The annual Methodist Youth Assembly is set to give young people a stake in the future of the Church when it meets near Swindon later this month.
Around 200 young Methodists are due to gather from Friday 19 to Sunday 21 November 2010, where they will make key decisions affecting the life of the denomination.
Education, sex and relationships and peace in Israel and Palestine are expected to be on the agenda. They will also vote for next year’s Youth President and for other young people to represent them on the Methodist Council, World Methodist Council, and various key decision-making bodies of the Church.
Following last year’s success, Youth Assembly has been redesigned to enhance participation among young people in the Church. The event is a place for young people to listen to one another and talk about the issues which really matter to them. It also provides time and space for young people to worship together.
At Youth Assembly, young people engage in the process of thinking, talking and being disciples. Outcomes of the Assembly may be passed to the Methodist Conference, which meets in the summer. Discussions often continue on the Methodist Generous website.
Methodist Youth President, Christy-Anna Errington, said: “I am looking forward to the opportunity young people will have to talk about what’s really important to them. I think that is the point of Youth Assembly; for young people’s voices to be heard."
She continued: “We are constantly working towards increasing youth participation so that young people are a part of the decision-making process. Every year we are learning more about how to do this better. This is the second Youth Assembly so people have had a chance to look at what happened last year and see how things can be improved. I think it will be even better than last year.”
The event is planned by young people from across Britain who volunteer to be facilitators of the business of Youth Assembly and are assisted by members of the Children and Youth Team.
Jude Levermore, Methodist Participation Development Officer, said: “Participation is a two way street and this year’s Youth Assembly will demonstrate that. All aspects of the programme have been designed as a partnership between young people and adults. For example, the event programme guide has been written and designed by a team ranging from 14 – 40 years old who were all equals in the process.”
The Methodist Church is one of the largest Christian denominations in Britain, with some 241,000 members and regular contact with over 550,000 people. It has 5,237 churches, and also maintains links with other Methodist churches, totalling a worldwide membership of 70 million.
* Methodist Youth President, Christy-Anna Errington has a blog here: http://www.methodistyouthpres.blogspot.com/