A reflection on the Regeneration Summit (Sheffield, 3 March 2011) from Peter Ball (National Youth Adviser):
“Reflecting on the Regeneration Summit, I have to congratulate those who brought this together on what proved to be an successful day; I was especially encouraged through my conversations with young people who were able to express a passion for their faith and the church, their strong commitment as disciples of Christ, and for sharing their stories of some amazing things being achieved through their youth work and in reaching out to the wider community. Calling those present to make a pledge at the end of the day sent us all away with that sense of personal commitment to do what we can where we are:
Gathered in Sheffield for the Regeneration Summit we are excited by all the positive work with young people across our nation. We rejoice that so many young people are involved in the life of our Church, yet we yearn for more. As Bishops and Church leaders we pledge ourselves to find new ways to listen to the voices of young people, and encourage them in their Christian walk. We will work to enable young people’s voices to be heard better both within our Diocese and the national Church. We will seek to find new ways to empower young people both in leadership and ministry. We will endeavour to work with colleagues to enable new mission initiatives with young people, and consider if new financial resources can be made available to support these. As young people gathered at the Regeneration Summit we affirm we will work hard to encourage and support our church leaders. We will pray for our Bishops, and so all we can to bless their leadership amongst us. We will work positively in our local churches, to encourage our leaders. We pledge ourselves to pray for our friends, and to try to find new ways of sharing our faith with them. Together, we commit afresh to pray for the Church we love, and to ask God to work a miracle amongst us, that He would use us to help many more young people across England come to a living faith in Jesus Christ.
So much of what the church is seeking to do with and for young people (in parishes, in dioceses, and nationally) is embraced by the pledge, and there are indeed strong resonances between this and the calls for action at all levels embodied in Going for Growth – Transformation for children young people and the church !! I look forward to seeing how the pledge can be taken forward with young people in our Dioceses…”
And two more blog responses to the Summit: