NYA 2012 Reflections: Catriona

•August 18, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Catriona Muckart from Dornoch Cathedral reflects upon her time at the National Youth Assembly 2012…

For me the discovery of the NYA was wonderful, and wouldn’t have happened at all if it hadn’t been for my minister who’s daughter had attended a few years ago. There are many lovely and welcoming people in my church, however the average age of the congregation is about 105. (Ok, maybe 60). Therefore the realisation that there are also many folk my own age who not only attend church, but consider it a vital part of their lives was extremely liberating in a ‘Yay it’s not just me’ kind of way. It enabled me to find a sense of community within a faith context, which had eluded me previously. I was made to feel so welcome by everyone, and over the course of the weekend met some amazing people. I also cherished the opportunity to take an active part in the discussion and debate surrounding the prevalent issues examined at the assembly. Once I got the hang of the lingo that is! Being a first time debater I struggled slightly at the beginning, but with the help of my small group, soon got to grips with things. The NYA was a fantastic experience for me and I hope to see everyone again next year!


NYA 2012 Reflections: Seonaid

•August 16, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Seonaid Knox from St John’s Church, Gourock reflects upon her time at the National Youth Assembly 2012…

It was my third time attending NYA this year and immediately it was obvious there were a lot of newcomers. At first I thought this might be a challenge but, in reality, it was inspiring to see so many people eager to be involved in the Church and desperate to know more about God. It was important to me to demonstrate the same friendly attitude that I was treated with the first year I attended NYA, which made the weekend even more special for me as I made lots of new friends, and so after this year all of my favourite things about NYA such as the debates, workshops, the Gala dinner and last but not least the worship, I’ve realised my truly favourite part of the weekend is the people whom I get to share it all with. God has empowered me to do things I never believed I could through the encouraging nature of all the Staff, along the support and friendship I’ve been shown through some of the most amazing people I’d have never met anywhere else. For this I am abundantly thankful that God is working in so many young people to spread the word about Jesus and help shape the future of the Church.

God bless! x

National Youth Assembly 2012

•August 15, 2012 • Leave a Comment

It’s been a while since this blog has been updated but COSY is very much still alive and doing wonderful things. Last weekend was the National Youth Assembly 2012. The theme was “Breaking Barriers”; we debated, worshipped, chatted, sang songs, ate together, lived together, laughed, learnt loooooads, said goodbye to one fabulous Moderator, said hello to a new Moderator and generally had a wonderful time.

Our debate topics this year were: Domestic Abuse, HIV and Tax Avoidance.

We have some delegates and our new Moderator, Euan Patterson, working away at writing some reflections of the weekend. They will be posted up here as they come in. We will also be posting up the deliverances that came from all the debates when they have been checked and double checked.

Keep checking back here over the next few weeks!

Some thoughts about NYA 2011 from John…

•September 11, 2011 • Leave a Comment

First time delegate to the National Youth Assembly, John Kennedy from Stranraer, shares some thoughts about his experiences:

The National Youth Assembly

How to start a blog post about first time experiences of the NYA? I think the best place to start would be the warm welcome the delegates received on the Friday. After the official welcomes by the Mods & staff we really got to make new friends at the CosyCoffee House and Awaken concert. That started the habit for the weekend of late nights staying up chatting followed by too early mornings.

The early mornings started on Saturday with fantastic wee worships looking at how we can worship God with our Body, Mind, Soul, and Heart. The highlights of the weekend were the debates, the first of which was on input by the Guild about the sexualisation and commercialisation of children. This was a passionate debate which, although not controversial, provided a great debate with lots of talk and helped settle everyone into the format of the debates.

Sunday’s debate was based on input by Priority Areas, looking at how the church can help reach out to some of the poorest groups in our society. The debate that followed was possibly the most successful of the weekend with the NYA agreeing on many deliverances which it hopes will help make a really impact on people’s lives and support their faith.

Then came Monday’s debate, for which input was given by the Mission and Discipleship Council working group on the marriage report. This debate was carried out in a very loving and forgiving manner, during which the opinions of the breadth of the Church were expressed but the YA held together showing what the “peace and unity of the church” means. That will probably be my lasting memory of NYA 2011: that the youth know how to debate serious issues and to do so in a very Christ-like manner.

Interviews at NYA 2011

•September 6, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Here’s a few interviews with delegates on the last day of the 2011 National Youth Assembly. We will hopefully be getting a few people to write reflections on the weekend which will appear here soon along with the final collated deliverance.


•September 5, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Debate points for this afternoon…

1.The NYA believes that marriage is an individual choice and recognises that it may not be the correct choice for everyone.

2.The NYA believes that divorce ceremonies would be inappropriate within the Church of Scotland but supports existing pastoral care taking place.

– The NYA encourages the Marriage Report Working Group seriously to consider the drafting of liturgy to mark the end of relationships.

3. The NYA believes in the sanctity of marriage and that the Church should seek to continue to value it in a modern context with reference to our constantly unfolding understanding of scriptures.

4.The NYA believes society puts too much emphasis on marriage.

5.The NYA recognises that, in some cases, divorce may be the only course of action left to a couple and believes that in these cases it may be acceptable.

6.The NYA condemns the stigma in the Church in regard to divorce and recognises the difficulties that couples may face as part of being involved in a faith community.

7.The NYA understands that marriages do break down, sometimes for necessary reasons, but encourages the reinforcement of positive role models who are married.

8.The NYA recognises that divorce and separation, although unfortunate, can have a positive impact on individual lives and feels the wider Church should recognise this also.

9.The NYA believes that couples who are truly unhappy in a marriage should not be pressurised into staying together because of their children. Furthermore, in cases of divorce, where children are involved, these children should not be used as emotional weapons.

10.The NYA affirms the possibility of re-marriage for divorcees whilst respecting the presence of a conscience clause available to ministers of the Church.

11.The NYA acknowledges that different marriage guidance courses are available and would encourage the Church to raise awareness of such courses.

12.The NYA believes there is a need for greater pastoral care available to couples entering and leaving relationships. The Church has a responsibility to keep them included within their loving community.

13.The NYA encourages the Church to engage in a meaningful way with those approaching the Church for marriage and to view that contact as an outreach opportunity.

14.The NYA recognises that there are differing views on sex before marriage and feels the Church of Scotland should not be judgemental on the issue.

15.The NYA would encourage preachers to engage with marital issues on a more regular basis outwith wedding ceremonies.

16.The NYA believe there is a need for greater engagement with the issue of divorce and with the people it affects. This would include further guidance for ministers and those in a pastoral role.

17.The NYA affirms that regardless of relationship status, we are all equally loved by God.

Priority Areas debate

•September 4, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Here is the proposed deliverance ahead of this afternoon’s debate for all those watching on the webcast.

1. The NYA commends the work of the Church of Scotland in priority areas through the Priority Areas team and partner organisations whilst recognising that the entire Church has a responsibility to this cause.
2. The NYA recognises the good work of uniformed organisations and encourages the Church to continue to develop its work with them.
3. The NYA believes the “Sunday best” attitude in Church creates a barrier for people. The Church should welcome people for who they are regardless of their background, circumstances and how they are dressed.
4. The NYA believes that negative attitudes and stereotypes in regard to young people are profoundly damaging and can cause or enhance feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness.
5. The NYA condemns stereotypes of priority areas as “violent” and “rough”.
6. The NYA believes that inter-generational work is paramount in breaking down the stereotypes of modern society.
7. The NYA believes that the priority area system is a helpful system but there are substantial flaws. Therefore the NYA encourages the Ministries Council to revaluate how it selects priority areas and supports the expansion of the priority area targeting.
8. The NYA believes that the Church has a responsibility to encourage the media to portray young people in a more positive light and encourages the elected youth representatives of this Assembly to lobby the relevant parties.
9. The NYA condemns priority areas being exploited by the media for entertainment purposes.
10. The NYA instructs its elected representatives to explore funding options (including local and national charities) to assist with the provision of facilities, including technology, for the use of youth groups.
11. The NYA urges the Council of Assembly to expand financial provision for the Church’s outreach to priority areas for all ages whilst making youth a priority.
12. The NYA asks the Ministries Council to explore further ways for church leaders, workers and volunteers in priority areas to exchange ideas and provide clearer and more accessible information on opportunities for volunteers.
13. The NYA encourages local churches to share resources, talents and time to build links between communities which may lead to a more structured twinning.
14. The NYA encourages awareness raising of work done in priority areas through media such as “The Good News” newsletter published by the Church of Scotland online.