27 June 2006

Methodist youth call for revival

Asylum, revival and inter-faith relations are just some of the issues covered in the annual report of the Methodist Youth Conference (MYC). Received today by the Methodist Conference, the report details all resolutions passed by Youth Conference, with their recommendations to the wider Church.

Speaking out against racist violence, the report urges the Church to explore with young people the wider cultural, social and economic factors that contribute to it. It also encourages Christians to consider the issue of asylum in a spirit of love and openness, sharing with one another their own experiences from both within and outside the Church. Youth Conference raises particular concerns about hostile and inaccurate interpretations of other faiths that can lead to them being portrayed in an extremist light.

The report was enthusiastically received by the Methodist Conference, which resolved to hold a month of prayer for improved relations between people of different faiths in February 2007 as recommended by the report. Resources will be produced to help local churches and young people to engage with people of other faiths and reflect on these issues.

Methodist Youth Conference brings together young Methodists from across the UK celebrate, debate and discuss issues that matter to them about the Church and the wider world. One representative said: 'I learnt my opinion counts and can make a difference within the Methodist Church'. The report gives them the opportunity to make their voices heard in the Methodist Conference, influencing the decisions taken there. Past Youth Conference initiatives include Pray Without Ceasing Ð a year of continuous prayer and reflection for the Church which will draw to a close in September.

Kevin Jones, President of the Youth Conference, commented; 'We want young Methodists to see that they can make a real difference to the life of their Church and it's great that Conference is taking us seriously. Pray Without Ceasing has been an awesome success and now we're calling on the Church to become more passionate about revival. Conference has accepted our resolutions, but now its time for Methodists of all ages to put them into practice locally.' Methodist Conference has resolved to include prayers for revival in services throughout the year and a special prayer by Youth Conference will feature in this year's Prayer Handbook.

Other matters raised in the report include Christian unity, creating a vision for the future of the Church and continued support for the aims of last year's Make Poverty History campaign.

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