As a Young Adult Representative, I’ve now seen a lot of these things. For one thing, who knew there were so many committees? I sure didn’t.
It’s been a wonderful learning experience to see just how the church’s decisions are made. On our very first night, they sat us down and explained exactly how to make a motion, vote on an amendment, and defer a conversation to a later time. In simple terms (which is what we needed to begin with): It starts with a suggestion. From there, you can suggest a change to the original suggestion, then even make a suggestion to that suggestion. Then if there are things that need to be thought about more, it can be sent to a committee or moved to another meeting. Then they went and threw the word “sederunt” at us. Want to know how to stump 12 young adults? Ask them to tell you what that is. For the YARs of 2012 it means sitting in uncomfortable chairs, listening to the commissioners all around us debating the issues we only get an advisory vote on.
—Kaitlyn Lamont, Presbytery of Ottawa
When I was first asked to be one of the Young Adult Representatives at the General Assembly, I wasn’t sure what I was suppose to expect and was concerned about my responsibilities as a YAR. However, it was a great opportunity for me to interact with Presbyterians from all over Canada, learning from one another through sharing experiences. I made many new friends and had such an amazing time. Everyone was extremely encouraging and welcoming, thanking us for raising our voices as YARs and giving us the opportunity to express our opinions as the “present” of the church. Furthermore, this assembly educated and informed me about my church and how the PCC works as a whole. I was grateful to be here! Thank you. (P.S. The food was great, too!)
—Michelle Hwang, Presbytery of HanCa West
I think it’s amazing that we can have such a diverse representation of our church in one place to discuss important issues. I arrived with the expectation that a meeting of this size would be burdened with procedure; however the business of the church was carried out with reasonable discussion and efficiency. Upon leaving, I am encouraged by how valued my opinion as a YAR was at this assembly, and that the renewal of our church has been recognized by many of the leaders as a current issue.
—Ivan MacLean, Presbytery of Prince Edward Island
I have appreciated being able to give an advisory vote on issues that I feel strongly about. The support of commissioners and others in attendance has been overwhelming and I have been glad to receive it. I have also enjoyed hearing from ecumenical and international visitors and to see how our church is involved in many different areas around the world.
—Sarah Gletnak, Presbytery of West Toronto
It has been an amazing experience so far! all the YARs are kinda almost like family already (well, that’s what I think at least) and the fellowship is amazing not only between our group of YARs, but also between everybody else at the assembly which is quite an amazing thing to see: people from all over the country coming together to worship. Overall, it has been a very interesting and fun experience!
—Giles Alexander Meloche, Presbytery of Essex-Kent