New focus for the journeys of children and young people in the Methodist Church

Calling for fresh thinking about the role of children and youngpeople in the Methodist Church, two new resources offer support andencouragement to youth and children's workers and invite Methodiststo work together as a church of all ages.

The MethodistChildren Journey and MAYC Curriculum documents set outa vision for the Church's work with children and young people,highlight core values and show the support that is available forlocal churches. Describing this work as an activity for the wholeChurch, not just youth and children's workers, the resources seekto encourage and enable children and young people to consider theexperiences and influences of both the Church and society as theyundertake their own journey.

Steve Pearce, Methodist Children's Secretary, says: 'We're reallyexcited about the new opportunities that are around at the momentand the way so many parts of our church are responding to them.Children are challenging us to respond creatively to thetechnology, arts and social issues of the 21st century. The signsare that the Church is up to the task, when members take Jesusseriously, put children in the centre and learn to change andbecome more like them. These documents outline the steps in thatprocess and come out of a commitment to listening and responding tochildren and young people and trying to find out what they want andneed.'

The MethodistChildren Journey identifies three key areas for thejourney to progress well Ð learning, prayer and serving thecommunity and God's world. It also features worksheets designed tohelp individuals and groups reflect on the 'destination' towardswhich their children's work is travelling with practical steps forchurches, circuits and districts.

The MAYC (formerly the Methodist Association of Youth Clubs)Curriculum Journey focuses on the importance of helping youngpeople to develop fully in all aspects of life and encouraging themto participate fully in church and community life. It highlightsthe need for political and informal education, as well as supportfor youth workers and a renewed focus on spiritualdevelopment.

Mike Seaton, MAYC Secretary, said; 'Over the past sixty years MAYCsunderstanding of young people and the issues facing them hasevolved. The Curriculum helps youth workers and Churches understandthe purpose of Methodist youth work and what needs to be in placeto enable young people to reach to their full potential. It is notan easy task and there is not a quick solution but youth work isimportant for our Church, our communities and most importantly foryoung people'.

Both MAYC and Methodist Children have an ongoing commitment tocontinue to develop and offer training and resources and toencourage the participation of children and young people,challenging them to explore and express their faith, enabling themto share their stories, make choices and influence their world. Formore information, visit www.mayc.info or www.methodistchildren.org.uk.