Debates cont.

NYA 2009 is now over! What a weekend! Also an incredibly busy weekend, so busy that there was very little opportunity to give any sort of overview of the other two debate topics that took place on the Saturday/Sunday.

Spirituality:

In this session we were given the opportunity to explore what spirituality meant to us, to Christians and to discuss what was relevant in our 21st century world and how we can engage with spirituality. We talked about what aspects of our lives were spiritual or had spiritual dimensions: the use of money, relationships etc. We, as ever, had varying opinions amongst the delegates and it was really interesting to hear people’s reasoning behind why they thought aspects were, or were not, spiritual.

We talked about how sometimes people are not good at being still, and being in the silence. Some of the people in the debate session got to experience different ways of engaging with spirituality which involved, for some, sitting in the silence, being still and really listening.

A lot of discussion was had about relating spirituality to the world today so as to make it more accessible to more, and more people. We spent some time looking through newspapers and picking out stories from today and trying to relate those to the Bible and work out where they fitted in with our spiritual lives.

The phrase “more open” kept cropping up in discussion. There seemed to be a real desire amongst delegates for people to be more open within the church; to talk about spirituality with each other (and from a young age).

This session very much encouraged us to explore spirituality and encouraged us to really think about what it meant to us in our present time and how we can seek to have these ideas developed.

Wealth:

Our final debate session within our small groups was on the topic of “Wealth”. We focussed on three different areas surrounding wealth: International poverty, Local poverty and personal spending.

Our small group seemed to particularly passionate about the issues surrounding local poverty. It seemed to be a common thought that often we are made very much aware of issues surrounding International Poverty and such issues tend to get more of our attention and more media attention. How often we forget about the poverty that is on our own door step!

Discussions on our own personal spending proved to be somewhat challenging for some people. We talked about whether or not we could justify buying a takeaway coffee when we could give that money to a charity. This made some of us feel incredibly guilty about how much we do spend on coffee, and indeed other “whim buys” and materialistic items in favour of charity. Our attitudes to giving were really challenged through our discussions!

Our group had some good discussion surrounding individuals within a church struggling financially and it was a common desire to see church become a more open place where these people could be more honest and seek to rely on their church, their family, for support.

Our attitudes were continually challenged through this debate sesssion and it was really encouraging to see so many of the delegates getting so passionate about the subject.

Today the main debate, with all the delegates, took place on the four separate subjects and I’m sure news of that debate shall appear soon along with reflections of the weekend as a whole!

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~ by Lynsey on September 7, 2009.

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