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Global young people's event set for South Africa

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Kenia da Silva Guimaraes
Feb. 9, 2006

By Kathy L. Gilbert*

Young people will be challenged to "be the salt of the earth and light of the world" at the first Global Young People's Convocation and Legislative Assembly, set for Dec. 26-Jan. 1 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

"Our goal is to empower young people to become the world-changing disciples of Jesus Christ that God has called us to be according to Matthew 5," said Kenia da Silva Guimaraes, director with the Division on Ministries with Young People, United Methodist Board of Discipleship.

About 500 people are expected at the convocation, which is open to all United Methodist youth, young adults and adult workers with young people. Mandated by the 2004 General Conference, the event will be held every four years, according to the denomination's Book of Discipline.

Within the convocation, the legislative assembly will also meet. Delegations will be selected by their jurisdictions and central conferences to serve as voting members of the assembly. Voting representation for the assembly will include five youth, five young adults and two adult workers with young people from each of the five U.S. jurisdictions and seven central conferences (regions in Africa, Europe and the Philippines). The assembly will have 144 voting members, and non-elected attendees will have voice but no vote.

"The Global Young People's Convocation-Legislative Assembly will be a very important gathering that will mark the journey of young people in the denomination, a great opportunity for people from throughout the world to come together, share, learn, worship and most importantly connect with one another," Guimaraes said.

"After this gathering, I hope that young people from all over the world will truly spread the concept that God is calling us to be world-changing disciples, spreading the light of Christ and making it shine so others will be touched to join us, proclaiming that there is a new generation of young people within the United Methodist Church."

Expenses for meals and housing for legislative assembly delegates will be covered by the division. Each delegate will also receive a partial travel scholarship. Annual conference youth and young adult ministries, jurisdictions and central conferences are asked to help delegates cover the rest of their travel expenses.

Additional information about the Global Young People's Convocation registration fees and housing will be available by late February. For more details, go to or write to

*Gilbert is a United Methodist News Service news writer based in Nashville, Tenn.

News media contact: Kathy L. Gilbert, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or

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