28 November 2019
3Generate 2019 was the most successful Children and Youth Assembly yet with over 1,500 young people from across the country gathering in Southport over the weekend 22 to 24 November. The event’s growth means that 3Generate will be moving to the NEC in Birmingham for 2020.
While there was a lot of fun with sport, dance and art, 3Generate was an opportunity for young people to participate in some of the big discussions about life, the Church and society with sessions taking place ensuring that their voices were heard on a range of important issues. The young people were encouraged to participate in their local conversations around marriage and relationships, a session entitled Sport and Death asked young people to consider their faith in relation to mortality and All We Can, the Methodist relief and development agency, encouraged the young people to consider how those in developing countries can achieve a sustainable diet.
The 3Generate theme for this year was “Where is God in My Story”, created from the manifestos of last year’s 3Generate to encourage the Church to be more confident in talking of God and of faith.
The manifestoes are an important outcome of the 3Generate weekend, enabling the Methodist Church to hear from its young people. Throughout the event ideas and issues were collected and written on cardboard bricks, creating a wall of ideas. The wall featured suggestions about everything from the style of worship music to the environment and inclusivity within the Church. The results of the wall will be collated to create manifestos that will be distributed in the spring to churches and youth leaders so that the voices of the young people can be turned into actions.
As with the rest of the country, elections were on the minds of the Methodist young people. They were encouraged to participate in the democratic process by taking part in hustings with the prospective Youth President candidates before voting for the Youth President 2020/2021.
Among the big names who headlined at the event were the award winning Christian rapper Guvna B and the singer Lily-Jo. In addition to performing on stage, Lily-Jo workshopped with the young people about the importance of taking care of their own mental health.
Thelma Commey, Methodist Youth President, commented: “God was with us over the weekend. There was a lot of prayer and a really wide range of engaging worship with arts, singing and dancing as well as quiet time to be more reflective. “It was great to see so many young people talking about their relationship with Christ and sharing their testimonies to celebrate the unconditional love of God.”
Jude Levermore, Head of Mission, commented: “3Generate is an important event in the calendar of the Church. Bringing together our young people from across the Connexion, we remind them that they are part of a dynamic, listening Church and are members of the wider Methodist family.”
Penny Fuller, Church and Community Development Co-ordinator, with responsibility for 3Generate commented; “This event would not have been possible without the volunteers. There were more than 200 people who gave up their time for the weekend. It was hard work for all the delivery team but everyone said that the weekend was a very rewarding experience.”
At the end of the event it was announced that 3Generate will move to the NEC in Birmingham for 2020 and will take place Friday 30 October to Sunday 1 November.
Penny continued, “This event is already the largest single denomination youth event in the country. Its continued success and growth means that we needed to find a new venue so that we can meet the demand. Moving to the NEC will see us offering some exciting new additions to the programme in addition to increasing its capacity.”