Hello!

Firstly, I'm so sorry for being such a rubbish blogger. Recently it hasn't been so much avoiding blogging as simply forgetting to do it or running out of time to do it. I'm sure I put too much pressure on myself subconsciously to write really deep meaningful blogs which may be the best piece of writing ever written, which leads to me not writing anything at all! I really want to make it more of a priority as I think it's very important so here I am - trying to turn over a new leaf. I welcome any suggestions as to how to get better at this, and am open to a good kick up the backside every now and then if I get lazy!

I had a wonderful Christmas with many lovely people, including my first Christmas day away from my immediate family - a big step! My husband Ben and I went up to Lancashire to stay with his family. Then we got to do 'fake Christmas' with my family a few days later! Bonus!

As ever I have had a busy month. This job is very hard work and I completely love it! Lots of exciting and important things have been going on - I think this is a really exhilarating time of year in the Children and Youth team. Outcomes and ideas from 3Generate are being worked on, plans are being made for the future, it's a really creative interesting time.

A few weeks ago I had the joy of visiting the Brownhills and Willenhall circuit. I had a fab time and enjoyed catching up with some familiar faces from 3Generate and A Question of Sport as well as meeting some nice new ones! I hope that the young people that I met continue to get connected into the stuff going on for children and young people at a Connexional level - I think it's so important for children and young people to both be rooted in a local church family and to feel part of 'the bigger picture'.

January included the Connexional Leaders Forum and Methodist Council, both very businessy meetings with long days. This CLF was the first time I've walked into one of these meetings and been able to name more than one or two people! I'm getting the hang of the format of these things and spoke for the first time at Council. I'm really looking forward to the next Council now which I think will be very interesting.

One of the best bits of January was the Rep Weekend. Each year 3Generate elects a number of representatives in a variety of roles. This year more work is being put into making the rep roles more meaningful. This means giving them more responsibility and influence, highlighting more opportunities to them, developing a team spirit and investing into them. This started with the Rep Weekend. It involved some training on things such as public speaking, time to be creative and make plans for what they want to do, and lots of team building fun. The reps are a FANTASTIC group of enthusiastic, hilarious, creative, passionate young people who take their roles very seriously and are going to have a big impact this year! I'm really happy to be working with them - the Rep Weekend was a definite highlight of my year so far and I'm really excited about the coming months. One thing is already on the go - online domination! You can follow the reps on twitter @3GenReps and they are blogging at http://3generatereps.wordpress.com/

So, I should definitely go to bed because I leave at 6.45am to begin my journey to BRAZIL! I am visiting for 3 weeks as my overseas Youth President trip. I will be starting in Rio de Janeiro, then going to Manaus, Boa Vista, Manaquiri and Sao Paolo. I will be getting to see a wide variety of exciting ministry that the Methodist Church Brazil is involved in, including work with children and young people, a hospital boat, and plans for the upcoming World Cup and Olympics/Paralympics.  I will hopefully be blogging here and on the World Church Relationship blog (http://worldchurch.posterous.com/) throughout my trip (internet dependant).

For now, good night and God bless!