General Convention Official Youth Presence Class of 2012 announced

[EpiscoYouth] Please join me in congratulating and praying for the Class of 2012 General Convention Official Youth Presence! Today we extend an official and public welcome to the following 18 youth who have been discerned for this distinguished service:

Province I

David Karpf, Diocese of Connecticut

Sarah Neumann, Diocese of Massachusetts

Province II

Elisabeth Engle, Diocese of Western New York

Grace Steele, Diocese of Long Island

Province III

David Kilp, Diocese of Central Pennsylvania
Isabelle Lock, Diocese of Maryland

Province IV

Benjamin Cowgill, Diocese of North Carolina
Nora Vinas, Diocese of Southeast Florida

Province V

William Burton-Edwards, Diocese of Indianapolis
Julia Robinson, Diocese of Ohio

Province VI

Emma Grundhauser, Diocese of Minnesota
Cole Mayer, Diocese of South Dakota

Province VII

Laurent De Prins, Diocese of Western Louisiana
Ruth Avelar, Diocese of Texas

Province VIII

Ariana Gonzalez-Bonillas, Diocese of Arizona
Patrick Melendez, Diocese of California

Province IX

Darling Daniel Ortiz Chemountd, Diocese of the Dominican Republic
Marlene Rodriguez, Diocese of Puerto Rico

This year we utilized an online application and nomination process that yielded 107 applicants to fill 18 positions, two per province. The nine Provincial Youth Ministry Coordinators followed up with calls to nominators and engaged in a prayerful discernment process to work together with me to identify the best and most diverse representation possible of youth in the church. The pool of candidates was outstanding and made the discernment process quite a challenge. Parents, guardians, nominators, youth ministers, congregational clergy, and bishops have been most supportive throughout the application and discernment period and have pledged to continue to support all of these young people whether invited to serve or not. We are grateful for this level of commitment to mentoring our rising generation into leadership roles in the church and offer prayers of gratitude for all involved.

These 18 young people will gather in Indianapolis the weekend following Easter to begin their journey to General Convention. The orientation and training weekend will include engaging in community building, legislative education, parliamentary protocols, and discussion of broader issues impacting youth and the church. They will convene again in July to take their seats on the floor of the House of Deputies when the General Convention convenes.

The EpiscoYouth blog was created at General Convention in 2009 as we were attempting to embrace digital technology to share the experience. At one point members of that Official Youth Presence needed some input from the church wide youth community about legislation they were writing to empower more congregations to elect youth to Vestries and Bishop’s Committees. You responded and helped support them in 2009. We are counting on you to stay tuned for this General Convention, too. Please keep an eye on this blog, the EpiscoYouth presence on Facebook , and EpiscoYouth on Twitter (#episcoyouth) for issues and updates. We’ll also share features about the youth from each province and the adults who will be their companions on this particular journey.

Stay tuned and please keep the entire General Convention in your prayers.

— Bronwyn Clark Skov is Youth Ministries Officer for the Episcopal Church and Formation and Vocation Ministries Team Leader.

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