Saturday, October 25
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Recognizing that young people lacked the opportunity to participate in the church’s decision making, in 2009 the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) organized a pilot youth assembly called SPUD—speaking, participating, understanding, and deciding. Annual SPUD Assemblies allow young people from various congregations to connect, feel part of the larger church, understand how Presbyterianism works, and discover and use their voices on issues important to them.
Each SPUD Assembly is held several months before the denomination’s General Assembly. It sets its own agenda and refers resolutions it passes to be endorsed, modified, or rejected under the relevant sections of General Assembly business. To date, over 800 young people have attended and over 20 resolutions have been forwarded. As each comes up for vote, SPUD delegates rise to help the General Assembly understand it. So far, all SPUD resolutions have been agreed!
In a denomination where elected ruling elders serve on kirk session for life, it is rare for younger members to be elected. The SPUD working group has produced a program entitled Grow Your Own Spuds, which encourages local conversations between young people and church leaders about issues important to young adults and how to increase their participation in congregational planning and decision making.
—Rev. Doug Baker, PC(USA) regional liaison for Ireland and the United Kingdom
Let us join in prayer for:
Presbyterian Church in Ireland: Rev. Trevor Gribben, general secretary • Irish Council of Churches/Irish Inter-Church Meeting: Mervyn McCullagh, executive secretary • Irish School of Ecumenics • Corrymeela Community
Young Adult Volunteers
Sarah Atchison, Emma Cushman-Wood, Marranda Major, Mark Moseley, Sarah Paulsen, Courtney Reinke, and Kalli Watson, peacemaking interns, Presbyterian Church in Ireland
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Clark Simmons, BOP
Rita Singleton, PMA
Let us pray
God, often we forget how young many of those in the Bible were when you called them to exercise leadership. Help us to use the insights and vision of younger members of Christ’s body. Bless the work of SPUD in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, and help us “grow our own spuds” where we are. Amen.