Wednesday, December 7, 2022
The annual dinner, organized again in collaboration with the Cornerstone team, took place on December 7th in Brussels. Cornerstone is an informal network of young professionals centred around the principles of Jesus. The event was attended by 90 young professionals and other guests who had the opportunity to meet each other and discuss ways to live out the teachings of Jesus in their personal lives and in the workplace.
Lars Rise (former MP from Norway and serving on boards of rehabilitation programs) praised initiatives like the Cornerstone Dinner, highlighting the importance of friendship. As Jesus himself said “I don’t call you servants, I call you friends” (John 15:15). For Christian politicians in particular, godly friendships are vital for practicing accountability. He added that one of the biggest challenges for Christians in politics is to practice what they preach. Politicians often focus on promoting themselves and their initiatives instead of heeding the call of Scripture: “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Matthew 6:6).
Sylvana Bal (Msc in Public Administration and President of ECPYouth) spoke about the high pressure to perform young people face today in their personal and professional lives. Young people are suffering trying to fulfil society’s expectations of what they should be, look like, dress like etc. Many of them bottle up their feelings, their insecurities and anxieties and as such their mental health is threatened. In a contribution that contained also personal experiences, she showed how these pressures can be turned into a renewed commitment to life and to the service of others. Sylvana also spoke about the influence Christian principles played in her journey and her work with ECPYouth. Additionally, she gave a short presentation of the work of ECPYouth bringing together young Christians from across Europe who wish to make a difference in their societies through Christian democratic principles. She concluded by encouraging participants to sign up for the Christian Changemakers (ECPYouth’s training program).
Gilles Klass, who has been active in the business sector, worked for 20 years in an HR consultancy, and is a board member in several Belgian and French organizations, shared his experience and the lessons learned along the way. He also talked about the role his Christian faith played in his professional life, how he was sustained when he had to make difficult business decisions and how he was comforted when he received a worrisome medical diagnosis.