[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] Applications and nominations are now accepted for high school teens to participate in the General Convention Official Youth Presence (GCOYP) at the Episcopal Church 78th General Convention to be held June 25 – July 3, 2015 in Salt Lake City, UT.
In collaboration with the General Convention Office and the President of the House of Deputies, the Office for Youth Ministries is coordinating the application and discernment process for high-school teens to become a part of the GCOYP. Applications and nominations are available here.
Bronwyn Clark Skov, Episcopal Church Officer for Youth Ministries, explained that several General Convention resolutions dating from 1982 to 2000 provide for an Official Youth Presence. Those selected are limited to no more than two high school youth from each of the Episcopal Church’s nine provinces, and are granted seat and voice on the floor of the House of Deputies under the current Rules of Order of the House of Deputies.
To be eligible to apply, candidates must meet the following criteria:
• Be an active member and communicant in good standing of an Episcopal Church congregation
• Be at least 16 years old and no older than 19 during General Convention
• Be a current high school student enrolled in 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade during the 2014/15 school year
• Be capable of traveling alone by plane or train to and from the meetings in the United States with no escort
• Be available to travel to the mandatory orientation and training from Thursday April 9 – Sunday April 12, 2015 – location to be determined
• Be available to be present at General Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, from Wednesday, June 24 – Friday, July 3, 2015
Skov explained that youth who serve as members of the Official Youth Presence will participate in a training/orientation weekend of community building, worship, and legislative process prior to General Convention.
“They will be encouraged to attend local synod gatherings prior to General Convention 2015 and would benefit from meeting with the adult deputies of their own dioceses to learn more about the process of resolutions,” she said. “At General Convention 2015 they will attend legislative committee hearings, will be encouraged to speak to issues in hearings, and may participate in debate on the floor in the House of Deputies. These individuals must be self-confident, articulate, and energetic. “
The General Convention Office provides the funding for each of the participants to cover travel, lodging and meals for the orientation weekend and General Convention.
Deadline is December 23. All applicants must also identify a non-family member nominator who can complete an on-line essay nomination form by December 23.
Nominators will be contacted in early January and applicants will be notified of their status in February. The Official Youth Presence will be announced in March.