BRUCE’S DISCLAIMER: These responses are done in a free-flow manner as if we were sitting at a cafe sharing a cup of coffee and are not edited or vetted in the same manner as with official publications.
What does the moderator do? Why should I, as a youth, care about the moderator?
The moderator has two responsibilities: one, to run the meeting of the General Assembly and then for the next two years to help listen to and tell the story of the church. To some extent depending on the focus and personality of the moderator he/she also helps to set the tone and topic of the conversations to be had around the church. Why should you care? Hmmm . . . good question. To be honest, I think in many ways the larger church has given many reasons NOT to care. Still, much of the good that comes out of the church when it comes to how we serve with and for young people is because of our denominational relationships and the health/movement of those relationships can often be influenced by the moderatorial term.
What is the most meaningful experience you had as a youth?
Youth camp, hands down. The chances to spend time with people that I would not otherwise get to know were some of the most formative times in my faith life. Second to that are the mentors that helped me discern God’s will for my life when it came to relationships, call to ministry and every day life.
What can I, as a youth, do to help the church? The world? Other youth?
I am not sure the call to do and be the church any different for young, old or 39-year-olds like myself 😉 Be real and respond to the world around you with a genuine Spirit. This way of being has to be held in all things and in all times of our lives. Nothing heals the world and relationship like a life lived with integrity and honesty. This way of being must be foundational in our lives as we strive to be like Christ: prophetic at times, pastoral at others and faithful to God always.
What is our role, as youth, in the church? The denomination?
See above 😉 I actually think that young people are more willing to be the church in all it’s joy and struggle which means helping the church to hold onto tradition that is vital and vibrant while exploring new ways of being church that is meaningful and relevant. In many ways, because young folks are both the present AND the future of the church the responsibility of holding in balance the past and the future is yours to shoulder.
What are your top five favorite movies? Why?
Hotel Rwanda – Because this is one story that defines one’s capacity to live what one believes;
Titanic – Because at my heart, I am a drippy romantic;
Keeping the Faith – Because every minister wants to be THAT cool;
Casablanca – Because Bogie was just cool and I dare anyone not to crush on Ingrid;
Napoleon Dynamite – because it is one of those quotable movies that just gets funnier and funnier every time I watch it;
Honorable Mention – The Great Debaters, Mad Hot Ballroom and Shark Water because true stories compel us to believe.