05 July 2011

Rediscover the joy of sport, say Methodist youth

The Methodist Church is being encouraged to rediscover the importance of sport for engaging with young people in their faith and personal development.

Presenting their report to the annual Conference, the Methodist Youth Assembly, asked the Church to affirm the role that sporting activity plays in young people's lives.

"As young people, we are thrilled that the Olympics are happening right in our backyard," said Youth Assembly representative Hagar Opare-Aryee. "The joy of sports at a local level rekindles love and unity within entire communities. We the Methodist Church have a responsibility, an opportunity to stress the importance of developing and promoting sporting initiatives to maintain the health of our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit."

The report was warmly received by the Conference, which agreed to work with young people to develop strategies for promoting and supporting healthy lifestyles in local churches and districts across Great Britain.

The Conference also agreed to make worship leader training more accessible to young people. Presenting the report Youth Assembly representative John Colenutt said: "What better way to say 'we get young people' than a young person at the front leading worship? As a local preacher on trial, and a worship leader before that, I feel privileged each time I lead a congregation in worship. But sometimes the training materials, and requirements expected of young people are not relevant or appropriate for them."

"The young people of the Methodist Church are not passive - we make a massive contribution to its life, mission and worship," said Christy-Anna Errington, Methodist Youth President. "So we're really pleased to be able to contribute to the business of the Methodist Conference." 

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