World Alliance of YMCA to Celebrate 150th Anniversary

The World Alliance of YMCAs will be celebrating its 150th Anniversary next year with a global gathering in Mumbai, India from August 16-22. To prepare for the event, YMCA is hoping that there will be a celebratory event occurring everyday during the 150 days prior to the event.

Young Men’s Christian Association has announced that the overall theme for the year is "celebrating, envisioning and building peace with justice,” based on Psalm 146.

In 1855, a group of devoted Christian men met in Paris to hold the first ever world conference for the World Alliance. They signed the Paris Basis on Aug. 22, which declared the Mission statement of the Alliance as to build a human community of justice with love, peace and reconciliation.

That movement has now grown to include 40 million members worldwide working in YMCAs in over 120 countries.

The 150-day celebration will be launched on Saturday, March 19, in the city the Alliance was founded. There will be a service of thanksgiving in a central Paris church.

In August, the worldwide conference will include exposure visits, leadership development, debates on Challenge 21 issues, speakers on the theme of our ecumenical vision, a YMCA exhibition, worship, celebrations and a re-dedication to the Mission, announced the group.

YMCA is also opening membership to the 150th Anniversary Club. Members wishing to join are asked to donate $1,000 and in return will receive a unique commemorative medal, updates on the Movement, and have their names engraved on a plaque in the World Alliance Office in Geneva and announced on the world-wide website.

For more information on the World Alliance of YMCAs, visit the Web site, www.ymca.int.