1.       What part of General Council did you like best? I had the privilege of attending Council as Chaplain for the Youth Forum. 75 young people (aged 15-20) participated in the Forum and among the highlights were: Pilgrimage through downtown Ottawa with Moderator Mardi and 1st Nations elders; our very own Flash Mob on Parliament Hill; talking with EIGHT (yes 8) former moderators about the highlights of their terms; visit to the Sex Exhibit at Museum of Science; visit to the Gods Exhibit at Museum of Civilization; YF version of the Bohemian Rhapsody.

2.       What part of General Council was the most important? I think that it is important to note that this Forum departed significantly from previous Forums in that the young people were not included in much of the daily life of the Council, nor were they included in table groups with Commissioners. The decision to place the Forum on the fringe of the Council was not made by the YF Planning Team. While some of the teens, especially the younger ones, were okay with this, many of the older YF participants had come prepared to participate in the proceedings of Council and were disappointed not to be able to listen, learn, discuss, pray and sing with Commissioners. Many of the Commissioners expressed their disappointment as well. Although our church continues to name youth participation as a priority, here is another example of how our words and actions do not match.  The voice of youth was limited to the Forum presentation to Council (check it out on the GC41 website, Wednesday morning) and Open Space time.

3.       What part of General Council moved you in a special way? Many of the young people came to Forum bearing labels (freak, geek, ADD, OCD, bullied, etc.) and open wounds, as well as an amazing depth of talent, insight and wisdom. I was moved by the way the young people in need were ministered to by those who had compassion to spare. I was moved by the leadership of the young people within the Forum, when they had the chance to demonstrate this leadership in Council.

4.       What part of General Council could you leave out and still have everything you needed!  Because the Forum and its leadership team was divided up into 3  program “streams” (Seek Justice, Love Kindness, Walk Humbly) for two days, I’d like to have the chance to go back and enjoy the other two streams I missed!

Robyn Brown-Hewitt
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Program Director
Diploma in Youth Ministry
Atlantic School of Theology