Page 3 - Moravian Messenger April 2020
P. 3

In January, I attended the URC Youth Assembly 2020, which took place at Whitemoor Lakes Activity Centre in Staffordshire. In my experience, the weekend was full of both highs and lows, and it taught me a number of lessons about the different ways other churches value worship and the community.
The theme this year was 'Common Ground,' and the weekend revolved around a number of workshops based on the application of faith to three issues: politics, sexual relationships, and war and peace. I had chosen three workshops (one for each issue), and before each one took place, we had a large discussion about the topic in general, lead each time by a panel of people from the URC church. Their diversity in age, race, and gender made each discussion interesting to watch, as they all expanded on their individual experiences, and how their faith may have helped them overcome certain boundaries in ways I hadn't previously thought about. After each panel discussion, we were all invited to discuss these topics on our tables before feeding our ideas back to the whole assembly. The workshops themselves I thought were good, although I had reservations about the way they were led.
Another major part of the weekend was the passing of many resolutions by the URC Youth. These ranged from small projects such as a 50th anniversary celebration for the URC, to more ambitious ones, such as appointing 'Green Apostles' to ensure the church is doing all it can to help tackle our climate emergency. It was delightful to see that the youth were getting their voices heard. I enjoyed the rule that no one over a certain age is allowed to cast a vote, as it is usually the other way around in most other situations! While it was fun to have a say in these decisions, I also felt that the outcome of the vast majority of these resolutions did not have an effect on me. Some of the German people there on an exchange program even abstained from voting for this reason. However, it did give me insight into how complicated a voting process for one simple resolution can
be and has definitely given me experience for whenever I may go to the Moravian Synod in future.
Aside from the main business of the assembly, we also had worship. I had signed up to be part of the worship band, and it was fun to play hymns on the clarinet with fellow musicians. However, standing at the front of the hall and seeing everyone having a good time singing and dancing to the hymns made me feel somewhat strange, as I didn't feel like I was connecting to God and everyone else in the same way that they were, and as I do in Moravian services. It may just have been because I was tired, as bedtime was scheduled for 1.00am on both nights. Or it may have been my introverted personality. There were some very nice people I talked to throughout the weekend, but I feel like the URC could have done a lot more in making sure the ecumenical guests felt properly welcome. There were social events scheduled late in the night, but the packed schedule every day meant I was far too tired to go to any of them. All of these factors contributed to me having a state of mind that was not ideal for worshipping God and feeling at one with the wider Christian community - it made me struggle to feel like God was with me in those moments.
Despite the challenges I faced, I'm glad I was asked to go to the Youth Assembly. It widened my view on the type of forms worship can take, and the huge role
of young people within a large church
like the URC. It makes me glad that the Moravian Youth Forum has recently been established, so the role of children and youth within the Moravian church can become increasingly more important.
Br Louis Enright
Lower Wyke
My experience at the
URC Youth Assembly 2020
PYCC Challenge 2020
Following the success of the campers article about Summer Camp in the September Messenger, PYCC are challenging every congregation to send an article produced by a child or young person to the Messenger ( in 2020. This is an opportunity for the wider church to hear what the younger members think about the church and society. The article can be words or
pictures, about anything. Suggestions are views about baptism, weddings or funerals, events at Easter, Christmas or other festivals, communion, all age services, Sunday School, youth groups, outings, reflections on wider issues such as climate change, poverty in society, education, housing etc. The experience of children and young people on their faith journey is also of interest.
Please encourage involvement in this. PYCC would love to see what our children and young people think. Articles can be sent to the Messenger editors but please also copy Joy Raynor in ( so she can share with other PYCC members.
PS This is not an exercise in grammar or spelling, these can easily be corrected if need be.

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