On Thursday I spent the day at the Association of Black Methodist Youth conference.

The day began with 2 different, but equally brilliant speakers. Both of who spoke beautifully and relevantly to the group of young people who where there.

After lunch the young people chose an activity to do, from raft building to rounders and other activities. I had the opportunity to find out a bit more from the ABMY exec and other young people who were still around about what the ABMY does and what they want to see in the future. During the conversation the young people came out with some amazing points and ideas that I can now use to influence the direction of the work of things like Youth Assembly, Breakout and the general work of the Children and Youth team of the Methodist Church.

I had a lovely day, with some amazing young people and even got a free t-shirt!

If you want to know more about what they do, or get involved, here is their website - http://www.abmyc.org.uk/

Council of European Churches

I have had the pleasure of spending the last week in sunny Lyon, central france in order to attend the Council of European Churches!

I had not heard of it before I attended, but have been subsequently impressed by all the work they do! The main work of the conference is to influence the work of working groups and staff teams set up and funded by all the different churches that make up the council. The working groups and staff teams focus on issues like;

Current Issues
Charta Oecumenica
Climate Change
Economic and Social Issues
European Integration
Intercultural Dialogue
Inter-religious Dialogue
Minority/Majority Churches
Prayer, Worship and Spirituality
Religion in the Public Sphere
Socially Responsible Investment
Theological Education
Values, Religion, Identity

During the conference itself we spent lots of time learning from each other and listening to invited speakers from all over the world. There were many hearings and workshops which enabled us to spend time as the body of Christ listening and learning from each other.

My role there was to represent the young people of the Methodist Church, and when I was talking to people about the work that I have been doing and about the Youth Participation Strategy, many people were excited about the work and latched onto our vision for a better future!

Methodist Conference

Methodist Conference this year was really interesting, here are just a few of the topics that we debated;

"Safeguarding and safer recruitment"
"Singing the faith – the Music Resources Group Report"
"Hope in God’s Future – Christian Discipleship in the context of Climate Change"
"responding to the Anglican/Methodist Covenant"

We agreed to;
Establish a working party to develop a theological statement on the nature of pastoral care in the Methodist Church

Establish a working group with the Church of England called ‘The Joint Anglican-Methodist Working party on the Ecclesiology of Emerging Expressions of Church’ (affectionately known as JAMWPEEC – basically looking at the nature of the church in relation to Fresh Expressions

Support a ‘Year of the Bible’ given that 2011 is the 400th anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible

That membership of BNP was incompatible with being a member of the Methodist Church.

I will blog more about what proposals the Youth Conference brought to Conference later on in the week as I am currently at the Conference of European Churches in Lyon with our new President!

Find out more about what happened at Conference by visiting http://methodistconference.org.uk/ and following the links