Reflections from Past GYPC Delegates
Hazel Joyce Salatan, from the Philippines, grew up in a Methodist family. She said that “leadership runs in my blood and strengthened by the people in my faith community. By attending the Global Young People’s Convocation in 2014, she felt God directing her towards her heart’s desire: leadership development for young people. As she interacted with other young Methodist leaders from around the world, she developed a broader understanding of faith and action in today’s world.
She is now a Master of Divinity student at the Union Theological Seminary in the Philippines, studying to become a full-time minister of the United Methodist Church in her country.
Rebekah Clapp from Western Pennsylvania learned through the conversations and discussions at the Legislative Assembly that “unity can come from division, and that differences of opinion and perspective, while they often bring dissonance, don’t have to end on sour notes.”
Shayla Jordan, from Texas USA, participated as a delegate in the 2014 GYPC. She says: “In 2014, I attended the GYPC as a delegate from my jurisdiction and had a life-changing experience where I felt assurance in my call to ministry. As a member of the Planning Team for GYPC 2018, planning this event and giving others the opportunity to experience something similar excites me the most.
Love was shared. Words were spoken. Hearts were open. There was breaking down and building up of a community of young people. To see, hear, and experience young people gathered together from 34 countries with diverse backgrounds and different cultures, all in the name of Christ, was truly moving. – Ashley Riddell, Young adult delegate, Upper New York.
As I looked back at the GYPC 2014, I am impressed as I see the youth and young people of the world take on the important issues that face the whole church. At times they had to agree to disagree but were able to still be brothers and sisters in Christ. Many friendships were formed and old ones renewed. We worship, sang, and broke bread together. Through the GYPC we see that the church does have a future and these youth are also the church of today. – Thomas Schmidt, Adult Youth Worker from Upper New York
At the 2014 GYPC, our primary goal was to make our opinions heard about the most pressing issues within the global United Methodist Church at the present time. We accomplished that and more. We survived typhoon Glenda, collected over $1,500 for rebuilding the CC Retreat Center, packed food to feed 600+ families impacted by the typhoon, commissioned forty two Global Mission Fellows, discussed legislation, presented a profound statement of unity, and had fun, too. I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to be a part of such an important event within the United Methodist Church. – Jay Codner, Young Adult non-voting delegate, Baltimore-Washington.
“Attending the GYPC was an eye-opening event. Having the opportunity to see how different people from different countries with different languages, ideas and opinions can still come together to work towards the same goals was an experience I will never forget. – Carleen Long, Youth non-voting delegate, Western Pennsylvania.
“I have come away more excited than ever about the movement of the Holy Spirit in one of God’s beautiful creations, The United Methodist Church. The excitement and passion that was on display at GYPCLA-2014 has inspired me to face every day with a renewed vigor and has altered my view of the world forever,” – Lee Rodio, Mount Sylvan UMC, Durham North Carolina
“Being in the Philippines with representatives of the United Methodist Church from all over the world completely transformed my understanding of what it means to be a global church. This experience taught me that while we may not all come from the same place, speak the same language, or share the same opinions, we are united by our common love for God, our brothers and sisters around the world, and all of creation.” - Erin Hancock, Wesley Foundation at UNC-Chapel Hill North Carolina.
“Being together with hundreds of people, all with different stories, dreams, cultures and ideas, in the face of a typhoon, made me realize how much we have in common and yet, because of our differences, how hard it actually can be to make room for connecting across the church. The (division) has a responsibility to connect all of our different cultures amongst people within (the church), and I think (the GYPC) proved two things: That we can do it, and that we need to work on it! Our work on the DMYP is so much larger than I ever realized, and our work as the whole church is enormous!” – Emily Allen, former member of the DMYP.