Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, has challenged bishops and other church leaders to come up with programs that would result in greater youth involvement in parishes across the country.
Citing a “disconnect between the church and young people,” which has resulted in declining church involvement among Anglicans ages 15 to 24, Archbishop Hutchison said he is eyeing the possibility of a “youth network” within the church.
“One of the emphasis in the new framework for mission and ministry for the Anglican Church of Canada is that of youth and I will certainly make that a priority in my primacy,” said the primate during his maiden Web cast aired Oct. 13 (available for viewing at www.anglican.ca).
“I have begun an e-mail conversation already with the youth members of (General) Synod and when I visit dioceses across the country, I invite the bishops or whoever has invited me to try to include in that visit a youth event of some kind,” said Archbishop Hutchison.
Catherine Torrraville, a teenager in the diocese of Central Newfoundland, welcomed the primate’s call for greater involvement of youth in church. “It’s about time,” she said in an interview.
Ms. Torraville, who is a youth member of General Synod’s eco-justice committee, noted there is “a total lack of involvement among the youth” in her diocese.
In response to the primate’s call for national committees to include a “youth component” in their programs, the eco-justice committee announced it was planning to organize at least three multi-generational “justice/just fun camps” in the next triennium.
“One feature would be to engage in justice issues specific to an area (where the camp will be held) and to involve youth in that area and youth from other areas,” said Rev. Peter John Hobbs, a member of the eco-justice committee.
“Young people are idealistic and passionate about justice issues. They want to know and get involved in these things,” said Rev. Maylanne Maybee, the church’s co-ordinator for justice education.