3Generate is on the Horizon


Happy Monday one and all! 3Generate is fast approaching. After months of discernment, discussion and prayer, not to mention the sheer amount of man hours, it all comes together this weekend. You may be a young person attending the event, or a parent sending their child, or a church sending a group to this weekend. Or maybe you don’t have anyone you know attending the event. Regardless, I’m sure that you would all keep 3Generate in your thoughts and prayers this week. To help with this, here is a plan for daily prayer this week, to help guide your thoughts and prayers for the event.

Tim

Monday:

In the lead up to 3Generate this weekend, we particularly remember the 8-11’s stream in our thoughts and prayers today.

We pray for the streams sessions and activities. The Speak Out session Saturday morning, which includes groups looking at Big Questions (looking at the big tricky questions), An uneven playing field (Living in a world of inequality) and being Uniquely Different (celebrating and valuing our differences and similarities) and more. The Engage session Saturday afternoon will look at themes around Living in Conflict (getting along when we don’t always agree), Valuing who I am (Looking after myself) and Transitions (making and dealing with changes) to name a few. Saturday early evening session called Respond will give chances for the young people to reflect and respond to discussions and activities they had that day.

On Sunday, the stream will participate in voting for who they think should be their Youth President from the candidates. They will also have time to produce their own Manifesto for their age stream, pulling together the issues that they feel passionately about.

We pray for the friendships that will be formed, the fellowship that will be present over this weekend and the faith of these young people is built up and they come away from this weekend wanting to be Agents of Change in our local churches.

Tuesday:

In the lead up to 3Generate this weekend, we particularly remember the 11-18’s stream in our thoughts and prayers today.

We pray for the stream sessions and activities. The ‘Go’ sessions on Saturday are split between discussion sessions and creative sessions. Both of these types of sessions will be looking at a myriad of different topics and themes, with some of topics titled Extremism, Re:think, It’s So Unfair, If I ruled the World, If I ruled the Church and more. The afternoon will be spent in worship and in Facilitated sessions. It’s time to reflect and hear about the issues that are on the hearts and minds of the young people. In the evening, the 11-18’s have the opportunity to hear from these year’s Youth President candidates and vote on them in a balloted election.

On Sunday, the 11-18’s join in worship with the 8-11’s and the 18-23’s for all age worship, titled “Meet Jesus…” before going into their “Grow” sessions for the remainder of their time at 3Generate.

We pray that every young person that comes this weekend is challenged and grows in thinking and spirit over the weekend, that connections are made between young people from different parts of our Connexion and that God be at the centre of their time this weekend.

Wednesday:

In the lead up to 3Generate this weekend, we particularly remember the 18-23’s stream in our thoughts and prayers today.

This year, the stream begins with a short series of TED talks on topics such as Community and Calling. These will be the basis for discussion and conversation throughout the morning, allowing the delegates to explore the themes of the talks with those who gave them.

The afternoon will be filled with skills based workshops on making practical change within each delegates world, be it self, peer group, church and community or even the world.

Saturday will be rounded off by a time of relaxation and laughter as the stream hosts a “Canapes, Cocktail and Candidates” evening. This will be time for the delegates to meet and have conversations with this year’s Youth President Candidates and vote on them, while having street food, mocktails and a pub quiz! At the end of the day, there will also be a late night communion, offering time of quiet and reflection while coming together as a community in communion.

After joining with the other age streams for worship on the Sunday morning, the 18-23’s will be drawing up their streams manifesto, while also having time of reflection and prayer, ending their time at 3Generate with worship with The Well stream.

We prayer and thank God for the opportunity for this age stream to come together, for the discussions and fellowship they will have during 3Generate, and that they go from 3Generate renewed and passionate to be the change in the community they want to see.

Thursday:

In the lead up to 3Generate this weekend, we particularly remember The Well stream in our thoughts and prayers today.

The Well stream offers opportunity for Children, Youth, Schools and Family workers to come together over the weekend to meet other workers, develop their ministries and have a time of spiritual development.

On the Saturday, the Well will be having a time of professional development in the morning, attending talks on topics such as Children’s Spirituality, Self-Esteem and Self Harm and We Are Family. The afternoon will be opportunity in the first half to attend workshops on Re-imagine Church and Godly Play. The later part of the afternoon will be a time of Open Space, with times of reflections and discussions with the President, Vice President and 3Generate Representatives.

Sunday gives chance for delegates to ether use the activates at PGL or go on a Prayer walk. After a time of evaluation, the stream will have a discussion and conversation session with the current Youth President about what has been happening over the weekend in the other age streams. Before leaving, the stream will be joining with the 18-23’s for a time of worship.

We pray that over this weekend, each and every delegate from the Well stream find time to reflect and grow in their ministry, to find support in a wider community of contemporises and go from the weekend refreshed and filled to do God’s work within our local communities.

Friday:

In the lead up to 3Generate this weekend, I’ve asked all week to hold each stream in your prayers each day. Today is the day, the event starts!

We pray and thank God for the incredible hard work and time that our 3Generate shapers, facilitators and volunteers have put into the programme this weekend. We pray for all those attending this weekend to ensure that all goes smoothly.

Pray for the safe travel of all those volunteers and delegates that are coming today to 3Generate from all over the UK. Pray that all apprehensions that people may have about coming to 3Generate are quashed and that each and every delegate and volunteer knows that they are in a safe, loving and supportive community.

We pray for each contributor over this weekend. Pray that their sessions go off without a hitch, that any nerves are quietened and that God speaks through them to the delegates this weekend.

We prayer for every community and church that has a delegates attending 3Generate. Pray that each delegate be a stone in a pond that causes a ripple, that the ripple be the change that spread out across the community from each and every person.

Finally, we pray that in all the discussions and sessions, events and activities, worship and times of quiet that God be present in it all.

What Kind of Day it has been.

I had no intention to have this be my first blog post as Youth President. In fact, my first post was planning to be a verbatim copy of what I said at my induction service as a way of introducing myself to you all. Something with a bit of a positive edge to it. You will get that soon, but for now, let me comment on what is all on our minds this day.

Earlier this year, the UK had, what is called a Referendum Vote. It's more commonly known around the world as the 'Brexit' vote. It was also the first time I stayed up to hear the results of the vote live. It was me and two good friends sat in my parents living room, eating junk food and drinking tea. Being the political geeks and children of the modern culture that we are, we had multiple screens with various news sources showing us the reaction from the population. The moment that Farage uttered his "Independence Day" speech I, like 48.8% of the population of the U.K., felt angry, upset and dumbstruck at what had happened. At the time I would also have said I felt betrayed by the population of the U.K. that voted to leave purely on the grounds of fear and hate. Now many who voted Leave did so for many reasons, some well-founded and thought out. However, it should be noted that in the immediate 24 hours after the vote happened, the phrase “What does it mean to leave the EU?” had at least a 200% increase in searches on Google.

I imagine that a number of young people in America are going to bed today or waking up feeling much like I did earlier this year.

From the start, let me make it clear: Donald Trump was democratically elected President of the United States. He stood, he campaigned and he was elected by a majority.

That being said.

The whole election campaign in the USA, like Britain before it, has been marred by fear, hate and misinformation

For example: Donald Trump advocated for people at his rallies to attack protesters. He made obscene references to his anatomy during a televised debate. He called Mexican immigrants rapists. Called for the attacked and killing of terrorist’s families. He continually makes disparaging and misogynistic comments towards women. He continually stoked the fear and hatred of Muslims in the USA. He advocated the use of Water Boarding and worse when interrogating prisoners. He has called refugees the ‘Trojan Horse’ for Isis. He makes racist comments about Mexicans, Chinese and Syrians and more. And that is scratching the surface barely of what this serious presidential candidate has been talking about on the campaign trail, in televised debates and interviews.

I’m not going to pretend to be happy at this election outcome. I don’t think anyone can pretend to be happy at this outcome. In the middle of this fear, hatred, confusion and suffering though, the thoughts of all those who voted against Trump are highlighted by Van Jones, a CNN anchor:

“People have talked about a miracle – I’m hearing a nightmare.

It’s hard to be a parent tonight for a lot of us. You tell your kids, ‘Don’t be a bully.’ You tell your kids, ‘Don’t be a bigot.’ You tell your kids, ‘Do your homework and be prepared.’ Then you have this outcome, and you have people putting children to bed tonight and they’re afraid of breakfast.

They’re afraid of, ‘How do I explain this to my children?’ I have Muslim friends who are texting me tonight saying, ‘Should I leave my country?’ I have families of immigrants that are terrified tonight.

Donald Trump has a responsibility tonight to come out and reassure people that he is going to be the president of all people who he insulted and offended and bashed aside. When you say you want your country back, you got a lot of people who feel that were not represented well either but we don’t want to feel that someone has been elected by throwing away some of us to appeal more deeply to others.” – Van Jones (http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/van-jones-calls-trump-s-surprise-victory-a-whitelash-against-a-changing-country-a7406511.html)

His comments sum up what many Americans are feeling right now. His comments sum up what I and many other British people were feeling on June 23rd. I want to say to Americans to not worry, it’s not as bad as it could be. But I can’t honestly do that.

In the week following the Brexit vote, 6,193 hate crimes were reported in the week after Brexit. It should be noted that between 80-99% of hate crime goes unreported. There was also a 213% rise in hate crime on those who were disabled during the same period. In addition, domestic abuse, rape and sexual offences crime went up 10%. Worse still, a Polish gentleman named Arek Jozwik was beaten to death because he was Polish.

America has voted and elected a man who openly uses the platform he has to promote fear and hate towards these groups and more. What scares me is that if these crimes happened in Britain, who is to say that they won’t happen in America?

I pray that I’m wrong. I pray that Americans come together after this putrid election. I pray that Americans who didn’t vote for Trump will have the strength of character and resolve to carry on being the great human beings they wish to be.

Humanity, for all its flaws, comes together best when it seems we are in the darkest places. We rally around one another. We find joy and laughter in the small moments. We rise up against injustice. In the face of fear and intolerance we, as a species, stand united. We stand up to bullies. We work hard for our rest. We find the strength to carry on.

So, my American Brothers and Sisters, hold your politicians to account. Speak up to those who use fear, intolerance and hatred as a platform. Support those who are being marginalised. Remember that love, compassion and understanding will change the world. Be the one person that stands against the crowd if needs be. Do what you feel right in your heart. Be the love you know you want to see in your community.