In a recent General Conference supplement to The United Methodist Reporter three General Conference delegates were highlighted (“GC 2012 delegates already burning the midnight oil”). The first sentences, describing each of the three delegates, provides an interesting commentary on one of the challenges facing the United Methodist Church.
The initial delegate described has a first-sentence description that reads like this: “At 20, Ricky Harrison looks as if he ought to be parking cars at General Conference, not attending committee meetings and casting votes.”
Is it any wonder that young people often feel like less than fully respected, valued members of the United Methodist Church when we describe their attendance at General Conference as an anomaly rather than as the norm? Perhaps if our initial reaction to their attendance was welcome and inclusion rather than thinking them better suited to the parking garage, we would be better graced with the energy, creativity and vitality that young people in our denomination could bring.
Leadership Development Minister for Young Adult and Generational Ministry