Lay youth Organization : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

I am a pastor in the 15th, Namibia Annual Conference. Here in our District the notion of lay youth has been brought to the front, and I am not sure what is going on nowadays. Is it that one can already start to implement a recommendation prior to the General Conference, or what is actually going on? What are your experiences of this notion in your districts?

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2003


I am from the 1st District, New Jersey Annual Conference. It is my understanding that legislation to the General Conference can be submitted the year before the conference. As far as there being a deadline, I would suggest you asking another Pastor or Presiding Elder even your Bishop. Someone knows something. Also as far as there being a Youth Lay Organization, it sounds like a really good idea, but it presents a split in the mission of the Lay Organization because as things are designated with the WMS and YPD, the WMS is the mother body and makes the financial decisions for the YPD. There is no cutoff age for any youth to join the Lay Organization, they are permitted to be a part as well as active within the society itself. Besides the Lay Organization is the champions in the scholarship department for youth to continue their education. Submit the legislation, but just be specific about the function of the organization.

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2003

As we are preparing for the onset of legislation for the General Conference the Connectional RAYAC just completed its first consitution and bylaws meeting in Detrpoit last weekend. We are presently working on a proposal that will eventually combine all youth/and young adult organizations into one.

Be looking for the information soon.

-- Anonymous, April 11, 2003

I think it is high time that the AME church get serious about connectional youth ministry. Did you know that just to observe the YPD quadrennial would cost over $200.00. And for what? What programming for observers will take place that would justify such an outrageous cost? I find that many of the YPD and other youth events are very costly and it certainly discourages many of the smaller churches from participating. Just last year the IL Conference Branch YPD convention was $65.00 per attendee. For what? One evening and a morning of listening to Joan Cousin talk on her cell phone. This is ridiculous. Good luck Mr. Turner but I hope the new organization is not another level of AME bureaucracy.

-- Anonymous, April 14, 2003

There are many attempts to revive the Lay Organization through the infusion of youth. Several districts has added a new twist to this drive by initiating the Young Adult Network. Now we see this with the new leadership of the RAYC and the promising effort of President Jerry Turner. I would suggest that we attend as many convos as possible to learn what is happening. For those unable to attend, it would help to pass along information to our brothers/sisters in other districts. More importantly, the 4th district has been one of the districts instrumental in this new push of youth involvement. Oddly, that is the district of Bishop Philip R. Cousin, and Dr. Margaret Joan Cousin. Maybe she should stay on the phone if this is bringing the positive change being witnessed within the district. It is difficult to see progress, when you are busy looking for problems!

-- Anonymous, April 14, 2003

I would like to offer my full support to President Jerry Turner. I was on the phone Monday night talking to connectional officer Loretta Hill the administrator for the Debutante Master Commission. Sis. Hill has a passion and vision for the youth of our denomination. I shared a story with her that I would like to share with those who do not want to try to help and revive a youth and young adult organization. I would also like to thank Bishop Cousin and Episcopal Superivisor Joan Cousin for the visionary work that they are doing in the fourth district.

When I was 15 years old I joined the Nation of Islam, not because I believed in their ideology but because they asked to to join. You see no one else wanted me. I was the fat angry kid. And no one had time for me. But the Nation of Islam wanted me. The same thing can be said about gangs, and drug dealers looking for new recruits. They actively go out and seek young people, especially those who do not fit in. There are not many choices for young people. We as the body of Christ have to provide choices for our youth. If not they will join the Nation of Islam or gangs. I eventually left the nation of Islam when a friend who was united methodist asked her pastor to go and get me. He came 7 times. I finally joined the Methodist youth fellowship. When I joined them I was a high school drop out. They helped me finish high school. There are so many young people who want to be a part of something. let's make sure that "something" is the ame church. We have a lot to offer our youth. My prayers are that we will help Connectional officer Loretta Hill and Bro. Jerry Turner. We have to make our youth a priority. And when we have Bishops and connectional officers reaching out to help, let us also commend them for their work and also pick up the phone and say how can I help. I am looking forward to hearing what our churches in africa are doing with youth activities. I know Rev. Mwandu in Zambia is working on a DMC event. Please keep our youth programs in prayer.

-- Anonymous, April 15, 2003

So many clergy are nowadays hesitant to say a lot in the Lay Organization matters, especially in our part of the Connection, because the two (lay and clergy) are viewed as if in opposing camps. The meeting came to the fore when one young adult addressed our District Conference, calling upon pastors and churches to send one youth delegate to a Lay Youth Meeting, and I opposed that move on the grounds that such an organization has (1) not yet been legislated in the AME Book of Discipline & Doctrine, (2) duplication because wehave so many children & youth auxiliaries of which only the YPD is working to a certain extent and that the age group the speaker was inviting fits into the ACE Fellowship, (3) new responsibilities in terms of hard finance, transport, logistics, etc. I agree with Bishop John Hurts Adams when he hinted in the 1988 Commissioning Sermon what we are unable to efectively administer what we have yet we want to create more. He refered to the budget! I want to put emphasis on the auxiliaries, and all logically thinking AME should oppose the creation of another youth and young adults until we have the existing auxiliaries operation at maximum level.

-- Anonymous, April 16, 2003

I would like to thank you for the positive words of encouragement as we forge ahead in youth and young adult ministry -- about two weeks ago the Constitution and By-laws committee of the RAYAC began the process of reshaping the structure of this organization. I too will be at the Annual ministries of Christian education in nashville to report on the work of the RAYAC. We are anticipating a great response after we "roll out" a new face on young adult ministries. In the next few weeks I will be posting questions that will help shape the RAYAC (or whatever name it will end up being). Please respond so we can also add your suggestions to our deliberations.

God Bless

-- Anonymous, April 17, 2003

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