Young Methodists gather to change and challenge the church

Over two hundred and fifty Methodist young people aged between eight and twenty three will gather this weekend (15-17 Nov) at the Pioneer Centre, Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire, for the  3Generate 2013  Children's and Youth Assembly of the Methodist Church.

The theme for this year's youth assembly centres around Matthew 22.34-40/Mark 12.28-31: the call to love God, love yourself and love others.

The programme for the assembly is streamed into three age groups. The 'eights to 11s' programme will enable children to engage with a variety of sessions exploring themes and issues raised at 3Generate 2013, including stress, conflict, bullying, self-esteem. There will be opportunities to speak out about issues relating to life, community, the world and church. The sessions will be interactive - exploring themes through art, drama, and animation - in order to enable the voices of eight to 11-year-olds to be heard and expressed in different ways. There will be creative worship, diary room sessions, graffiti boards and animation to capture the young people's voices, as well activities such as archery, high wires and parachute games.

Tamara Wray, Methodist Youth President, said: "3Generate is an amazing event which is very unique to the Methodist Church. It provides the children and youth of the Church with a safe place to voice their opinions and meet other young people across the connexion. I am very excited for 3Generate as this is where I started my journey as Youth President last year and for that reason it will always have a special place in my heart. I have the pleasure of spending this weekend with the children and youth - the future of the Methodist Church."

The 'elevens to 18s' will interact through discussions, activities, and games on themes such as: five ways to change the world, understanding mental health, and the importance of forgiveness. The programme will also enable young people to learn skills such as sign language, bible studies and drama. The 'eighteen to 23s' will participate in various types of worship from upbeat to relaxed meditation. They will have the opportunity to participate in the 'Big Questions Debate' and prepare questions for the Youth President candidates.

The annual 3Generate Assembly coincides with the election of the next Methodist Youth President for 2014-2015. The main role of the Methodist Youth President is to represent children and young people within the Methodist Church and to speak out on their behalf. The candidates this year are: Megan Thomas, John Colenutt, Tiras Dainty-Shire, Jessica Warrey, Holly Wadsworth, Mark Fromings and Laura Goldsbrough. 3Generate will offer the attendees the chance to meet the candidates and ask them questions before they cast their votes.

Penny Fuller, Church & Community Development Coordinator, said: "3Generate is more than an event: it is a gateway for children and young people to have their voices heard and responded to by the whole Church, from their involvement and participation at the Methodist Conference through to local churches and Districts running a 3Generate Big SleepOver."

3Generate also calls on young people to stand as Youth Reps to represent the youth of the Methodist Church on occasions such as the Methodist Conference, the Methodist Council, ecumenical youth events and British Youth Council meetings. Every Rep will be required to voice the concerns of the Methodist young people, as well as giving them feedback and, when necessary, calling for change.

Tamara Wray added: "It is going to be a weekend full of worship which is courtesy of some of the students at Cliff College this year, fellowship, fun and hearing the voice of the children and youth. The themes for 3Generate this year are based around loving yourself, loving others and loving God. Words cannot describe how excited I am for the weekend ahead."

For more information, please see the Methodist Children and Youth website.

Ends

Notes: Keep up to date with what's going on at 3Generate by following the hashtag  #3Generate2013 on Twitter.

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