By Gary Ryan, AUNO Associate
In June 2006 the Anglican Observer to the UN, Archdeacon Tai Matalavea sponsored a leadership conference for Young Adults representing the five world regions of the Anglican Communion. The conference was held in and around the United Nations headquarters in New York.
The event was funded with extrabudgetary resources of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Episcopal Church in the USA and with contributions by US supporters of the Anglican Observer to the United Nations. The program was a collaboration between the Anglican Observer to the United Nations and the Episcopal Church.
The participants were all recognized leaders from their national and regional churches: Odwa Gonya from South Africa, Tiana Morel from Seychelles, Lucas Correia de Andrade from Brazil, Richard Whitmill from the United Kingdom, Sarah Tomlinson from the United Kingdom (for the Anglican Consultative Council), Neven Rahmoun from Israel (and the PLO), Wade Aukett from New Zealand, Katrina Stevens from Australia, and from North America Laura Amendola, Rhonda Waters, Andrea Zepeda, and Rebecca Sorenson (for the Evangelical Lutheran Church). Two participants, one from China and another from Pakistan were not able to attend at the last moment.
The ground support and planning team were Thom Chu from the Episcopal Church Youth Ministries, Rev’d Douglas Fenton from the Episcopal Church Young Adult Ministries, and Gary Ryan from the Anglican Observer’s Office.
The Facilitator was Melissa Sim, from the Anglican Church in Canada.
The participants had interactions with permanent mission staff, UN staff, NGO representatives, and with the Anglican Observer. They also bonded well as a group while working all week on an outcome document regarding the UN Millenium Development Goals to pass on to their national and regional churches.
They also had lots of fun exploring New York City in their spare time.
The participants have remained in touch via email. They have also committed themselves to continue the work they began in New York for the foreseeable future. Hopefully we will be hearing good things from them for years to come.