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Assembly 2010 introduces Youth Ambassador option

   
 


Youth work together to pull a farm tractor forward during Youth Assembly 2009.

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February 19, 2010
-Deborah Froese

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — In 2010 for the first time ever, the Mennonite Church Canada Annual Assembly will include Youth Ambassadors as participants in delegate sessions.

“Youth are an integral part of the church,” says Anna Rehan, Youth Ministries Facilitator for Mennonite Church Canada.  “We need to hear their voices as we shape the future of our denomination. We want to tap into their vision and energy, and we need the help of individual congregations to make this possible.”

Congregations are encouraged to shoulder-tap interested youth and provide mentors who will guide them through the registration process and Assembly proceedings.  As an incentive, Youth Ambassadors will qualify for a reduced registration rate – and congregations are encouraged to help them pay their costs.

Youth Ambassadors will take part in delegate discussions and activities, with the exclusion of voting, which is limited by Mennonite Church Canada bylaws to delegates who are congregational members. They will also have the opportunity to participate in a variety of other events including late night activities and a Peace Art workshop with Ray Dirks, curator of the Mennonite Heritage Gallery.

“Youth have an incredible capacity to pull together on projects and issues.  We see that every other year when the Youth Assembly is held,” Rehan says. “We’d like to help them maintain their momentum and enthusiasm between Youth Assemblies. We can only benefit from their participation.”

Kathy Giesbrecht, Youth Pastor at Home Street Mennonite Church in Winnipeg and Associate Director of Leadership Ministries for Mennonite Church Manitoba is encouraged by this move. “The presence of youth changes and challenges us, providing us with gifts only they can bring,” she says. “When they are with us, we are better.”

Youth Ambassadors will use the Adult registration form to register, which will soon be posted at http://www.mennonitechurch.ca/tiny/1249.
 
The next Mennonite Church Canada Youth Assembly will take place in 2011.