Pornography, trafficking and transgender issues debated at Methodist Children and Youth Assembly

  • ​   Young people elect new Methodist Youth President for2015/16

Young Methodists tackled political issues and elected CraigGaffneyas the Church Youth President for 2015/16 during theMethodist Children and Youth Assembly, 3Generate.​

In his manifesto for Youth President, Craig Gaffney, a Methodistyouth worker who spent nine months volunteering as a missionary inSierra Leone and at a Christian orphange in India, said: "I'mpassionate about inspiring and nurturing young people, watchingthem develop on their spiritual journey. The Church needn't beboring; it has the most exciting story of hope and change. I haveexperienced this hope first-hand, having struggled through thedaily challenges of being a teenage Christian. It's my calling now,to empower similar young people to bring hope, to give a voice andsee the growth of God's kingdom."

The current Youth President, Megan Thomas, said: "3Generate isan amazing event where children and young people can come andshare, develop and explore ideas of faith, Church and relevantissues facing children and young people. I am delighted for CraigGaffney who will have the opportunity to represent young Methodistsand their interests from September next year. 3Generate is such animportant event as it allows children and young people to exploretheir relationship with God and reminds them that they are notalone in faith. Every year I am so encouraged, inspired andchallenged by this amazing event."

This year's 3Generate took place at the Pioneer Centre, CleoburyMortimer, Shropshire. Around 250 young Methodists aged 8-23gathered over the weekend of 14-16 November to make importantdecisions which will affect the life of the Church. The RhemaTheatre Company performed a piece called "The It's Not Fair" whilestoryteller Bob Hartman, comedian Tony Vino and science magician,Matt Prichard, used creative ways of listening to encourage thevoice of children and young people. New additions to this year'sevent included 3Generate TV, the 3Generate Big Weekender and the 3Generate Journal.

The Children and Youth Assembly was divided into three agestreams. Over the weekend of worship, friendship, art, dance andcrafts, the oldest age group, aged 18 to 23, explored issues suchas human trafficking, pornography, gender identity andIslamophobia. Some of the questions included: How can we encouragerespect for the different sexes? How should the Church respond toquestions of gender identity? And what should the Christianresponse to the "war on terror" be?

Megan Thomas added: "This year's 3Generate focused on the themeof "generous living," exploring ideas such as generous God,generous me and generous life. 3Generate isn't just a weekendevent; for the rest of the Connexional year we will be thinkingabout how we can work together to make a change, whether in thewider Methodist Church or in our local communities."

3Genetare was also the launch of new mental health leaflets aimed at young people. Every youngperson at 3Generate received a copy of the leaflet aimed at theirage group: "Taking Care of your Feelings" for the under 12s,"Staying Mentally Healthy" for the 12 to 18 year olds and "StayingMentally Healthy" for 18 to 30 year olds. There is also a fourthpamphlet for youth workers called "Healthy Heads".



1. You can find out more about the Youth Assembly on the 3Generate website, and read about the current work of theMethodist Youth President on Megan's blog.

2. A photo of Craig Gaffney can be downloaded here.

3. Watch Craig Gaffney presenting his manifesto for YouthPresident on YouTube.