Canadian Lutheran and Anglican Youth (CLAY) will meet in London, Ont. in August 2010, an initiative that will have increased Anglican involvement.
Since 1966, young people ages 14 to 19 and their leaders from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) have made biennial pilgrimages to various Canadian cities for the Canadian Lutheran Youth Gathering (CLYG). Most of these gatherings attracted about 2,000 participants .
George Porter, a member of CLAY 2010 planning committee and Youth Action director for the diocese of Fredericton, says Anglican young people have always been welcomed to these events and, in the past, a few have attended. Since 2004, as implications of the full-communion relationship between the ELCIC and the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) continued to unfold, efforts have been made to include more Anglican youth at this gathering. At the same time, Anglican youth leaders have also been hoping to bring together Anglican youth.
Following the success of Generation 2008 – the national gathering of Anglican youth leaders at Huron University College in London, Ont. – conversations began between Judy Steers, national staff person for youth initiatives for the ACC and Rev. Paul Gehrs, assistant to ELCIC’s national bishop, who carries youth ministries as part of his portfolio.
As enthusiasm for such a joint venture began to build, a national planning team was put together with representation from both the Anglican and Lutheran churches. Ms. Steers said it is apparent that the ELCIC would also like to become intimately part of another “Generation” national youth leadership forum in 2011.