Bishop Ward and Conference Youth President, Abby Martin share the vision and opportunities available through the conference and local church youth ministries.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
Youth ministry is at the heart of who we are as United Methodist people. Abby Martin is president of the United Methodist Youth of the North Carolina Annual Conference, which is a high honor and a wonderful place to be in the center of vision and excitement. Can you tell us about the vision of youth ministry?
ABBY: Well when I think of vision, the Methodist Church automatically pops into mind; also the youth of this conference. Our conference has done so much this year to move forward and to open up new doors and opportunities for youth. For example, we have opened up online registration where youth can now go online and register for conference events instead of having to send in a paper form and mail that. So that opens up more doors and opportunities and makes it easier.
Also, we have been re-visioning one of our conference events, which is Global Vision. By doing so, we thought maybe it would be a good idea to put in a mission trip aspect where one year at Global Vision, we learned what to do and then we put that into action and we’re being the hands and feet on another year. So I think that by re-visioning, it gives the youth who might have not had the opportunity to go on a mission trip, the opportunity to do so through a conference mission trip.
BISHOP: The youth of our annual conference have been amazingly creative and generous in relation to Imagine No Malaria. We are now at a million and counting over $40,000 over the million dollars. Thank you for all that you led the youth to do through Pilgrimage and in other ways in local churches.
ABBY: Thank you so much. It was awesome to have that opportunity to work with the CYC and Pilgrimage to help raise money for Imagine No Malaria. I know that’s really at the heart of this conference.
BISHOP: What message would you have for local churches as they create opportunities for youth, in churches of all sizes, in all places?
ABBY: I think it’s important that when going into a youth group in a local church whether it’s big or small, that you create the sense that your youth group is a family. You kind of bond around that and around God and that when you are in youth group that you’re making it in a way where you can rely on your own faith and that youth pastors are preparing their youth for college or when they go out into the real world, into reality, where they can rely on God.
BISHOP: We thank you for your leadership and we do remember how in the scriptures God teaches us to remember our Creator in the days of our youth. You and the youth of our conference do that so wonderfully. Thanks be to God.