The youth and young adult address went really well! The youth went first, and talked about the great things that the SEJ does with youth, including bringing in over 600 youth through the gates of Lake Junaluska each summer. Then for the young adult report, we had about 10-15 young adults stand at the mic and make a statement about either themselves or the situation of a young adult. I said "I am a young adult. My husband and I have been married for four and a half years, and I am working in my first job. I am a young adult." Some of the others said things about having children, owning a home, financial issues, and other marital situations. We were trying to give the body an overall idea of the broad range of life situations in which young adults find themselves. Then Pheobe Hathorn, who has been the secretary of the SEJ Young People's group, gave a rousing speech about young people. The best thing she said (which actually was an idea from Kelsey Morris, who was listed as the person to give the speech, but no one told her until about a week before, and she wasn't able to come) was that young adults are not just the future of the church, or even the present, but are the past, present, and future of the church. We have been here, we are here, and we will be here for years to come. I was moved by her speech. I don't think the body was moved quite as much as I was, but I was moved!
Of course, as always, we give lipservice to our young people, but when it comes to putting them on committees, giving them money, or including them in representation, it's a whole different story. We just passed the nominations report, and there was one youth in the entire list. One. There were eight young adults, which was good. And I guess it's hard to ask youth to serve on a General Board and Agency. But we should try, and we should make it possible for them to attend. Have a board meeting in the summer.