Methodist Youth push for advice on cohabitation at Methodist Conference

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

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

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

Pete Brady, Methodist Youth President, said: "I believe everyoneconsiders sexuality as something that is inherent in being human.There was a time where the concept of two persons in a lovingrelationship 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 valuesin modern day society. Finding Christian guidance on the issue isdifficult at best.

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

The Conference also encouraged local churches to engage withpeople on the streets in order to reduce the threat of violencetowards young people, and affirmed the work of street pastors. Aresolution to develop more contemporary forms of training forpreachers was also passed. This training would cover the need foran understanding of the contemporary context in which young peoplenow find themselves.