Support the Café

Search our Site

Youthful presence livens Convention

Youthful presence livens Convention

This year’s General Convention has a certain youthful energy to it. The Young Adult Festivala for 18-to-30-year-olds drew 95 participants. Eighteen teenagers are participating as non-voting delegates as part of the “Official Youth Presence.” Young people are also on hand as volunteers and observers, reportedly having a great time.

Before convention, a Facebook group of these young adults created a “Why I am Episco-Crazy” list that included: “because I was born here BUT my parents got it right”; “because I had a voice”; “because of Scripture, tradition and reason, and the conversation doesn’t end there”; “because of the common Communion cup.”

Episcopal News Service reports:

Youth and young adults gave a thumbs up to their convention experiences.

At the young millennials meeting, Steven Duvoisin of the Diocese of Nebraska said he enjoyed hearing the many stories people shared “about the positive empowering experiences they’re having within the church.”

“I think as young adults it’s easy to get discouraged and feel isolated and focus on the negatives when there’s actually a lot of good things going on and a lot of God things going on,” said Duvoisin, who was helping staff the Tri-Faith Foundation booth in the exhibit hall.

Also from Nebraska, Michael Heller, 28, attended convention as a volunteer, serving as a legislative aide in the structure committee. “I wanted to see how the church works on this level,” he said. “It’s been interesting to work with another legislative aide who is much older. That sort of intergenerational work has been a great experience. There needs to be more of that at General Convention.”

Read the whole ENS story here.


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Nicole Porter

If people really cared, they would go ahead and pass D043.


Just to clarify, the Official Youth Presence wasn’t created in “2009” but 1982…

…As a young adult/millennial/whatever the new term for our generation is these days who just graduated from college and will be starting seminary in the fall, I have to admit I’m a little jealous of some of my friends who got to go to GC as part of the festival or in other capacities.

One very promising development in these areas to come out of this GC is that the new task force which will look (yet again!) at the restructuring of the church has, at least in the form passed yesterday by the HOD, a mandate to appoint a certain number of members “under the age of 35.” And if my legislation-stalking is also correct, at some point that age was lowered from 45 to 35.

One need only look at some of the statistics regarding average age those recently nominated for the major committees and boards elected by General Convention on page 4 of the Blue Book (53.7% of whom are over the age of 60) to see that this is desperately needed for the vitality of TEC in 15-20 years, as well as today. Even more to this point, look at the average age of people at ordination, which has actually increased slightly over the last 6 years or so: “The average age of priests at ordination is 46” (Blue Book, 68)…

Will Stanley


Although I’m very glad for the attention they are getting, I’m a little concerned that the youth and young adult presence are conflated. People in their 20’s are already running businesses and non-profits; why are we talking about them as if it’s so cute that they come to Convention with the adults?

Laura Toepfer

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café