Hello again from London and CLAY – the Canadian Lutheran Anglican Youth Gathering. It’s Day 3 – Saturday morning – and the enthusiam level remains high despite a raging epidemic of sleep deprivation.
Here at the CLWR display, I’ve been enticing everyone to enter a draw to win either a stuffed toy alligator or snake. The toys were made in India by MESH. Throughout the event, I’ve left one snake and one alligator out in our display area even when I have not been around.
The snake and the alligator have never wandered away during my absences, but inevitably, every time I return to our table, they have taken on new poses. Snake biting alligator’s back, alligator biting snake, snake wrapped around the alligator have been three of the more popular choices.
The theme of the gathering is “Hands On”. Certainly the snake and the aligator have been experiencing that on a regular basis. Watching this process unfold (I separate them, the kids rearrange them) has reminded me of the struggle we often face when younger stakeholders want to put their mark on things. The challenge we face as the “old guard” is to figure out how to invite youth to be a part of change without limiting them to only those changes that we favour.
Like the church, CLWR’s constiuency is looking a bit gray these days. And that’s why CLWR’s strategic plan calls for a more intentional effort to connect with youth. That in part is why we are here at the gathering in London and why we were also in Edmonton earlier this summer for the LCC national youth gathering. But we need your help too. We have other ideas about living out this mandate but we’d love to hear from you as well. What do you think we could do to help connect youth with CLWR?