3Generate brings Methodist young people together

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The 3Generate event for young Methodists took place over the weekend of the 25 and 27 November, with more young people than ever before taking part.
 
The event has more than doubled in size over the last two years with close to 700 young Methodists and youth leaders gathered for fellowship and fun at the PGL Adventure Centre in Swindon. Young people from 8 to 23 came from across the UK to mix worship and activities with discussion and debate. Presentations and talks on topics for older groups included well-being and social justice while younger groups considered what church could look like if they were in charge.
 
Penny Fuller, Methodist Church and Community Development Co-ordinator with responsibility for the event explained: "The growth is so exciting, we were fully booked in some age groups. We will need to look at how we go forward to accommodate the growth.
 
"This is a very consultative event.  We ask the children to help design the programme through groups that meet throughout the UK. It's very diverse so we have to cater for such a wide age range.  

"This year we have put additional focus on ensuring we are as accessible as possible. Our specialist volunteers have been providing additional support to those with learning difficulties, physical limitations or in need of additional emotional help."
 
While there was a lot of fun, faith and fellowship with adventurous outdoor activates and silent discos, there was also an emphasis placed on worship and debate.  A range of opportunities were also available for young people to choose how they wished to worship with art through to late night communion.  Discussions were held in all age groups to ensure that children were heard.
 
The current Youth President Tim Annan, whowas elected at last year's 3Generate said, "We come together to worship God and discuss the issues important to us as young Christians." 
 
"Our resolutions impact the wider church as we can feed directly into the Methodist Conference, helping local churches engage with young people on issues. Refugees, prayer, relationships are just some of the topics we tackled.  
 
Elections were held for the next youth president with five candidates taking part. The candidates were asked questions by young voters during hustings and, produced promotional videos and displays as part of their election campaigns. The announcement of the Youth President designate will be made later this week.

"3Gen is one of the most vital parts of the church," said Rachel Lampard, Vice President of the Methodist Conference who spoke at the event. "Young people are part of the Church themselves. Our youth work is led and driven by young people. Here they realise they are part of a bigger Church. They can enjoy themselves, ask questions, explore their faith and grow as Christians and individuals."
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