“Like coming home” – A Youth Reflection on the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago’s Annual Convention

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As a follow up to a recent post, I asked Mae, one of our youth who attended Diocesan Convention as a delegate, to write a short reflection on her participation in this event. Here is what she had to say:

“I was honored to be able to participate at Diocesan Convention as a Youth Delegate. I learned so much over the course of two days. I discovered how business meetings work. I learned they can actually be quite interesting, and that candy (thoughtfully provided by your youth minister) can make any long meeting better. I found how important it was to include new youth. Being a seasoned youth member with many years of dioocesan camp and other activities under my belt, it’s easy to forget how it feels not to know anybody. I remembered the necessity to catch up with old friends and fellow campers who I hadn’t seen since last summer. I experienced the comfort of everyone just letting go on the dance floor, and that same comfort as I found the opportunity to have deep conversations with people I love. While I hadn’t attended Convention since I was nine, it somehow felt like coming home. I’m so glad I was able to go to Diocesan Convention this year, and I’m thankful for my church family that made it so meaningful.” 

Mae along with eleven other youth delegates joined the 700 leaders from our diocese that attended this important annual event to learn more about sharing our stories, welcoming strangers, and getting outside the doors of our churches to share God’s love. She represented her peers to vote on important issues facing the mission and ministry of the 127 churches in our diocese. All of our youth delegates made a significant impact through their presence and leadership. And it would seem that the experience left an imprint on them as well. Let’s keep this in mind and remember to include young people in leadership whenever and wherever we can in the life of the church.

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