Sorry this is late, but I have been busy/sleeping/catching up with bits and pieces. Also this post may be a little more articulate that the previous few, as I am back to using a full keyboard and spell cheaper, rather than my small fruit-based device.
Another positive step for Methodist Youth! Following a presentation from JPIT (Joint Public Issues Team), we had a chat with them about the possibility of them working closer with young people at all stages of their work. And what is even better is that they asked us, not the other way round. This is just one example of the impact that young people are having now. There were about 15 young people at Conference, and their voices were heard! All I hope is that this continues in the post-Conference era, and that we get more and more young people are at in Plymouth next year. I was also very excited to hear that, in the past few years, the Methodist Church in Sri Lanka passed a resolution so that a quarter of their Conference is young people and that any meeting at any level has to have young people on it. I wouldn’t want to impose this here, as it would be bordering on tokenism, but I think these kinds of levels are what we should be striving for, as young people are not only ‘the Church of tomorrow’ (as so often is heard), but are very much the Church of NOW.
Thursday saw a lot of tidying up work with various formalities. However these were presented by people who made even the changes to Standing Orders seem interesting, a God-given gift if there ever was one. We also said farewell to a legend of Methodism, Ken Howcroft. He is off to be our man in Rome, and will be missed. The closing of Conference was a very clever and seamless mix of the formalities and worship, re-enforcing the fact that while it is technically a ‘business’ meeting, everything that we were doing was so that the greater glory of God can be shown.
I was actually quite sad to leave Southport. I had spend a week with some good friends, new and old, and always find that I hit a bit of a low when I return to the ‘real world’ from big Christian gathering full of passionate people. However, as was mentioned numerous times throughout the week, we need to go into the world to make the changes we were calling for.
So that is the end of my time at Conference for 2011, but I am hoping to go again next year. But before I finish I would like to thank a number of people. Firstly, Wales Synod for giving me the opportunity to attend, and supporting me. The other young people who where there, in whatever capacity. It was amazing to be part of a group who were so passionate about what they believed and so dedicated and hardworking that they got it done. I would also like to thank all the members of Conference who gave us help, support and guidance when we needed it. A lot has been said about the social media aspect of this year’s Conference, and the hard work for the Methodist Media team for enabling so many people across the Connexion to be involved, even if there weren’t sat in the Floral Hall. I would also like to thank all those who were tweeting, who know who you are. And finally to Beryl, my Conference prayer twin, for her cheery nature and prayers.
There we go! I am going to try and keep up the blogging, though it obviously won’t be all Methodism. Saying that, the work for Youth Assembly is stepping up soon, so watch this space!