13 February 2018
URC Youth Assembly
Ecumenical work is something I believe will become increasingly important in the lives of the Church. With numbers declining in many denominations coming together as one body of Christ could become something we do a lot more regularly. With this in mind I was delighted to receive an email a few months ago inviting myself and the 3Generate Ecumenical reps to attend the URC Youth Assembly.
Now I haven’t had much contact with my local URC so was interested to see what it was like. So I pack my bags and headed to Whitemoor Lakes (side note we use to hold 3Generate there a few years ago) upon arrival I was greeted by smiling and warm faces giving me various booklets and pieces of paper and welcoming me to the event.
Heading to my room, I got the chance to unpack and have a bit of a read (there is some really interesting opportunities and some we can definitely learn from) then Jack (one of the fabulous Ecumenical reps) arrives and we have a chat about things. Then 2 other gentlemen arrive one from Scotland and the other from London and we get talking about our faith and things like that and then head for a spot of supper.
After this we split up into synod groups (the URC’S version of Districts) where I met for the first time the Thames North District. An amazing bunch of people from a variety of backgrounds who immediately took me under their wing, and were such a lovely and helpful bunch over the weekend (decoding URC acronyms was very helpful!) Friday night was spent getting to know people, worship and talking about ecumenical work.
Saturday came around (quicker than expected as a fire alarm woke everyone up) and we started with a seminar given by Lawrence Moore (excellent speaker by the way) we split into small groups for some reflective times followed by a break.
Next was an issue-based seminar all around interfaith work particularly highlighting a far-right evangelistic church in America becoming neighbours to a mosque and the relationship that blossomed from this. This was followed by the first bit of ‘Business’ now this was basically Conference with notices of motion and standing orders flying left and right and to be honest I really enjoyed it, being able to sit and take in as young people debated with all of their knowledge, dexterity and passion was awe-inspiring.
Overall, the weekend was a fabulous experience and also an interesting one, being able to see a different take on a Youth Assembly was great and enlightening to be able to see how someone else does work similar to yourself.