By Christy-Anna Errington–WMC YYA Committee Chair
This year the annual EMYC (European Methodist Youth and Children’s Council) 2012 was held in Varna, Bulgaria.
The council was made up of just under 40 delegates from across Europe. Some of the key topics discussed included the effect of unemployment on young people and the wider Methodist church, how the use of social media affects the running of the council, migration across Europe and the EMYC‘s relationship with DMYP (the United Methodist Church’s Department of Ministry to Young People).
The council was organised in a new way this year to encourage participation and to try to ensure that the topics discussed were relevant to those attending.
Friday evening was opened with worship, then an introduction to the EMYC. New delegates had the opportunity to spend some time with a long-serving member so that they could ask any questions before the sessions started. The rest of the evening was a social time.
Saturday was comprised of open sessions. Delegates could choose any topic and as long as at least one other person joined them, they could discuss it and report back. People could move groups at any time and once there was one person left the topic was closed and ready to be reported back.
There were 3 such sessions throughout the day and a number of topics were brought, some concluded quickly while others stayed open for the whole day.
In the evening there were presented reports about the youth work in Hungary and Latvia and another about the Spring Project, Russia. We then moved into an informal time, sharing regional snacks that delegates had brought with them and browsing presentations from some of the other countries.
On Sunday morning we went to a service at a local Methodist Church in Varna. The congregation was very welcoming. They had very kindly printed orders of service, including song words, in English so that we could follow the service.
Sunday afternoon was the plenary session and all the reports from the previous day were brought. We also had a short presentation from the EYCE (Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe), explaining some of the work they do. To find out more visit their website www.eyce.org. This session was quite long but we were able to move through most of the reports fairly quickly.
Some issues were passed on to the executive committee for further discussion, whilst others were passed onto smaller groups for further work.
We closed with worship and a final social time on Sunday evening and the council finished after breakfast on Monday morning.
To find out more visit the EMYC website http://www.methodistyouth.eu. You can also follow them on twitter @EMYCEurope.