On Sunday, April 25, youth from across the diocese were invited to meet with Bishop Anna to discuss the best way to have youth involved in diocesan life and governance.
After an opening session in which everyone shared a ‘rose and thorn’ of their current life, a discussion followed on how to best connect youth with one another and with the diocese as a whole.
The proposal, coming to Synod at the end of May, to no longer have two youth delegates to Diocesan Council was discussed. Several youth at the meeting had previously served as youth members on Diocesan Council and agreed that the current system was not the best way. The youth themselves, in conversation with the bishop, agreed to create a diocesan youth forum. They agreed that a more informal ‘forum’ was preferable to a diocesan youth council as they wanted a body that was open to all youth in the diocese and that did not require election.
This youth forum will meet at least four times a year, sometimes electronically and perhaps sometimes in person and the bishop will be invited to two of these sessions. Youth leaders in the diocese volunteered to take turns convening and facilitating these meetings. At the meetings, the youth can informally connect with one another as well as discuss matters of common concern. It was agreed that whoever is facilitating the meeting will pass on any notes or ideas that the youth have to the bishop who, if necessary, will take them to Diocesan Council.
The possibility of having youth from the forum invited to speak at one Diocesan Council meeting a year was also discussed.
The youth also quickly self-organized and decided to create a diocesan youth chat on Discord. Anyone wishing to be added to the Discord chat should send an email to Grace at email@example.com.
Please watch the diocesan website for the date and time of the next youth forum and invite any and all youth in your parish to attend.
In 2017, Bishop Logan McMenamie convened a similar gathering of youth from across the diocese. This gathering was called "We Together Youth" (as seen in photo above).