The 3Generate shaped hole in my life...

On 17th November, children and young people from the ages
of eight to twenty eight travelled from across the Methodist  Connexion to attended 3Generate: Children and Youth Assembly which was held at the Pioneer Centre, Cleobury Mortimer in Shropshire.

3Generate, to many may only be a word, but to me it is much much more. Last year at 3Generate I was elected by the Children and Young people at the event to represent them as Methodist Youth President. Admittedly at the time I didn’t really truly know what ‘I was getting myself in for’ but as my year is progressing I truly believe that this is God’s call on my life in this current moment in time.

As I arrived at 3Generate on the Friday afternoon (I didn’t get off to the best of starts as my I missed my first train!) amongst the chaos of setting up for the event with projectors, games, posters strewn across the floor, I truly felt as part of a team. Do you ever get where, there is chaos going on around you and you are just standing there not knowing what to do with yourself? ...No? Maybe that’s just me, but preparing for the event, I had things to do (whether that may have been carrying boxes or even just opening doors for people) I felt like I was needed and without sounding too emotional it was the first time I felt needed like that in a chaotic context.

In a blink of an eye, the delegates started to arrive at 7pm and I saw old faces (who attended 3Generate last year) and new faces of people who were attending 3Generate for the first time. I felt truly at home, although initially I was worried that I wouldn’t have my fellow OPPs with me (before my year as Youth President, I was a One Programme Participation for the Methodist Church which was part of the Youth Participation Strategy and my project was the Southlands Venture at the University of Roehampton- where I empowered students to volunteer, campaign and fundraise within the local area, during my year as an OPP there were 16 other OPPs working across the connexion), I felt truly at home. Walking up and down the halls of the Pioneer centre I was met with smiles and warm embraces- too be honest I smiled so much that weekend that my jaw actually ached!

During my introduction speech of the Friday night I was soo nervous as it was the first time I had ever spoken to a large crowd and I was worried that when I would ask for volunteers that no one would respond. But to this day I am so grateful that the delegates came to my aid on numerous occasions. I could not have asked for a better audience (they even laughed at my jokes) and even when my video links didn’t work they stayed engaged throughout.

My time at 3Generate this year was completely different from my experience last year where I ‘campaigning’ as a Youth President Candidate (I must have only attended one ‘login’ session!) but I am grateful that I had the experience to be more involved in the event this year – I have never felt so maternal in my life until now! 3Generate has become so special to me.

Every year 3Generate adapts and evolves following on from feedback from the delegates at the event, through the Big SleepOver resource and from Shaper groups involving children and youth workers. The Big SleepOver resource from this year’s 3Generate will be available at: Big SleepOver Resource from the end of February so please do get your Church involved! Following on from the feedback, logins, workshops, worship and sofa chats were catered specifically to three different age streams: 8- 11, 11-18 (school year) and 18-23. The topics chosen for discussion in logins and sofa sessions are carefully selected each year from the views and recommendations.

This year we covered a range of subjects including: stress, bullying, self-esteem, understanding Mental Health, the ‘F’ words- friendship, family and faith, relationships, spiritual gifts, interfaith relationships and identity. The voice of children and young people following on these sessions and throughout the whole of 3Generate is integral to the wider Methodist Church as they form the basis of resolutions that may be passed forward to Conference or can be discussed further at the next 3Generate in 2014.

On the Sunday morning everyone I am sure was pretty knackered following on from the login sessions, debates, worship by the Sounds of Salvation, the late night bonfire, games, activities (which included the high ropes!), fellowship, plus MORE the day before (Saturday). But there was more in store (that all rhymed!) with worship by the Psalm drummers and by some of the students from Cliff College. We somehow mustered the energy (gladly!) to elect the next Youth President- Megan Thomas- She will begin her year in September 2014! So do keep her in your prayers and thoughts! We also elected 3Generate representatives to support the reps elected before 3Generate this year, the 3GenReps are:

Methodist Conference Reps: Paul Parker (18 +), Jasmine Dempsey and Joshua Williamson (15-18s)

Methodist Council Reps: Rebecca Belshaw, Megan Bunce and Andrew Fairlamb

British Youth Council Reps: Rachel Alison, Andrew Harper, Abby Watterson, Tom Williamson and myself (Tamara Wray)

Ecumenical Reps: Emma Johnson (18 +) and Yambanashe Chisango (15-18)

So please do keep all these representatives in your prayers and follow their blog 3GenReps Blog and twitter page @3GenReps!

3Generate is an event which will always be special to me and even after my year as Youth President I will definitely volunteer to help out in any way that I can. It has given me a renewed hope for the future of the ‘Church’. It seems that every week there is yet another article, document highlighting that the Church is in decline and is ‘dying out’, the fellowship and the love that I felt over the weekend strongly refutes these claims. I feel truly blessed to say that I played a small part in 3Generate 2013. 

Thank you to all who made 3Generate 2013 happen this year: God, the staff, the volunteers, the delegates, the worship team without you all this event could not have happened. Also a special thanks to Ruth Gee (President of the Methodist Conference) and Daleep Mukarji (Vice President of the Methodist Conference) who also attended the event. Please do promote 3Generate within your local Churches, Circuits, and Districts as there is still room for more delegates next year, booking for 3Generate 2014 opens in the summer 2014.
Also do look out for the Children and Youth Assembly (3Generate) report which I am in the process of typing up and will present to Methodist Conference June 2014. In the meantime do look at the report for Children and Youth Assembly report 2012 produced by Youth President 2012-13 Hayley Moss and reports for the previous years are also available :)

Until next time...

 

3Generate 2013


It’s 3Generate 2013!!

 

Just four more days to until 3Generate 2013!! I cannot describe how excited I truly am!

This year the delegates attending 3Generate this year are in for a treat! We are going to have a fantastic weekend which will be filled with opportunities for fun, discovery, worship and time to have your say on important issues.


On top of that the delegates will be able to choose who will represent them next year as Youth President. The role of the Methodist Youth president is to represent the children and youth within the Methodist Church. It is a full time paid role and is a fantastic opportunity. The candidates for this year are: Megan Thomas, John Colenutt, Tiras Dainty-Shire, Jessica Warrey, Holly Wadsworth, Mark Fromings, Laura Goldsbrough and their videos can be found at:  Youth President Candidates

 

At 3Generate there are also opportunities for the delegates to represent the children and young people in different ways. There are opportunities to be a Youth rep, with a number of roles that young people can stand for at the event. As well as making a change within the church it provides you with the opportunity to get more involved and develop skills which would be valuable for you in the future.

 

The Youth rep roles are:


 Conference Rep
The Methodist Church has a big meeting once a year where about 300 individuals who represent different groups of people within the church come together for a week to make decisions about the life of our church. There are people representing every district in Great Britain and people representing different groups within the church - including 4 people 3Generate Reps representing children and young people. 3 will be elected in a couple of weeks at 3Generate and the 4th is the Youth President. It is a fantastic opportunity and can really make a difference within the church. 


Council Rep
Methodist Council is the governing body of the Methodist Church. It's a group of about 60 people who meet four times a year for a day or two to work on and think about things between Conferences and on behalf of Conference. They look at what needs to be done to make the decisions that Conference has made happen, hear from, reflect on and respond to staff and groups on how work on those things is going, and make sure that by Conference reports can be presented in a way that means that responsible decisions can be made. There are 2 3Generate Reps on Council. It's a 2 year post and you need to be aged 18-23 when you start.

British Youth Council Rep
The British Youth Council is a charity run by and for young people who aims to empower young people across the UK to have a say and be heard, influencing and informing the decisions that affect their lives. BYC provides loads of support for young people to get involved with democracy locally, nationally and internationally. Votes at 16, the cost of transport and the cost of education are some issues which it engages with. The wide variety opportunities it offers are really brilliant; young people who are a part of BYC lobby parliament, formulate campaigns, and can go to different meetings and events to have their say and gain understanding and training. The Methodist Church has two Reps on the BYC.


Ecumenical Rep
we also have Ecumenical Reps. Their job is to visit the youth events of the different denominations of the church in the UK and to build relationships with the young people in those denominations. It is an opportunity to meet and get to know lots of different young people and develop a more connected church.

 

For people attending 3generate please apply to be a Youth rep here:  http://reps.3generate.org.uk/

 

I really am looking forward to this weekend and meeting with the children and young people across the connexion, I am truly blessed and this event will always have a special place in my heart. The full programme is available here:
3Generate 2013 programme
 

To all who are spending the weekend with me not long to go....
To all who are unable to join us please do keep the event, the people involved and the delegates in your prayers.
 
See you soon,

Love Tamara xxx