Listen to young voices, bishops told
by Lisa Barrowclough
Bishops came face to face with the energy and enthusiasm of the young on Friday in a string of events designed to highlight the ways the Church embraces youth. Under the banner of a ``Youthful Spirit,'' planners of the day organised an energetic and fast-paced session aimed at encouraging bishops to listen to the voices of the young. Highlights included an upbeat performance by a London-based troupe of cheerleaders, the Ascension Eagles. The pace of modern youth culture was captured in an up-tempo video titled,``The Connected Generation.'' Produced in the style of a music video-clip, the tape took the bishops on a tour of international youth culture.
Next, the Rev Dean Borgmann, a professor of youth ministry in the United States, challenged the bishops to follow Jesus' pattern of breaking into new subcultures. Jesus ``not only entered human culture, but was determined to reach the subcultures,'' Dean Borgmann said. Participants then listened-in on a `coffee table conversation' between Bishop Lindsay Urwin (Horsham, England) and three youth workers: Mr Yazeed Said of Palestine, Ms Rachel Beleo of the Philippines, and Mr Pete Ward, youth adviser to the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Next, a dramatic presentation linked the stories of the feeding of the five thousand to a circle of candles arranged to mark the 1996 massacre at Dunblane (Scotland) Another challenged the Church ``to go where the people are--to the pubs, the schools and the streets.''
Ending the plenary, Bishop David Moxon (Waikato, New Zealand) challenged the bishops to ``return to your dioceses resolved to meet personally with a group of young people, to listen to them, to ask them about their hopes and visions and the way they understand the world,to pray with them, to open the scriptures, and to break bread with them within six months of this Conference.''
Back to front page of this issue