Young people: Live your faith, even if it means getting arrested

Bishop of Wellington Justin Duckworth has encouraged young Australian Anglicans to be more radical in the expression of their faith.

By Chris Shearer

March 9 2016 

Young Anglicans have been encouraged by the Bishop of Wellington to explore their own ways of expressing faith rather than automatically acquiescing to the culture of their local parish.

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Around 45 young people from across the Australian Anglican Church gathered in Melbourne to discuss their vision for the church and how they may be “radical disciples” in their own parishes.

Led by Justin Duckworth, Bishop of Wellington, the group established that there was a need for change and that this would come from “the crazies” – those who want to do something different to what their local church does.

“If you really truly believe the stuff you’re talking about, then prove it. Get on and actually make it happen,” said Bishop Duckworth. “So if you deeply believe about the poor, get some people with you and live it. Or if you deeply believe that there should be more miracles in the church, get some people with you and actually pray for some miracles. Or if you deeply believe the church has lost the heartbeat for advocacy, get out there and get arrested with some people. If you believe it, live it.”

Organised as a pre-meeting of the Life in Abundance conference at Trinity College, this was the first occasion that young Australian Anglicans have had an opportunity to formally meet since 2005.

“A lot of young Anglicans are in churches where there might be one or two other young Anglicans, so it gets a bit lonely that road, being a young Anglican,” said the Revd Jasmine Dow, who organised the day. “And so one of the big things I hope they take from this is the recognition of a bigger community and being part of something bigger.”

Ms Dow said the issues raised during the day would also be fed into the conference at large, encouraging communication between the different demographics of the church.

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