Young Methodists gather to change and challenge the church

Over two hundred and fifty Methodist young people aged betweeneight and twenty three will gather this weekend (15-17 Nov) at thePioneer Centre, Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire, for the  3Generate 2013  Children's and Youth Assembly of theMethodist Church.

The theme for this year's youth assembly centres around Matthew22.34-40/Mark 12.28-31: the call to love God, love yourself andlove others.

The programme for the assembly is streamed into three age groups.The 'eights to 11s' programme will enable children to engage with avariety of sessions exploring themes and issues raised at 3Generate2013, including stress, conflict, bullying, self-esteem. There willbe opportunities to speak out about issues relating to life,community, the world and church. The sessions will be interactive -exploring themes through art, drama, and animation - in order toenable the voices of eight to 11-year-olds to be heard andexpressed in different ways. There will be creative worship, diaryroom sessions, graffiti boards and animation to capture the youngpeople's voices, as well activities such as archery, high wires andparachute games.

Tamara Wray, Methodist Youth President, said: "3Generate is anamazing event which is very unique to the Methodist Church. Itprovides the children and youth of the Church with a safe place tovoice their opinions and meet other young people across theconnexion. I am very excited for 3Generate as this is where Istarted my journey as Youth President last year and for that reasonit will always have a special place in my heart. I have thepleasure of spending this weekend with the children and youth - thefuture of the Methodist Church."

The 'elevens to 18s' will interact through discussions,activities, and games on themes such as: five ways to change theworld, understanding mental health, and the importance offorgiveness. The programme will also enable young people to learnskills such as sign language, bible studies and drama. The'eighteen to 23s' will participate in various types of worship fromupbeat to relaxed meditation. They will have the opportunity toparticipate in the 'Big Questions Debate' and prepare questions forthe Youth President candidates.

The annual 3Generate Assembly coincides with the election of thenext Methodist Youth President for 2014-2015. The main role of theMethodist Youth President is to represent children and youngpeople within the Methodist Church and to speak out on theirbehalf. The candidates this year are: Megan Thomas, John Colenutt, TirasDainty-Shire, Jessica Warrey, Holly Wadsworth, Mark Fromings andLaura Goldsbrough. 3Generate will offer the attendees the chance tomeet the candidates and ask them questions before they cast theirvotes.

Penny Fuller, Church & Community Development Coordinator,said: "3Generate is more than an event: it is a gateway forchildren and young people to have their voices heard and respondedto by the whole Church, from their involvement and participation atthe Methodist Conference through to local churches and Districtsrunning a 3Generate Big SleepOver."

3Generate also calls on young people to stand as Youth Reps to represent the youth of the Methodist Church onoccasions such as the Methodist Conference, the Methodist Council,ecumenical youth events and British Youth Council meetings. EveryRep will be required to voice the concerns of the Methodist youngpeople, as well as giving them feedback and, when necessary,calling for change.

Tamara Wray added: "It is going to be a weekend full of worshipwhich is courtesy of some of the students at Cliff College thisyear, fellowship, fun and hearing the voice of the children andyouth. The themes for 3Generate this year are based around lovingyourself, loving others and loving God. Words cannot describe howexcited I am for the weekend ahead."

For more information, please see the Methodist Children and Youthwebsite.


Notes: Keep up to date with what's going on at 3Generate byfollowing the hashtag  #3Generate2013 on Twitter.