saturday, April 9, 140 children and teenagers gathered in Cesena, Italy, for the Bible Festival Initiative, dedicated this year to the ‘Culture of Hospitality’.
"We have experienced exciting moments, full of participation and enthusiasm," said Giovanni Benini, a member of the Adventist Church in Cesena and one of the active organizers of this event.
140 young Adventist Pathfinders of Cesena and Forlì, young Catholics of the neighborhood, and Muslims of the city's Islamic Cultural Center, came together for the Bible Festival 2016. "The three Catholic parishes have suspended their catechetical programs to experience, along with boys and girls of the Adventist communities of Cesena and Forlì, a day of welcome and hospitality," said G. Benini.
Enthusiastically, the youth participated in the nine workshops organized in the Moretti Square of Cesena, to engage in manual skills and to live moments of reflection presented by the coordinators.
At the start of the course, each young person was given a cardboard box in which they had to put the various items used in the various workshops. "At the end of the day, with these boxes and with the help of the coordinators, all the teenagers created a house together, as a symbol of inclusion, welcome, sharing," added G. Benini.
The spiritual leaders of the Catholic Church, the Muslim Imams and the Adventist pastor concluded the initiative with an encouragement to continue the path of dialogue in understanding and mutual respect. At a time in which almost every day new barriers are raised in Europe, the message that these youth wanted to give is really strong: instead of walls we have to build houses, that is, places where we are all part of a family.
The day ended with a lot of good music. Three musical groups, composed of young talents, presented a vast repertoire of music to the audience gathered in the Adventist Church. 250 people listened to the orchestra of children from the SaccoMatto school, to the String Ensemble of the Maderna Conservatory and the Orchestra Maderna Junior.
The Bible Festival is organized by the Adventist community of Cesena, in collaboration with the social services of the Italian Union, the Adventist Institute of Biblical Culture of Florence and the Inter-religious museum of Bertinoro.
To learn about the Bible Festival, please connect here.