The Youth Experience at Convention

By Missy Greene, Formation Advisory Board Member and Christian Formation Associate, St. Stephen’s, Fairview & By Mari Holben, age 14, St. Mark’s, Erie

By Missy Greene:

For the second year in a row, our diocese, through the Formation Advisory Board, has hosted an Official Youth Delegation at Diocesan Convention. In 2013, we had five youth delegates from around the diocese and this year we had six. The delegates were Mari Holben from St. Mark’s, Josie Noyes and Henry Palattella from the Cathedral, and Kara Perrotta, Abby and Sarah Wheeler from St. Jude’s.

The Official Youth Delegation met on Thursday evening before Convention began to get to know one another, as well as learn the ins and outs of what will happen over the couple of days of Convention. In order to get a better understanding of the business side of Convention, the youth participated in a mock Convention. Each youth was assigned to a character, read up on their background, and then had a chance to speak for or against mock resolutions. It was a lot of fun and did, in fact, spark some good debate.

During Convention, the Official Youth Delegation is granted seat and voice. They are then required to participate in all aspects of Convention: listening to the speakers, participating in workshops, attending the dinner, and speaking to resolutions if there is an opportunity. To keep them engaged and to get them interacting with the adult delegates, the youth had two activities to complete: bingo and a scavenger hunt. Bingo was filled with words that may be heard at Convention from the microphone, so the youth had to pay close attention to catch the words on their sheet. The scavenger hunt required obtaining signatures and pictures of, and with, people at Convention.

The Formation Advisory Board is very excited to continue this ministry. It is important for the young people in our congregations to understand how the diocese and churches are governed, as well as be a part of this large gathering of leaders. Youth are not only the future of the church, but they are part of the church now and should be represented. Please be sure to ask this year’s members of the youth delegation about their Convention experience. Mari Holben has been kind enough to write some of her thoughts down for you below.

By Mari Holben:

I wanted to be a youth delegate at the Diocesan Convention because of how interesting it is.  Not only does Convention interest me, but it makes me feel part of the church.  Even though we don’t have a vote, much of the things voted on don’t pertain to the youth.  By getting the chance to participate in Convention the youth feel part of the church.  As a youth delegate at Convention, you sit and observe the main Convention, you get to go to the dinner and talk with members of the church, and you participate in workshops.  As a youth delegate of Convention you do as much as any other person except we don’t have the right to vote.  During Convention I learned what major problems and accomplishments the church has gone through in the past year.  From Convention, you learn more about behind the scenes of the church and the decisions that affect the church every Sunday.  If you have the opportunity to become a youth delegate for Convention it is a decision you won’t regret.  If you are a participating member of your church and interested in learning more about our Diocese, Convention is great.  It is a wonderful experience and, even if you don’t enjoy it, you will learn a great deal from it.

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