Sunday, 19 February 2012

[change is inevitable]

... Except from a vending machine.

I like change. 
I mean I really like change.  I find it exciting.  And exhilarating.  And just generally fun.

I’m not always good at remembering I like change.    Sometimes it’s because change seems to come at the wrong time, or because it’s the wrong sort of change.  But then either the change gets better, or I remember that I’m a big girl and these things happen.  And then I like change again. 
Mainly because it’s inevitable.  And there’s no point in disliking inevitable things, because it will just make you sad.  And that’s not nice.

One change that I thought was the wrong sort was when MAYC (that’s the Methodist Association of Youth Clubs, or the Youth Work part of the Methodist Church in Great Britain, for those not in the know) disbanded.  Ceased to be.  This was due to something called the YPS (Youth Participation Strategy), which was designed to get more Young People involved in the life of the church.   Now don’t get me wrong, the actual process and strategy of moving on was definitely a Good Thing.   The old system was flawed (did wonders for me, but was flawed nonetheless) and needed a breath of life, fresh air and a good clean out. 

And that’s just what happened!  It needed to be done, but I think that it was perhaps done too thoroughly.  This was back in 2009, and the first connexional (like national, but in Methodist-speak) meeting that we had as Young People was not quite as seamless as we’d hope.  There were certainly many improvements to be made, but as a facilitator (someone who lead workshops) for this Assembly I felt that this was something that could easily be done.  The 2009 Assembly was basically run by the facilitators, in the absence of any “body” behind the scenes.  Having a body of Young People behind the Assembly would definitely have provided a more structured and organised backbone that I think would have really benefitted the event. 

In the year between the 2009 and 2010 Assemblies, I really think that the Children and Youth Team (the replacement of MAYC) made a lot of good changes.  That’s not to say that I found the Assembly of 2010 easy – I didn’t -  but it was certainly easier than the Assembly of 2009.  The event seemed to flow better, and although it felt small, it was more organised, and there was a team in place.

However, the Assembly of 2011 was certainly the best so far.  I think that there was a lot more Youth Participation, which means that more Young People were engaging in conversation not only with the established Church, but also with each other.  This year, I was there not as a facilitator, but as a steward – a whole different ball game.  Maybe this different perspective opened my eyes to another way of working within Assembly, or maybe things really were good this year, but 2011 was most certainly a Good Thing.  Not sure I’d go back to stewarding, but it was definitely good to see what it was like.  It meant that I could have fun with rotas and pretty colours, and – let’s be honest – what more do I need to make me happy? 

MYA11 reminded me (again) that I do, actually, like change.  So it takes me a few years to get used to it, and I'm maybe not as forgiving as I should be about kinks/unrealistic about how many things, really, go completely right the first time around.  Seems now that Assembly is fantastic just as the funding comes under review.... let's hope that Conference make a wise and informed decision. They were visionary in starting the YPS - let's hope that they're visionary in continuing it!

I’m really excited to see where 2012 is headed.  Keep up to date with the goings-on by following the Methodist Youth Pres blog if you don’t already, and want to find out more!

And remember:
Just because everything’s changing doesn’t mean that it’s not been this way before.
- Regina Spektor 

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