Sunday, 18 November 2007

Conferring youth

This weekend Martyn and I have been to Cardiff to be alongside the Methodist Youth Conference. 150 young people (sorry to the people who had to be turned away - book early next year) met at the Urdd City Sleepover, part of the Wales Millennium Centre, in Cardiff Bay for their Conference which had the theme of "Let my people go" or "Gadawch fy mhobl yn rhydd!" in Welsh. I popped in briefly on Friday night to find people arriving and organised chaos of the sort that any weekend conference brings. Martyn and I were staying with District Chair Will Morrey and his wife so as not to take up any of the beds in the centre which were all required for young people! Good of us don't you think?
The other Welsh District Chair, Steve Wigley, guided me from the centre back to the manse leaving the young people to games. training on the mysteries of conferring Methodist style, worship and sleep.
On Saturday Martyn and I were driven back to the centre by Will where the fabulous worship band led the worship session which was followed by two business meetings before the oportunity to join one of 4 different groups visiting tourist attractions in Cardiff Bay - a Waterbus trip, "Doctor Who close up", the brand new Welsh Assembly and the floating Christian worship centre, Goleulong 2000 Lightship or to take part in one af two workshops.
In the evenings came the "hustings" to meet the candidates for next year's Youth Executive, then dinner and another Business meeting before some time to join with the worship band, watch a filn or just socialise. Today there was a business meeting before worship in the Millennium Centre where Martyn and I took part in the ceremony to induct the new Youth President and the new Youth Executive then lunch before setting off for home.
It was good to be present as Youth Conference discussed everything from the environment to ecumenical relationships as well as hearing reports from a lot of different bodies and working on the youth participation strategy. The worship was lively and inspiring and the musicians wonderful. The business sessions were well organised and there was quite a bit of use of the "Confused" cards to get clarification. I definitely think they should be introduced at the main Methodist Conference. Not sure how it would look if the platform party were to use them! I was refused a voting card on the basis of being "too old" which felt a little harsh but I had to accept that they had a point.
The local planning team, Connexional Team staff and a range of volunteers had done a fantastic job. We were sent out from the final worship to remember, reflect on and respond to what we had heard about slavery, both 200 years ago and today. A really worthwhile experience. Thanks to everyone involved.


Sarah and Brian said...

We would also like to thank you both for attending our conference! We're glad you enjoyed it.

We think you should definatly introduce confused cards to Methodist Conference, as you're never to old to get confused!

All the best.

Sally said...

really encouraging. thank you