Yesterday, I had the privilege of presenting Resolution 6 at the 237th Annual Convention of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut. The resolution is called "Evangelism of and by Young Adults: Faithfulness to God’s Mission into the Future." This is a resolution I helped write after two years serving as co-convener of our diocese's Young Adult Task Force.
To my great joy, our convention voted 99%+ in favor of making young adults (that's people ages 18-39, not to be confused with "youth") a priority for our common life.
So below, I share with you what I said in my presentation.
My invitation to you, my St. Paul's community, is that you think about how this resolution and these words apply to our own context. And what you will do in response to this call to action.
Here, more or less, is what I said:
Hi everyone. I’m Helena Martin: Priest-in-Charge at St. Paul’s in Southington and bonafide Young Person (if only by church standards).
I’m speaking today as a sponsor of Resolution 6 and as a co-convener of the Young Adult Task Force, which our convention commissioned back in 2019.
At that convention, you recognized the crisis of young adult exclusion from our common life. (“Young adults” for our purposes means folks ages 18 to 39.) You charged us to bring back “specific proposals for evangelism of young adults in ECCT.”
We reported to 2020 convention with a video of young adult voices from around ECCT. Then, we worked with a researcher to create a written report, which we submitted to convention this year.
People assume that young adults don’t want church. But we found that young adults want to lead lives that make a difference, want to feel connected to something bigger than ourselves, want to know Jesus.
Our report—which I commend to your careful consideration—makes specific recommendations for how ECCT can serve (and serve alongside) young adults.
Given the current time of transition in ECCT, we’re not asking for anything like programmatic or staffing solutions at this time. Instead, we’re asking this assembled body to make two strong statements:
That ECCT make ministry for and with young adults a true priority. This also asks the Bishop Transition Committee to make this priority clear in its search for candidates.
To approve our findings in concept, to be revisited in earnest by our next Bishop Diocesan.
We’re convinced that God is already at work in the lives and worlds of young adults. So today, we ask you to join this movement of the Holy Spirit, and say “yes!”
“Yes” that we collectively are committed to including young adults in the Body of Christ.
“Yes” that we want to prioritize this work going forward.
“Yes” to God’s invitation to share the Good News of Christ with everyone.