Greta Conrads at an Eastern Synod Congregational AGM
This July 3-7 twenty young adults will form a youth delegation at the first ever Anglican-Lutheran Joint Assembly in Ottawa. Four of those youth will be delegates from the Eastern Synod. There was a conversation on the floor of our last Eastern Synod Assembly where we talked about the importance of the youth voice on the floor of convention. In a previous post I commented:
We heard these same sentiments from our youth at Assembly this past summer. Our youth are tired of the tokenism we offer them in the life of the church. They are tired of the entertainment slots we give them at our gatherings. They want to be integrated into the life and purpose of the church the same way everyone else is. They don’t want to be ‘youth delegates’. They want to be delegates.
Consider the motion on the floor of the Eastern Synod Assembly this past summer that spoke to increasing the numbers of youth at Assembly. I spoke against that motion. We do need a larger young adult contingent at our Assemblies. But changing a number in a constitution will do little to make that happen. I applaud the energy and excitement people have for youth, just as I applaud the motives of the mover of that motion on the floor of Assembly this past summer. We need that energy, excitement and positive motivation to move youth and young adults more fully into the life of the churches we are a part of. That takes work. But imagine what our communities would look like if our youth and young adults were leading worship regularly, leading committee work, serving on council, elected as delegates to Convention and Assembly.
Many congregations are getting ready for their Annual General Meetings. This is the time that we vote for delegates going to Assembly this summer. This is your moment as a congregation. Will you vote in the same old warm body? Or will you actively seek out that young adult in your midst who represents that change so many of you called for on the floor of our Eastern Synod Assembly last summer? This is a choice. It will take work. But it is God-pleasing work that needs to be done if we want to fairly represent the demographic that exists in this Evangelical Lutheran Church of ours. Be the change that wants to happen. Like Greta, there are many of our young adult Lutherans watching and waiting for this kind of opportunity.