Make The Time for Christmas

It's that time of year. Yes, it has come round rather fast. Christmas has this way of sneaking up on you and before you know it the days here! The CHRISTMAS has arrived!  So in true festive spirit I’ve written a...’poem’ if that’s the best way to describe it about the hectic, busy holiday that is Christmas.

Crums it’s here, it came round so fast!

How did this happen, it couldn’t be long since we celebrated it last.

Right, get the decorations, all hands on deck

In goes the turkey, brussel sprouts, Christmas pudding, check.

Santa seems to have been and delivered lots of gifts

Too bad I’ve eaten so much and can’t seem to shift.

My goodness is that the time, where has the day gone

After all that preparation it wasn’t even that long.

So once again the time has passed us by, one year Christmas might stop and actually say hi.


So, as I hope you can tell, this poem was written with quite a comedic stance on how chaotic Christmas can be. But actually I want to use this comedic poem to make a rather serious point.
Remember to stop and enjoy this Christmas. It is a time that we are suppose to celebrate, have fun and be merry. So this year, here is a challenge, try not to get stressed out about Christmas, just enjoy and have fun and don’t let the festive season pass you by.
Merry Christmas and God Bless

Heat. Happiness and Heaps of Hospitality



It was hot. And I mean not just hot....but HOT! The sort of heat that makes you really hot. Did I mention...it was hot?

If you haven’t guessed by now, in good British fashion, I’m talking about the weather and clearly not the British weather. I’m talking about the sweltering heat of Zimbabwe.

For those of you who think that it’s been quiet around here for a few weeks, it has. I’ve been away. For the past 2 weeks I have been overseas in Zimbabwe, meeting and hearing about the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe and sharing stories, ideas and thoughts between our two Methodist Churches and experiencing Zimbabwean life.  

One of the first questions I was asked when we got out there was “What did you expect?” and honestly, I didn’t really know, I had no answer. What do you expect from a country that you know little about? From a climate that is really alien to you? and from people who you had never met? I wouldn’t like to say I had no expectations, but I didn’t really have a clue what I was going into and actually that was the best way! It meant I had a really amazing surprise.

Five interesting things I learnt about Zimbabwe:

1). You can get scorpions in Zimbabwe. How do I know this? We had one in our room.

2). The best thing you can invest in on a trip to Zimbabwe is bug replant.

3). If you’re eating something that is a mixture between chicken and fish, it’s probably crocodile.

4). The sun set in Africa is one of the most beautiful things you will ever see.

5). The hospitality of people will leave you amazed. 

I was completely overwhelmed by the endless hospitality and generosity of our hosts. We were hosted by The Methodist Church in Zimbabwe Youth Department for the 12 days of our trip. They did such a good job! Although the trip was quite full on in regards to its travel and meetings, I actually wouldn’t have wanted it any other way as this enabled us to meet a huge variety of people and experience so many different things that I wouldn’t have wanted to miss.

For the first few days of our trip we stayed at the Matthew Ruskie Children’s home just outside of Harrare. We were welcomed here as family and nothing was too much of an effort for them. The children’s home is an amazing place that is run by the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe and provides residential care facilities for orphaned and vulnerable children. Whilst we were staying with them, the home faced an additional challenge with electric and running water being out of use. Whilst we were there we told that this was a regular occurrence and sometimes they could go months without power or running water. Yet, through all of this they carry on and meet each day with a smile and grace. This is something that continued to confront me throughout the trip, people’s happiness and grace. It was everywhere!

Throughout our stay in Zimbabwe we managed to travel what felt like the length and breadth of the country, sometimes spending up to 11 hours on a mini bus to try and reach the next group of people we were meeting. As I said at the beginning we met a variety of different people, from young adult groups, to the youth council, to Bishops, to Minsters, to the Boys Christian Union, Girls Christian Union, Sunday schools, rural churches, Methodist Young Disciples, the Connexional Youth President, the pupils of a Methodist school, the Connexional Youth Co-ordinator and many many more. All of these people and groups made us feel so welcome and I can’t thank them enough for their hospitality and friendship. I felt we learnt so much from them and can only hope we were able to return the favour.

Wherever we were we asked to address these various groups, telling them about ourselves and about Methodism in Great Britain. Whilst most of the time improvising what to say, I found myself repeating something which sort of just came out. I said that we are brothers and sisters in Christ. It doesn’t matter if we are in the Great Britain, in Zimbabwe or somewhere else in the world, we are all joined together in Christ and are one body. We are all disciples and are here to support and help one another in our journeys. Although this was something that seemed to come out of my mouth on a bit of a whim, I really felt this in Zimbabwe! I felt that I was a long lost sister who had come home. I felt the fellowship of Christians and specifically I felt the fellowship of Methodists.

I don’t want to mislead you in the sense that it was all work and no ‘play’, that is certainly not the case. We did have some time to explore a bit more of Zimbabwe with visits to a Game Park and an amazing trip to the stunning Victoria Falls. All of this was such a blessing but actually I found that some of my highlights were the parts where we were able to share with people and experience that fellowship.
 
All in all the entire trip was just amazing. A challenge at times, but that’s what made it even more amazing.  One thing I’d love to encourage people to think about in response to this is about how we welcome people? How we create fellowship? How we share with one another? How we relate to one another as Christians? We are brothers and sisters in Christ and are here to support and help one another on our faith journey. “So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another” (Romans 12:5)

 

 
The link below is a sign post to some work already done by the Discipleship Development Group in this area of hospitality and includes a range of resources to help churches think about how they welcome others, including a course entitled ‘First Impressions Count’ http://www.methodist.org.uk/mission/welcome-and-invitation.

3Generate generates a BUZZ

Well one of the most amazing events of my year has come...and gone.

3Genereate 2014 came around awfully quickly and in some ways the weekend whizzed by. From setting up to packing down the dedicated team of volunteers and staff were completely amazing. I’ve said it once before, but I’m going to say it again. Without the volunteers and passionate staff this event would not be possible, so thank you to everyone who was involved.
For me, the entire weekend had an amazing atmosphere. What I think best describes it is a ‘buzz’. The children and young people just have such an enthusiasm for this event that it creates a buzz that is almost contagious. And I caught the it!

A particular moment that stood out in the weekend for me was the late night Saturday worship. I think the band from Cliff College do an amazing job at creating a safe space where young people can come and encounter God. For me, this is one of things that 3Genereate is about. An image that has stayed with me since the weekend is that of 3 young people praying together. At first it was just one young person, and then a friend came over and began to pray with them and after a few minutes another young person came over and prayed too.  Although it may seem quite a simply image it’s about what it represents: the desire to meet with God whilst supporting one another; that young people from across the connexion can come together and share in faith. For those of you that know me, you’ll know I love a good cry so, in true Meg fashion I found myself completely moved by this image with tears streaming down my face.
I shared a part of my testimony on Friday evening but what I failed to say was about the part that 3Generate had played in my own journey. Without 3Generate I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to explore my relationship with God. Through this event I was able to meet with God where I was...well, where I am, and I think this event does the same for other children and young people. It’s a place where we can come with all that they are, all that’s gone on, all that has happened and just meet with God in our own way.

I’ve been to my fare share of 3Gen’s and am even old enough (even though I don’t look it right?) to have attend the youth assembly and even the youth conference set up. I truly believe in the work that 3Generate does. It empowers young people, giving them a voice and creates a space where children and young people can come and encounter God.  
It was an absolute privilege to host this year’s event and to help in the planning for this special weekend. There’s so much more I want to say on this event, but for now........I’m off to Zimbabwe!
Look out for another instalment when I get back.
See you soon

what I learnt at Cliff....



*So I'm mixing my blog around this week, and although I spent an amazing weekend in Essex, that will feature in next weeks blogs. So watch this space for that. *

My Mum always told me that honesty is the best policy. So...taking her advice...

This week I’ve struggled slightly. Not because of anything that has happened or because of anything that someone might have done. Just because. Matter of fact. Just because. I know some people reading this will know exactly what I mean. That sometimes it’s just one of ‘those’ days.

So I’ve spent my week around some really lovely people at the Discipleship and Ministry ‘gathering’ (a group where lots of people get together and share lots of stuff basically). I’ve heard a lot of great things this week and I just want to share a few reflections/thoughts (please note there is no common theme running through each point)


1). Online dating. I know that’s not the first thing you expected to hear, but I actually learnt an awful lot about the world of online dating and how it works! (Kindly delivered to me by the Church and Community team) It really made me think about how our world is slowly, but surely moving onto the online forum and made me think about what things might look like in future years.

2). Cliff College offers a lot of cake!!! My waist line = suffering

3). People are all blessed with different gifts and talents and we all need to be given the potential to live out our God given identity and use our gifts.

4). And finally and maybe the most important one of all. I think that sometimes we see that sharing our vulnerable side to people is a sign of weakness. But, I think this should not be the case. In fact, if anything, I think sharing our vulnerability and fragility is something that takes great strength. Jesus showed us his vulnerability when he died for us on the cross. But I think that this vulnerability actually showed great strength because in doing so Jesus took away all our sins. So how immense is that? That in Jesus’ frailty and tenderness there was strength and power.

I think this is amazing.
 
 
An amazing picture drawn by someone amazing at the Gathering sharing their God given talent :)
 
Prayer: Lord I pray for everyone that I have come into contact with this week. Please bless them in the work that they do and be with them as they go back to their different parts of the country. I also pray for strength Lord. Strength to share with others ours our vulnerability and frailty. Amen.
 

 

In the early hours...


When travelling around during the early hours of the morning on trains, sometimes you tend to have a bit of time to think (when I’m not sleeping). This week, as the youth president 2015/16 application comes to a close, I’ve been thinking back about why I applied for the role.

If I’m honest, it all started with that small feeling of being isolated. I’ve grown up in the Methodist church and although my mum was a Sunday school teacher, I was always given the choice to go to church. Being 1 of 3 young people in our little rural Chapel (FYI: didn’t have running water or a toilet = Problematic) and also 1 of 10 in our congregation could sometimes be a blessing but also a challenge. As well supported as we were as young people at the Chapel, it could at times feel quite isolated. Many years ago now (because I’m old) the 3 of us young people attended a national event, now known as 3Generate, but then known as MYC. This really sparked the fire in me to do more and to be more. It was amazing to feel part of something bigger! To see that I wasn’t on my own! That there were other young Christian’s; they did exist!

Then throughout the next couple of years I had some amazing overseas opportunities as well as have opportunities to get involved in all aspects of church. This again fed my desire to help others who felt they were alone or isolated.

I’m not ashamed to say it that God has changed my heart over the past couple of years and has lead me on a path a never thought possible. But sometimes he does that doesn’t he?

2 things I want to share:

1). I just want to encourage anyone thinking of applying for the youth president role. It’s an amazing opportunity and it will change you.

2). I also really want to encourage those people who feel that they are isolated, weather by location or by relationships. You are not alone. It may at times feel like you are, but God is with you, no matter how distant you feel, He’s got you.
The rural chapel that always made me hang on for the loo!!!
 
Prayer: I pray for everyone thinking of applying for the youth president role. Be with them Lord in this time and guide them in their choices. I also pray for those who feel isolated. Let them feel your love and spirit surrounding them so that they may know that they are not alone.
 
 

Stepping out of the boat.


I’ve had a really amazing first week in my new role as Methodist Youth President. It’s been a week that has already challenged me, made me think, taught me things, helped me meet new people and most of all brought me a lot of fun. I’ve been doing various things this week but I just want to share with you some particular moments that have stayed with me.

 On Friday I had the privilege of meeting the 8 new One Programme Participants and the 2 new interns of Swanbank Methodist. Something that really hit me about the weekend was the excitement: the excitement for these young people starting a new role and taking a next step towards their future. Now, we all know that the future can be a very exciting place; however it can also be a little uncertain and can, at times, seem a little scary. Sometimes, the future even seems too big for us to handle or too impossible to see.

For me, this theme seemed to follow my weekend. As I moved on to Bolton and Rochdale for their district youth event I found that we began to talk about stepping out of the boat. During the Sunday morning worship we heard the familiar story from Matthew of Peter stepping out of the boat and walking on water. Something that really struck me about this story was the fact that Peter believed he couldn’t do this, that he couldn’t walk on water. But, once Peter stepped out of the boat and began to walk he found he could. Jesus then comes to him and takes his hand and leads him.

The thoughts that I had with this were that sometimes when we ‘step out of the boat’, in whatever way that may be, things can sometimes seem difficult, uncertain or even impossible. But, it’s not about doing this on our own. Jesus is with us. Jesus is there to help guide us and hold our hand, just as he did with Peter. God can sometimes ask us to do things that we really don’t think are possible, but with Him all things are possible.

 

Prayer: Father God, help us to know that you are always with us. In all that we do and all that we are. When times seem hard and there is uncertainty ahead, let us know that you are there with your arm outstretched ready to hold our hand.

 

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





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




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


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).

Fancy a day out in Parliament? by Roseanna Levermore

This event is solely for young people and hopes to be a really exciting opportunity. So if you are between the ages of 16-23, and consider yourself a Methodist, United Reformed Church or Baptist Church member (or know someone who is and can tell them about it) then please read on!
 
The aim of the day is to explore faith, politics and participation in social justice. We will have tours around the Houses of Parliament, a panel discussion with MPs and Lords, before ending the day at Methodist Central Hall for a reflection and discussion session in small groups.
 
For the practicalities of the event, it starts at either 8:30am or 9:45am (depending on which tour group you are placed into) and ends at 3:45pm. It is a free event but a packed lunch or money to purchase some food from the Methodist Central Hall cafĂ© is required. We have 24 spaces available, so we believe that the fairest way is to ask everyone who felt that they would like to attend to fill in a form explaining their interest. This will also help us to create a day that will suit you most effectively. If you’re interested in attending then please fill out the form here and respond by the 22nd of May, we will then let you know by the beginning of June if you have secured a place.
If you need a letter of permission to have the day off school, and have been offered a place, then we can send you a copy by email or post at a later date.

For more information, please see attached the plan for the day, or contact Roseanna Levermore on politicalaffairs@methodistchurch.org.uk

We hope you are as excited as we are by this amazing opportunity, so please apply as we would love to see as many young people as possible joining us in Parliament.

http://www.jointpublicissues.org.uk/fancy-a-day-out-in-parliament/#more-6117

Why does work matter?



This is a blog that I wrote recently and I thought that I would share it with you all.

Why does work matter? To tackle this I am going to view it from different perspectives:

Why does work matter?

Dear Generation Y,

Generation Y is a term that you have became more and more accustomed to. It’s the generation that have been raised within a time period where the access to technology has practically been within your fingertips. Computers, mobile phones, the internet was all accessible and part of your youth. This has meant that employers have had to adapt to this transition, revise their hiring strategy, their infrastructure and ethos in order to be appealable to your generation. Companies face the pressure to become more technologically advanced and have been comforted by the popularity of social media. With the accessibility of the internet, an average number of 500 million tweets per day and the latest gossip being constantly loaded onto Facebook, employers have to ensure that they are being relevant and visible in this virtual world.

Social media can be used as a very important tool for advertising jobs but it also poses a risk for you. As you have grown up in this digital age, you have become more liberated, more open to what you expose to the world. On Wednesday 2nd April 2014, a teacher was sacked after calling pupils ‘feral’ on Twitter (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/10740039/Teacher-sacked-after-calling-pupils-feral-on-Twitter.html. Although her tweets were absolutely abhorrent this has proven that social media can appear to be your closest confidant but also very quick to expose your secrets to the world.

Laziness is another negative thing that you are accused of being. One of the reasons for this is perhaps that you may prefer less structured working hours. Whereas older generations considered the hours that an employer offered to be fixed, rather than up for negotiation, this in turn can make you appear to lack respect or commitment.

Finally, in contradiction to the first point, education and hard work is no longer the ticket to success. It is now considered that every job that you apply for there are at least 25 people applying for the same position. You didn’t build up these traits without the assistance of the previous generations who created this path for you. You did what they were told to do, you went to school, the majority staying on for further education. You were to taught to believe that the key to financial success was from education and hardwork.

The problem is that the country was not ready for a generation to do what was actually asked of them. Work is important to your generation as you need to constantly fight the stereotype which has been unfairly placed upon their shoulders. As degrees become more normalised, increasing cuts and with the rise of living increasing, you are merely a ‘victim’ of the time period that you were born in. Work matters to you as work provides you with purpose and makes you feel as your education has been worthwhile! You need and deserve an attainable dream for the future.

Why should work matter?

Work doesn’t just matter to you it also is very important to God. Sadly there are many Christians who will be quick to proclaim Jesus Christ as the living saviour; but posses a distinctively unbiblical view of work. Some may see it as part of the curse of living in a ‘fallen, secular’ world. Others are quick to separate serving God to serving in a secular sense.

But one key point that we need to remember is that “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve..." (Matthew 20:28). The Bible verse doesn’t mention that he came to serve only in the temple, or when he felt like it, Jesus did not come to be served but to serve.

Work is mentioned both directly and indirectly many times in the bible, evidently no matter whether you work for a secular or Christian organisation, the work of our hands should:

Glorify God

Further the Kingdom of God

Serve the common good

 

Work is one of the most powerful means that God provides us with to shape, empower and influence
culture. ‘Work’ should matter to us as it mattered to Jesus.

As Christians it is our duty to relate to people in their natural setting, nine in ten may not be in Church on a Sunday, but nine in ten will be at work on a Monday. It is our duty to remain distinctively Christian within any environment.

Jesus was considered to be a ‘rebel’ for preaching the gospel on the Sabbath day. This may sound like a crazy and a radical idea but why don’t we share the gospel with people on a Monday afternoon? If we are serious about our faith and the truth of Christianity, we need to engage in cultural renewal.

“God has structured things for his glory and his goodness and humanity is directing it in evil or good ways. If we are going to engage culture, it’s about taking the things you are skilled at and asking, “How can I direct them in a good way”’ Lecrae Moore

Yours truly,
A fellow millennial x

My last CLF...


On Monday I attended my last CLF (Connexional Leadership Forum) In Kings Park Centre, Northampton as Youth President and this for me was by far the best one yet! the CLF meets 3 times in the Connexional year (September, January and March) I had an amazing time as on the Monday evening I had the pleasure of sharing my experiences so as the Youth President. Later that evening there was a ‘Love feast' which invited both new CLF members/stepping down, to say a word: about themselves, being human and a Christian in leadership and one request for prayer. I found this to be very enlightening as I got to find out more about some of the people that I have previous attended CLF with. It made me rediscover how beautiful it is to find out about people’s testimonies and their walks of life and this really encouraged me that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. After this session the atmosphere in the air was emotionally charged and I genuinely felt connected to the people in attendance, in this moment I truly understood what it meant to be the body of Christ, brothers and sisters by our almighty creator.

On the Tuesday morning I had the privilege of ‘chairing’ the session on ‘Statistics supporting mission’, which I found to be very interesting as it highlighted how we can use statistics to benefit the life of the ‘Church’. We were later joined by Paul and Rachel from JPIT who were discussing food banks and this was very beneficial as contrary to what some reports may suggest, there is clearly a definite need for this measure and this led to some very interesting discussions. My time at CLF has been really good and it was nice that my last one I got to learn more about the people in attendance, so I would just like to thank everyone that made me feel very welcome and for your support.

My time at WYYN



My time at WYYN (West Yorkshire Youth Network)


On Sunday 23rd February my travels took me to West Yorkshire! I had been invited to the WYYN event by the district chair Roger Walton and I was told this was the very first event of its kind. We travelled to Cornerstone Church and Roger told me to not be disheartened if only 3 young people arrived along with the 10 youth workers to which my response was as least we could them all more quality time!

I’m glad to say that Roger’s prediction wasn’t right and as the clock stroke 4pm we were joined by 10-15 young people – which was fantastic! The afternoon started with the good old icebreaker game of human bingo and Praise the Lord that I was in attendance as one of the questions were: Is there a vegetarian? I was half of the vegetarians that were in attendance! Surprisingly enough we also found a person that didn’t like chocolate which was one of the other questions. Once the ice was considered to be shattered we started a group exercise of building bridges. Our tasks were to connect six tables which were placed in a circle (without them touching of course!) with the cardboard, paper plates, newspaper and sellotape provided working in small groups on each of the gaps between the tables. It was actually quite interesting to see the different techniques that the young people used to connect the tables together actually! To prove that the connections were sturdy we were then given a softball to use to see if it could travel effectively on the created pathways and I am happy to say that it worked! If that wasn’t a good example of team work then I don’t know what is!







 

The afternoon progressed with more fun, games and then the young people had the choice of attending one of three workshops: Drama of the good Samaritan, Prayer session (where they came up with a collage of prayers for the themes of: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and supplication) and worship (where they came up with a dance to one of the worship songs performed by One Word). After this we had dinner together and then the young people showcased what they had done within the workshops. WYYN was then finished with prayer and worship.

I had such an amazing time at the WYYN event and it evident that the young people enjoyed it as well as it hadn’t even finished before they were asking when the next event is! Jez and the team did an amazing job in organising it and my hopes and prayers are for the Youth Synod which is coming up soon!