Youth Representatives from EPA & GNJ Overflow with Excitement and Hope for Jurisdictional Conference

July 10, 2024 | | GNJ News

Three youth from GNJ and EPA have traveled to Pittsburgh to bear witness to the conference and share the perspective of the young disciples of the UMC. They joined others from across the jurisdiction to form a group of 20 young people who are excited and invested in the future of The United Methodist Church.

As the conference dawned, they gathered together to share about their hopes. Alisabeth Guepet of Stroudsburg UMC spoke to her excitement to “learn more and be involved in what happens.”

Noah Bielefeldt of Bridgewater UMC shared: “I’m happy to be here to see the political side of the church and bring things back to my youth.”

Aditya Abraham, also of Bridgewater UMC, shared he’s excited to be here because “this meeting is really important to the church’s function. I want to talk about and share our (youth’s) opinions of the church.”

Youth representatives witness the work of the Jurisdictional Conference and have the right to voice on all matters on the floor. On Tuesday they bore witness as the church named the history of racism within The United Methodist Church and engaged in a liturgy of repentance. For Aditya, that was the most memorable moment of the day.

After the opening worship service, the body spent time in spiritual discipline and prayer. One moment made an impression on every youth representative. Delegates were invited to take a rock and write their favorite scripture verse on it. As each held the rock, they shared about their experiences and why that scripture was so meaningful for them. Alisabeth Guepet noted: “We all gathered at the rock sharing different experiences. Everyone is shaped differently.” Noah noticed “the Scriptures echoed a common theme, choosing to trust in God in the face of adversity.”

The decisions made this week will affect the church for generations, and our youth representatives understand that deeply. Aditya said he’s hopeful that delegates will “review our principles and change our rules so that everyone can benefit.”

May their hope become our prayer. May the decisions made at this Jurisdictional Conference draw the circle wider so that everyone can find a place within The United Methodist Church.