28 November 2018
This year’s 3Generate, the annual Methodist Children and Youth Assembly took place over the weekend, 23-25 November, when 1,200 young Methodists, aged 8-23, along with youth leaders and volunteers gathered in Southport.
The Youth President Jasmine Yeboah, who was elected at last year’s 3Generate said: “My theme for the year is Courageous. Many of the events looked at how young people can be courageous, in challenging themselves and to be agents of change in making a difference to their home churches, their communities and to the issues facing our wider society.”
Trey Hall, Director of Evangelism and Growth for the Methodist Church in Britain, attending his first ever 3Generate, said, “This was truly one of the most exciting, integrated, inspiring, deep-diving gatherings of Methodists I’ve been to. All led by and centred on the full inclusion and participation of young people. I challenge every circuit to bring young people and every District Chair to attend and serve in 2019. I promise that you won’t regret it!”
The event mixes activities of all kinds – creative, sporting, reflective, musical and cerebral – into a programme that is intentionally built around times of challenge, times that allow participants and the wider church to encounter children and young people as prophets, and times for them to meet the Saviour who loves them, calls them by name, offers them relationship, and asks for a response.
Children and young people come as part of a group, with leaders. Participants can access a programme that they choose in a variety of venues. For example, this year Cliff College ran a venue called The Den with multiple activities interspersed with times of bible study and liturgy. Children and young people are encouraged to think about how they can be ‘agents of change’ in the world. Speakers in that venue included the Revd Dan Woodhouse, was who was arrested after breaking into a BAE Systems base in Warton to disarm warplanes set to fly to Saudi Arabia. In another venue a group of young people from the Methodist Church of Mexico gave talks on how their Church is engaging with drug traffickers and prisoners to tackle the problem of gang violence.
An exhibition made up of letters from the 1000 letters campaign from Methodist Church members of all ages was displayed to inspire and encourage the young people at 3Generate and participants were invited to respond to the themes. There was worship in a variety of styles from contemplative, to urban praise and Gospel, sessions of Godly play, drumming and storytelling.
The event is the culmination of months of work, and the whole church is touched by its impact. The manifesto and report produced at 3Generate will influence and shape the Church’s direction.
Penny Fuller, Children, Youth & Family Coordinator, with responsibility for the event explained: “The event is really important to the life of the Church, bringing together young people of all ages from across the country. The weekend enables them to live out their calling as Methodists to respond to the Gospel of God’s love in Christ and then to live that calling out in the world. When they gather together they know they are not alone, but part of a Church that believes in transformation.”
Elections were held for the next Youth President with two candidates taking part. The candidates were asked questions by young voters during hustings and produced promotional videos and displays as part of their election campaigns. The announcement of the Youth President designate will be made later this week.