Checking out...



Is it really August already?!?! I just cannot believe how fast the past 12 months have gone and now, like the Youth Presidents before me, I am at a turning point in my life.

To begin with, can I offer a disclaimer: This is not a “goodbye blog”, this is just another chapter within my beautiful novel which has been steered by the best non-fiction storyteller ever- The awesome God.

I cannot even begin to tell you what an amazing year that I have had, how much I have learnt, how much I have done and been involved in. I can honestly say that although I have been challenged (in a good way) this has been one of the best years of my life so far.

Thank you to the people who have looked after me during my visits, who invited/welcomed me into their youth groups and Churches, drove me to and from the station, enabled me to hear the voice of their children and young people. A huge thanks to the Connexional, Church and Community team, my line manager and my line manager’s line manager! Thank you to you all for your prayers, emails, thoughts, words of wisdom, encouragement, listening to me, inspiring me, providing me with the opportunity to talk to children and young people, and for listening to me constantly spewing info about SCWC. Without you, my year would not have been the amazing year that it has been.

Working with the 3Generate youth representatives has been another highlight of my year. They are an inspiring group of individuals, who have enabled me to also grow within my role. The fantastic work that they are doing has been phenomenal, it has been a pleasure spending the rep weekends with them and watching them grow within their own positions. You have been awesome, for being my guide and enabling me to see things more diplomatically I thank you for.

This position has also been an interesting one as although you are able to impact the way the Church is run in years to come, there are many things/projects/committees/campaigns that many people will know about but not necessarily know that I was involved with. It has been an honour being able to create a resource on mental health and visit our brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka, to name a few of my experiences. This position has shown and taught me that it also important to be humble and accept the fact that when something is able to happen it does not have your name attached to it. At the end of the day Jesus came to serve and not to be served, he was not boastful or vain and personally that has been the hardest lesson for me to learn, but I am happy that I am beginning to embrace that reality.  

This is not the end of my journey I still continue to strive to be more and more like Christ, to be in the world and not of the world and to love my neighbour as I love myself. Within this life it is a constant battle to feed yourself spiritually and make time for God on a daily basis, but the more I seek him, I love him even more and the more I want to seek him. So thanks be to God for giving me the freedom of being in a relationship with him.

Jeremiah 29:11

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

I know that this is a bible verse that is well-known and used VERY often but it is of deep significance to me as even in the darkest points, God was my shining light. He had a plan for me when I didn’t even have a plan for myself, he showed my potential and turned my flickering candle into a ferocious flame.

I have been truly and amazingly blessed to have been in this position so I first give thanks to God and also for the children and young people who believed in my vision and in me at 3Generate 2012.

As I pass on the baton to Megan Thomas (Youth President elect) I encourage you to keep her, the youth reps, the role of the Youth President, the Church’s leaders, lay employees and the life of the Methodist Church in your prayers.

Peace, Love and Cupcakes

xxxx


Throughout my year as Youth President it has been a bit of a running joke that every-time anyone sees me again I have a different hairstyle, so here are a few of the hairstyles that I had during my year:





 














“Using faith and politics to change the world” a day out in Parliament...8th July 2014

Generally ‘Faith’ and ‘Politics’ aren’t typically used within the same sentence and yesterday gave me the opportunity to see if these terms do go hand in hand or, like oil and water don’t mix with one another.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of joining 23 other young people courtesy of the JPIT (Joint Public issues team- Rachel Alison, Rachel Lampard, Matt Collins, Paul Morrison, Roseanna Levermore and many others behind the scenes) for a day out in Parliament. This was a free event for 16-24 year olds who considered themselves to be a member of a Methodist, United Reformed or Baptist Church and we had young people travelling into London yesterday from all different parts of the country (the furthest travelling from Newcastle to my knowledge!)  

The day started with a tour around the Houses of Parliament with the first group meeting at 8:30 and the second group at 9:45 (luckily I was part of the second group!). After the tour we then had a question and answer session with six MPs: Meg Munn, Sarah Newton, Gavin Shucker, Sir Andrew Stunell, The Rev. The Baroness Richardson of Calow  and The Rt Rev Graham James. The panel consisted of very influential individuals, who all possessed a Christian faith. During the discussion the panel were asked questions about the rise of foodbanks, bedroom tax, the rise of UKIP, immigration (to which one highlighted that “where you see diversity you see more inclusivity” – one of my favourite answers of the day!) and were also questioned about their faith.  When asked whether they possessed a balanced between their faith and political decision? One replied saying that she considered it her calling to serve her community, another saying that they ‘do it in grace and you do it in community’ and another highlighted that there are more people in Parliament with a faith background then not. Speaking of whether their faith had changed since joining Parliament some highlight that whilst they may have a different view of the Church, their faiths have not changed but it did require them to think about issues that they had not previously thought of before. It was a really insightful discussion with a lot of well thought of questions from the young people that attended.

We then did a short walk from portcullis house to Methodist Central hall where we had lunch and a short feedback and discussion on what was heard from the panel in small groups. Following on from this we had three speakers giving a 5 minute insight into key topics of interest of the young adults that attended the event: Poverty and Welfare, Church and State and Interfaith/Multifaith relationships. This then led to a fruitful discussion in smaller groups on a topic that the group was interested in.

Yesterday was a fantastic day and I had so many engaging and inspiring discussions with the young people that attended. To see so many turn up with a passion and knowledge of Politics has provided me with the enthusiasm to learn more about politics for myself. To those who don’t think that Faith and Politics shouldn’t mix until yesterday I would have probably agreed with you but it is like what one of the MPs mentioned earlier on in the day, working in Parliament is serving your community. It is up to the individual as to how they perceive this. What I think that the Church should look more into is the Theology of power on a discipleship level. Within Churches we should be engaging with politics as it affects the world around us. Although we as Christians should be ‘in the world’ but ‘not of the world’, we should at least be aware of what is happening within the world. Faith and Politics sounds like the perfect (but challenging) combination to me.

Until next time...

 

 

The Methodist Conference - day five

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiVf-rPmALk

Today marked day five of the Conference (for the representatives!!). It has been a very exciting and busy day, with a lot of interesting items of business that have been discussed. If you would like to find out more please do watch the video above. I apologise in advance (or if you have already watched the video, I apologise) at how tired I look in this video, but it's only because I have had a brilliant day! Enjoy :)

The Methodist Conference - Day three and four

video




Good evening everyone!! First of all I would like to say sorry that we didn't report back to you last night but today you get two for the joys (instead of 'price' as you aren't buying anything!!) of one. There have been some very interesting items of business that have been discussed over the past couple of days, to find out our highlights please do watch the video above.

Over and out. Good night, the reps x

The Methodist Conference 2014- Day two


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Today we were blessed to witness the Reception into the full Connexion by the receiving the Ordinands into Connexion. Such a lovely, celebratory, beautiful service, which enabled the Conference to join together for fellowship and the OPPs led some amazing prayers!! Go OPPs. After the service, I had the pleasure of going to the Ordination service at the New Testament Church of God in Handsworth. To find out more about our day, please do watch the awesome, unedited (authentic) video above.

The Reps x

The Methodist Conference 2014 - Day one

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The Methodist Conference 2014 officially begun for representatives at 14:15 this afternoon! This year the Conference is being held at the Hilton Metropole here in the lovely Birmingham! Please click on the video above to find out our highlights (me- Tamara, Youth President, Jasmine, Paul and Joshua - the Conference Youth reps) and if you would like to keep up to date with the Conference please do follow the hashtag #methodistconf or you can live stream it (Yes I said live streaming, we are that cool!!) from the Methodist Conference website! So here me and the reps are signing out for the evening but please do keep up to date with the blog for more on how day two goes!

The Reps x


The Methodist Youth President 2015-2016

Being the Youth President of the Methodist Church has been an amazing opportunity. It is a position which enables you to grow spiritually as well as professionally! The role of Methodist Youth President for 2015-16 is now being advertised. This is a full time paid role for a young person aged 18-23with a salary of £17,350.
 
This is such a fantastic role as it  involves representing children and young people of the Methodist Church, visiting children and young people across the connexion and you are also involved in the planning and delivery of the Methodist Church's annual children and youth assembly (3Generate), which is a national event for 8-23 years olds. If you would like to find out more about 3Generate please click here

 
 
 

More information about the role can be found on the Methodist Church website If you think that this role would be perfect for you or if you know a young person who may be interested in this position please do apply/pass on this information to them.
 

Methodist Youth President 2015– 2016
Thinking of taking a year out?
Do you want to make a difference?
A full-time paid post, employed by The Methodist Council from
1st September 2015 to 31st August 2016
Candidates must be aged between 18 and 23 years of age as of the start date of their contract.
Each year 3Generate, the annual assembly of children and young people in the Methodist Church, elects the new Youth President for the following academic year.
Have you got what it takes to enable, encourage, and enthuse young people, inside and outside of the Church?
This post will involve some travel and require some public speaking and committee work. The post-holder will be required to work from home as well as from Methodist Church House in London.
Closing Date: Friday 26th September 2014 at noon
Interview Date: Tuesday 21st October 2014
Salary: *£17,350 per annum
For further information please contact: childrenandyouth@methodistchurch.org.uk
For an application pack please contact:
recruitment@methodistchurch.org.uk
Applicants must be available to attend 3Generate 2014, Fri 14th to Sun 16th November, Pioneer Centre, Cleobury Mortimer, nr. Kidderminster.
This post holds an Occupational Requirement for the post holder to be a young person within the age range of 18-23 – Standing Order 250:10:iii. The successful candidate must be a member of the Methodist Church before starting in post on 1st September 2015.
*Salary to be reviewed in September 2014.
All applicants must have the right to live and work in the UK and must hold a current NI number and valid proof of ID.
This appointment will be made subject to a satisfactory enhanced disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly CRB).