01 July 2010

Methodist Youth push for advice on cohabitation at Methodist Conference

The Methodist Church will look at cohabitation, at the urging of the Youth Assembly. The annual report from the Youth Assembly, which was received by the Conference, requires the Methodist Council to work with young Methodists to produce advice on cohabitation "in a 21st century context".

The resolution came out of a report from the annual Youth Assembly where young people discussed vocation, self-esteem, violence, equality and diversity and sex and sexuality.

The report stated that young people felt they had something to offer the Church in arriving at a greater understanding of the subject of sex and sexuality in a twenty-first century. It went on to state that the Youth Assembly would ask the Methodist Conference to work with young people on producing information to advise members of the Church about the issue of cohabitation.

Pete Brady, Methodist Youth President, said: "I believe everyone considers sexuality as something that is inherent in being human. There was a time where the concept of two persons in a loving relationship cohabiting outside of marriage was unthinkable. However, I do not believe that this is the case anymore. Cohabitation is a decidedly sticky issue, with conflicting values in modern day society. Finding Christian guidance on the issue is difficult at best.

"Maybe there was a time where the concept of two people in a loving relationship cohabiting together outside of marriage was unthinkable, but times have changed. It's important that as a church we offer support that is relevant to the lives of young people today."

The Conference also encouraged local churches to engage with people on the streets in order to reduce the threat of violence towards young people, and affirmed the work of street pastors. A resolution to develop more contemporary forms of training for preachers was also passed. This training would cover the need for an understanding of the contemporary context in which young people now find themselves.

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