Putting the Gen-Y into Assembly and the hip into fellowship

Young leaders Rhanee Lester and Rads Sukumar at the 13th Assembly

CALL me a Church Nerd if you will, but the 13th Assembly, and my first, was really cool.

Perhaps it was the ridiculous amount of food consumed.

Perhaps it was the amazing co- Gen Ys I met and befriended.

Perhaps it was our Stetson-wearing-President and cheesy-tie-wearing General Secretary chairing the meeting with such grace and humour.

But after a week in a 13th Assembly shaped bubble, I'm quite happily fried.

A few things really stood out for me.

I really loved that we were able to discuss and deal with complex matters with prayerful discernment and humility, despite our incredible diversity.

The image of one flock following one shepherd echoed throughout the whole conference, as we dealt with issues that many of us differed on, and as we prayed and sang.

I loved that nobody's voice was dismissed as being too young, too inexperienced or too emotional.

Indeed, my fear, before actually reaching the Assembly, was that the proposal I was to present with Rhanee Lester (about the National Young Adults Leaders Conference 2012 "Reconciliation People" statement) would just be passed with a nice pat on the head for the future leaders of the church.

But people applauded.

It was good to reassure them that the church isn't dying, that there are young leaders in the church, already loving and serving.

There was a lot of love in that Plenary Hall. And I loved the way we experienced true relationship with members of Congress, especially when we all stood in solidarity on the steps of Parliament House, and prayed and sung together (in tune too!) in response to the passing of the Stronger Futures legislation.

The prayer vigil was not a planned part of the Assembly.

It simply arose out of the energy and passion of the meeting.

And it was a great honour to take part in organising that memorable event.

I am extraordinarily grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Pilgrim People, for the friendships formed, for the songs sung, and for the path walked together.

Rads (Radhika) Sukumar is a 24-year-old Administrative Assistant at Uniting Mission and Education in the NSW/ ACT Synod. She is seeking to be a candidate for Ministry of the Word. She attended the 13th Assembly as a youthful lay member

Photo : Young leaders Rhanee Lester and Rads Sukumar at the 13th Assembly