Young Methodists challenge Church to broaden its horizons

Young people have highlighted ways in which churches can be moreopen and accessible to all, regardless of age or sexuality.

Young Methodists have asked the 2009 Methodist Conference inWolverhampton to train preachers in leading services which canspeak to young people in ways relevant to their lives. TheConference welcomed the Youth Conference's report and committed toexplore the possibility of making funding available for suchtraining.

Sarah Malik, Youth Conference President, said: "Being able torelate to young people is quite a skill and so it should be part ofpreacher training. Young people have needs in worship and thisresolution is about young people being valued and recognised by theChurch."

The report also requested that vocational programmes could be aimedat young people to equip them for ordained and lay ministry in theChurch.

"The vocational programmes are already open to everyone but theyare quite specific and a lot of people attempt them but don'tfinish them," said Sarah. "If they become more accessible to youngpeople then they will be more accessible to everyone."

Young Methodists also asked the Conference to help resourceconversations among church leaders and congregations on the 1993Resolutions on Human Sexuality, which emphasise that the Church isopen to everyone, regardless of sexuality.

Sarah said: "It has not been the reality for all young people thatchurches have been open to people of all sexualities. Young peoplewant to be able to raise these issues and talk about them withtheir ministers and pastors, but many feel that they aren't ableto."

The Youth Conference report to Conference informed members thathuman sexuality had been an important item of its business thisyear.