Today was so positive!
Today saw a concerted effort from supporters both young and 'old' to ensure that Methodist Youth will have a voice in the long term. Conference agreed to ensure the Youth President will return to a full time paid role, and that this will continue past 2013. This is amazing news and such a good step in furthering the participation of young people in the Connexion.
These changes would not have been without the dedication, determinism, resilience and passion for the young people at Conference, and the support of a number of 'adults' with these same qualities. I would like to say a massive thank you to all those people, and to God for blessing Methodist Youth with them. I simply pray that this will continue and grow in the future.
I won't say much about the rest of business, as I have little to say about them. I do ask that we pray for all those affected by the sensitive business (I.e. Safeguarding).
I rose to speak four times today, and am so glad I did. It was so daunting the first time, I was shaking and I had written what I wanted to say. By the fourth time I was speaking from my mind and felt a lot my comfortable. If you are at conference and are yet to speak, I strongly advise that you do!
Another thing that amazed me today was the level of social engagement with Conference. At one point today the #methconf twitter hashtag was getting 17 messages a minute and,at it's highest, the live video feed had 117 viewers. Methodist Media are doing an great job, as are other tweeters. It is interesting to see discussions happen between delegates and others running parallel to the Conference debate, and to me this actually allows for greater democracy, as more people are having their say.
Today also saw the trial of two new things, electronic voting and Parallel sessions. The electronic voting was misused in my opinion, used when it was not necessary and not used well when it was. At £2500 per day, it was an expensive experiment but hopefully it will be adopted, and implemented better. The parallel sessions saw Conference split into four and look at separate reports in parallel. I was in the Missing Generation report bit, and I'm not sure how well these sessions work. However, I am aware that it is only the first time it has happened, so there was bound to be teething problems. We'll see how it goes.
Right, it's 1am an I need sleep, so goodnight, God bless and sweet dreams
Matt Collins, Wales Synod (aka @gingermethodist)