Lausanne Europe Gathering 20/21 will be held online instead of in person
There could be “a significant risk of LE20/21 becoming a superspreader event”, the organisation said. The conference will be held online 17-21 November.
WARSAW · 03 SEPTEMBER 2021 · 15:04 CET
The long expected first Lausanne Europe gathering (LE 20/21) will be held online, as original plans of the conference to be held in Wisla (Poland) had to be changed.
Now, after consultations with medical experts in the hosting country and consultations, “we have come to the conclusion that it would simply not be responsible for us to hold a face-to-face gathering this autumn”, the organising team said.
“The rates of Covid infection are predicted to rise in Poland this autumn. The LE20/21 Gathering would draw delegates from not just Europe but all over the world, meaning that there is a significant risk of LE20/21 becoming a superspreader event that sees delegates take new strains of the virus back to their countries after the Gathering”.
“Even if we were to require delegates to undergo Covid-19 testing and be fully vaccinated, we cannot require [hotel] staff and other guests to do the same”.
September statement of the LE 20/21 team.
The coordination team behind the gathering also considered the “negative impact on the testimony of the church in Europe (…) if LE20/21 is found to be the cause of an outbreak somewhere else in Europe or the rest of the world”.
Disappointment and fresh opportunities
The team expressed its “disappointment”. “The prospect of bringing together in person key leaders from around Europe, the young and the not-so-young, men and women, native Europeans and leaders from the Majority World in Europe, to meet, talk, listen, and pray for our continent, was something we were eagerly anticipating”.
“We believe that God has a purpose in this once-in-a-generation event. So we are redoubling our efforts to plan a fully online Gathering over the same days in November. This will take the best of our planned programme, will feature the most strategic speakers, and will maximise the contact between delegates. We are already working hard to make this online Gathering as interactive and engaging as possible”.
Logo of the Lausanne Europe 20/21 process
Around 800 evangelical leaders have been invited to this once in a generation continental gathering. The team has asked for “prayer” for wisdom “as we rework the programme”.
Meanwhile, the LE 20/21 Conversation continues. Small groups all across the continent called "Impact Groups" are meeting once a month to discuss current issues from a Christian perspective, using materials posted on the Lausanne Europe website.
Read more contents related to LE 20/21 published at Evangelical Focus.