Did you know that youth can vote at Convention? Article II of the Diocesan Constitution provides for representation of one youth Deputy and one youth alternate over the age of 14 to have full voice and vote at Convention. The Regional Ministry Networks should work to elect these youth to serve. Giving youth a voice is so important not just for their own faith journey but also for our diocese.
Now let's talk about what it means to be a Deputy at Convention. As an elected Deputy you are given the privilege of full voice and vote accorded to all Deputies and Canonically Resident Clergy of the Diocese. All members of the Convention have the opportunity to weigh in on the Diocesan Budget, any resolutions that are presented, and to elect people to serve on the various committees of the diocese. They will hear the reports from various committees, organizations, as well as congregations that have ministries at work in the diocese. They also hear the bishops deliver their annual Address.
In an interview with past Youth Deputy Eric Nowoslawski from Grace Church Rutherford he was asked what it meant to him to be elected as a Deputy at 17 years old. He reflected on such an important memory and shared “Being a Youth Deputy showed me what it was like to have a part in something that was bigger than myself.” He went onto say “It was a great experience to see all of the churches coming together to make decisions for the greater good of the diocese. To this day I still remember going over my packet to understand the budget and was shocked it passed with no debates. Then we all sang a hymn after to celebrate.” Now in his late 20’s Mr. Nowoslawski is still proud of the opportunity that was provided to him at a young age. As you can see the opportunity to serve as a Regional Ministry Network youth Deputy is an experience that will follow each of them throughout their lives.
What is required for a youth to take part in Convention? All youth ages 14 years through 20 years old, can run for youth Deputy for up to 2 terms of 1 year each. They will need to notify their clergy that they are interested in becoming a youth Deputy for their region. Each Regional Ministry Network will hold an election in the upcoming months to select 1 youth Deputy and 1 youth alternate to attend Convention. Notification to the Regional Ministry Network Conveners should happen in a timely manner to ensure each youth has the opportunity to participate in the election.
Being a Youth Deputy isn’t the only exciting thing at Convention for our youth! In the works is a special event for the youth in 9th – 12th grades that will take place during Convention. For more information about the New Youth Convo, keep an eye here in Convention Corner in the coming months.