Youth, young people invited to share stories, vision for UMC

June 04, 2015

Discipleship Ministries announces that youth and young people in the worldwide United Methodist connection are being invited to share their best personal stories, visions and innovations for the church, and two people will be selected to express their thoughts in person at General Conference 2016.
All submissions will be crafted by the Young People’s Ministries (YPM), a unit of Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church, into the Young People’s Address, to be given at the quadrennial meeting of the church’s top legislative body in Portland, Oregon.
“Once ideas are submitted, youth and young adults will have the opportunity to vote online for the ideas that are most engaging to them,” said Carl Thomas Stroud Gladstone, the YPM’s regional staff member for the North Central Jurisdiction. “All submissions will be considered for sharing through Young People’s Ministries’ social media platforms.”
The messages from youth and young people about the church’s impact on their lives and their vision for the future can be either in the form of written text or 1-2 minute video presentations. Submissions are being accepted now through July 18 at
Four focus areas, taken from statements that accompany the theme of the General Conference, can help youth and young people consider their submissions and will provide a framework for this Young People’s Address. They are:
  • Tell us your best idea for sharing the good news about Jesus, and for seeking out and welcoming people into the Church.
  • Who is an inspiring leader in your life who has called you and others to commit your lives to Jesus Christ?
  • What communities stand out in your experience as particularly nurturing of people in Christian living through worship, baptism, communion, prayer, fasting, study, social action and more?
  • How would you send persons into the world to live lovingly and justly as servants of Christ by healing the sick, feeding the hungry, caring for the stranger, freeing the oppressed, being and becoming a compassionate caring presence, and working to develop social structures that are consistent with the Gospel?
Submissions are being featured on the website where viewers can “favorite” and write comments about them. The YPM staff will add input at its July meeting.
“The top ideas and presenters will be invited to share their message in person on Saturday, May 14, 2016, at the General Conference,” Gladstone said.
Ages for youth and young adults are defined differently according to geographic region, from ages 12-40. Check with church leaders in your area to be sure you are in the appropriate age range.  
The Young People’s Address at General Conference is an opportunity for youth and young adults to witness boldly about the church’s impact in their lives and to cast their vision for the future of our work together as Christ’s body, Gladstone said.
For more information, download the UMC Young People's Address Information Sheet or contact Gladstone at