Rediscover the joy of sport, say Methodist youth

The Methodist Church is being encouraged to rediscover theimportance of sport for engaging with young people in their faithand personal development.

Presenting their report to the annual Conference, the MethodistYouth Assembly, asked the Church to affirm the role that sportingactivity plays in young people's lives.

"As young people, we are thrilled that the Olympics are happeningright in our backyard," said Youth Assembly representative HagarOpare-Aryee. "The joy of sports at a local level rekindles love andunity within entire communities. We the Methodist Church have aresponsibility, an opportunity to stress the importance ofdeveloping and promoting sporting initiatives to maintain thehealth of our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit."

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

The Conference also agreed to make worship leader training moreaccessible to young people. Presenting the report Youth Assemblyrepresentative John Colenutt said: "What better way to say 'we getyoung people' than a young person at the front leading worship? Asa local preacher on trial, and a worship leader before that, I feelprivileged each time I lead a congregation in worship. Butsometimes the training materials, and requirements expected ofyoung people are not relevant or appropriate for them."

"The young people of the Methodist Church are not passive - we makea massive contribution to its life, mission and worship," saidChristy-Anna Errington, Methodist Youth President. "So we're reallypleased to be able to contribute to the business of the MethodistConference."