An interview with Mark Yaconelli

September 10, 2008

This is an interview with Mark Yaconelli about his new book ‘Growing Souls’ which follows up his ‘Contemplative Youth Ministry’ book.  Mark talks about spirituality, youth work and how Sabbath is a crucial part of how we live and are aware of God.

Mark Yaconelli interview


Afternoon Session

September 8, 2008

The Twitter feed remains switched off and we are no longer the most active discussion.  The amount of participation in the debate seems to have improved, however, and perhaps the Moderator may allow it to return.  The Sustainable Living debate has just ended with the team receiving a healthy round of applause and the Assembly is being addressed by the Church and Society Council’s representative on what we’ve just heard, and an invite to join the C&S Council’s group on Facebook so that these issues can be discussed and people kept up to date with developments.

Future Church’s debate begins at 2.20 and the first section of the deliverance has been challenged as not being at all suitable.  Suggested ammendments were not accepted by the challenger and a vote demostrated that the Assembly wished to pass it, albeit in ammended form.  Lively debate continues and one of the Presenting Team appears to be dancing to the beat of a different drum…although no-one but the Laptop Corner seems to have noticed.  If only Twitter was being broadcast so that everyone could watch Isbell dancing!

An Assembly pedant is ensuring that the Assembly Clerk and her assistant are kept busy attempting to stay one step ahead of a certain person’s pursuit of their typos.

The Future Church’s deliverance shows that ideas and beliefs about how things should be, the dreams we dream and the visions that God gives us, cannot be constrained by the arbitrary barriers of four separate debate streams – elements of the previous three topics have appeared in the different sections of their deliverance and well show that the delegates have engaged with all the aspects of the NYA2008 programme.

Some debate has arisen over the subject of CofS ministers offering celebrations of births, weddings and funerals, and that parishes should engage with people outwith the church who seek the services of ministry teams – not just offering Baptism but also blessing ceremonies as a matter of course to people who seek them.  The final section also provokes debate over the mission and provision of the Kirk in modern Scotland: should there be preaching in every church building every Sunday of every year?  Or do the current realities of life today, as well as how people engage with worhsip and their faith require changes?  The Assembly affirms the importance of the territiorial ministry while recognising the challenges offered by this commitment.

Ishbell no longer dances nor does she recite poetry.  This displeases me.

The debate closes at 3.10pm with no input from the Council representatives and applause and thanks for the Future Church team and the Moderator and Clerks.  After the debate’s close announcement was made of the the Youth Assembly Representatives to the 2009 General Assembly – good luck to them!

Allan Ramsay

Twitter at NYA2008 makes top of Trending List

September 8, 2008
NYA2008 makes the top of Twitters Trending Table!!!

NYA2008 makes the top of Twitter's Trending Table!!!

The (Twitter) Debate Continues

September 8, 2008

Twitter seems to have been a little too successful and it’s in danger of side-tracking the debate.  A switch off of the screens showing the feed seems to have worked wonders for the concentration levels of the Assembly.  We’ve just broken for lunch after a rally in the progress of the debate – much to discuss on Sustainable Living after food.

Allan Ramsay

The Debate Continues

September 8, 2008

The Healthy Relationships segment of the debate has passed and we’re now discussing the Media and technology related deliverance after Stewart’s presentation.  Some giggling as a suggested change causes a bit of confusion, but the Moderator handles it with verve, panache and focus!

The Healthy Relationships deliverance passed with some changes to the product but with little in the way of oppositional debate.  A delegate spoke eloquently and movingly on the mental health section of the topic and this greatly assisted in the focus of the discussion.  On the whole I think the team would have preferred more discussion to tease out some of the possibilities that arose from the group sessions during the workshops – give the limited time, however, we’re happy that things went smoothly.

The Twitter feed is proving interesting: a mix of jest, questions on the debate and and suggestions for the future.  It turns out that we’re the most active/watched feed right now – who says that no-one pays attention to the Church??!  A brave soul has suggested that Twitter should be used at General Assembly…

Allan Ramsay


September 8, 2008

Twitter, laptops, phones, mics… For two reasons this debate has the potential to be a very interesting experiment.  Firstly, it’s a test of how robust the new format of workshops and then debate will prove to be.  We’ll soon know whether this new way of doing things has mileage, or if the ‘aye been’ way was best!  Secondly, the technological additions to the communication process should ensure that it’s not just those who have the courage to stand and argue in front of a large group that have their voices heard.

I look forward to hearing God speaking through the still small voices.  And Avril just did really well…

Let the debate commence!

Allan Ramsay

Jonathan White – delegate

September 8, 2008

I have really enjoyed National Youth Assembly this year. The debates are more like discussions and its good that there not as formal. The most interesting debate for me was the Media debate. Media can shape and change our church in so many ways through internet, television, powerpoint and video. I think that the future church is virtual church where you can use the internet to share you faith and love for God through website, blogs, messenger and social networking sites. We have already started to see the whole bible put on the internet through and you can email your ministers. It wont be long before everything is on the website. I think media adds another dimension to worship which appeals to a young generation.

The Future church debate also interested me. The church seems to be tied up in money and budgeting that without money there is no future for the church. I think attendance and age is a problem there is no  generation to take over the church when this generation is gone. I think the church needs to do more to encourage people back in to worship and I think the church with those people who maybe cant come to church due to studies.

I also enjoyed the worship in the main hall every morning the band  is great. It is great to see everyone come together and share one common purpose to worship God and I felt God when I looked at everyone in close worship. I also enjoyed Fidge’s worship where we had that time of silence and to reflect it also helped me to connect to God and think of me and the world today.

Overall NYA has been a life changing experience I feel I have been enlightened through worship, debates, workshops and seminars but most of all the social aspect of having a Burns Supper and Christmas Dinner together to a Ceilidh and a Hootenanny. I will go away having been blessed to spend a weekend with so many nice people.

Jonathan White