|The General Conference Youth Convention was held from the 24th to the 27th of June 2017 at the Port Dickson Methodist Centre. It was attended by 185 youths from all Annual and Mission conferences. In this conference we had the Tamil, Chinese, Iban, Kadazan, Sengoi, Kayan, Rungus, Orang Sungai and Bidayuh participants. Truly indeed we were blessed as this convention was truly represented by most peoples of our land Malaysia.
The theme of the convention was “Carrying on the Legacy”. Through this theme, the emphasis was on passing on the heritage of our church to our youth – helping them understand, realize and carry on the work of the Methodist in Malaysia for our Lord and our nation.
Bishop Dr. Ong Hwai Teik was the main theme speaker for the Convention. It was truly a blessing for the participants when the Bishop of the Methodist church himself explained what it means to be a Methodist and then made the call for our young Methodists to receive and embrace our legacy for their future. Bishop Ong divided his talks into 3 sections namely LIVING BY GOD’S UNCHANGING SOVEREIGN GRACE, LIVING BY THE POWER OF COMMUNITY and LIVING BY THE BIBLICAL WORLD VIEW. Through this sharing, he called on the youth to receive what Christ has entrusted to us through the Word of God and the church, personally, corporately through the church and for the benefit of the world. These talks were indeed helpful for our young people. Many heard the themes “Prevenient Grace”, the “Community of God” and “The World as my Parish” clearly and loudly as the distinctive and heritage they were receiving through our church.
In the evenings we had Mr. Anthony Row, Secretary of the Methodist Church in Malaysia and President Tie King Tai, from the Sarawak Chinese Annual Conference break down our theme to how it would impact us as peoples of Malaysia. Through these talks the young people were challenged to live lives that would transform our nation through scripturally holy living.
Being a youth convention, there were also sessions where our youths were called to respond by looking at ourselves from the inside and the outside. These sessions were led by Ms. Chrisanne Chin and Michael William. These sessions focused on the muiticultural and historical mix of Christians in our country. The youths were called to discover their strengths, weaknesses, challenges and opportunities and how these could be used for our church, society and nation.
What was unique of this convention compared to the previous GCYC conventions was the huge participation of the Bumiputera youths from our churches. Apart from the traditional participation from the Sarawak Iban Annual Conference (SIAC) and the Persidangan Misi Sengoi (PMSM) youths, the GC Youth Convention welcomed participation from the BM ministries of the Sarawak Chinese Annual Conference (SCAC) and the Sabah Provisional Annual Conference (SPAC). It was truly uplifting when we heard stories that were shared formally in the conference and informally at free times during the confe- rence. The conference also had a time for prayer for all our Bumiputera brothers and sisters as they face many challenges of faith in their lives.
The conference ended with Bishop Ong and the pastors present leading everyone in a time of Holy Communion. This signified our unity with the Lord and with each other as the youths received the call of carrying on the legacy of our Methodist church in their churches, society and nation.