Renewing Our Minds Regional Gathering in Cluj, Romania

“This weekend with you all nourished me so much, and gave me a lot of strength to go ahead with Jesus. These were some of the best days of 2020 for me,” shared a participant of our Becoming Ambassadors for a Better World event in Cluj, Romania in early October. The event was organized by Forum for Leadership and Reconciliation in partnership with the Polylogos Association and the European Christian Political Movement.

About 20 students and young professionals from Cluj, and from across Romania, gathered together for the event. Together, we learned about art and calling from internationally renowned sculptor Liviu Mokan, about servant leadership from a leadership trainer with 20 years of experience around the globe and Bert Looij who has been serving the Roma population living around the Cluj city dump for 30 years, about entrepreneurial leadership from Marcelus Suciu, the founder of a popular restaurant chain in Romania, about art as a tool for reconciliation from musician Zachary Schmidt, about healthy dialogue from UK political advisor Heather Staff, about the value of political engagement from MEP Cristian Terhes, and about the power of friendship from Anthony Cordle and former Norwegian MP Lars Rise. We also spent plenty of time with participants in small groups and over meals processing and discussing the ideas presented and how to implement them in our lives – what they would mean for our jobs, volunteer positions, families, and life calling.

Because of Covid-19 restrictions we had to limit the number of participants, but we were grateful for the opportunity to gather in person, taking proper social distance measures and precautions, and we were glad that most of our speakers could be with us in person as well. Despite restrictions, we had a wonderful weekend, full of learning, inspiring conversations, live music and networking.

We hope that the friendships fostered during this weekend will continue to grow and bring positive change in the lives of our participants and their communities.
On the final morning participants had the opportunity to share what they would be taking away from the event as they return to their everyday lives:

  • “I commit to use my power, position, and relationships to create a more just world.”

  • “I choose to continue developing by learning from mentors and friends. I commit to grow as a leader by listening and serving others and helping those in need.”

  • “I was challenged by the things shared here and was forced to go back and reexamine my fundamental beliefs. I commit to use my position to ensure justice and equal opportunity for my clients and colleagues.”

  • “It is pure grace, mixed with vision, hard work, sleepless nights, collaboration, passion and creativity that enabled this wonderful long weekend event to take place in Cluj,” shared a Polylogos Association team member. “Being vulnerable and true is such a strong connector between people. Building bridges indeed, for a stronger community, sharing the light for hope in a world of chaos and uncertainty.”

We are already planning similar events in other countries around the region as Covid restrictions allow, and a follow-up event in Cluj next fall, as well as our regular two-week Renewing Our Minds gathering in Croatia in July 2021.