Methodist Youth President 12/13

Author's details

Name: Methodist Youth President 12/13
Date registered: September 2, 2012
URL: http://methodistyouthpres.blogspot.com/

Latest posts

  1. Methodist Youth President: A plea to the wider church… — September 10, 2013
  2. Methodist Youth President: Checking in — September 7, 2013
  3. Methodist Youth President: Signing off — August 31, 2013
  4. Methodist Youth President: Conference days 6 & 7 – including the whole family of God — July 10, 2013
  5. Methodist Youth President: Conference days 4 and 5 — July 8, 2013

Author's posts listings

Sep 10 2013

Methodist Youth President: A plea to the wider church…

Original post at http://methodistyouthpres.blogspot.com/2013/09/a-plea-to-wider-church.html


Living in the society we do, it's sometimes hard to appreciate how fortunate we truly are. We have free running water, not a poverty-stricken nation and the minimum wage for an employee who is 21 and over is £6.19. Therefore at times it might be hard to emphasize with the problems that people face in other countries. In Bangladesh the garment workers are facing an incredible injustice, so let me try as best as I can to put it into perspective for you...

In Bangladesh garment workers aren't even paid anything close to our minimum wage. Their living wage is thought to be $380 a month and they aren't even paid anything as close to that. They are expected to survive on $52 a month after working up to 14 hours a day for up to seven days a week. So in effect they would start their days' at 9am in the morning to 11pm at night everyday. In the society that we live in we have a term for that...slave labour. It's also saddening to know that in the 'evolved' post feminist era that we live in, that there are gross wage inequalities between men and women. This saddens me deeply as there are many women in that nation that are are the main breadwinners for their families, but because of their gender they are not able to provide as well for their families.

Bangladesh is known to be the second largest clothing exporter in the world after China. It is an industry that is worth $20 billion (that wasn't a typo error, I did indeed say $20 billion), it is growing at the rate of 12% per year and accounts for 80% of the country's exports. So essentially the economic expansion almost wholly rests on the shoulders of the garment workers. So therefore they should be celebrated and commemorated within their country? No, the garment workers typically get paid the equivalent of  10p an hour! How many things can you buy for 10p in the UK? Not much.

On 24th April, Rana Plaza, an eight-story factory building collapsed in Savar, Bangladeshi. It has became known as the worst garment factory accident and deadliest accidental structural failure in history. Over 1, 131 people died and 2,500 were injured. To me and you, these may just be figures, but to their families that day they lost a mother, a father, a sister, a brother, a cousin, niece/nephew. The factory owners were warned of the dangers of the building collapsing but just told their employees to go home and come back the next day which was when the tragedy struck. But sadly, this is not a one-off issue, since 2005 an estimated 1,800 Bangladesh garment workers have been killed in factory fires and collapses. The five main reasons for the collapse were: Shoddy construction materials, Corrupt building practices, Flouting of building codes, Vibrating industrial equipment at the top of a commercial building and people being forced into an unsafe structure.

Following this devastating and dreadful tragedy, the church of Bangladesh took the initiative to support rescue teams, mobilise help for the injured garment workers and their families, develop an advocacy programme based on the needs of the factory workers', and is pressing industry leaders to guarantee basic labour conditions.

Although, some of the world's biggest fashion chains have plans to finance up to £42million-worth of fire safety and building improvements in the factories they use in Bangladesh. The International Labour Organisation, the European Union and the Government of Bangladesh have declared a major "compact" to improve labour rights, working conditions and factory safety. The Bangladeshi government made a new minimum wage of $34 with allowances, more needs to be done. More needs to be done, it is all fair and well fashion chains supporting this and legally bound for the next 5 years, but our jobs as the consumer is to ensure that the arrangements are being implemented.

list of companies who have signed the Bangladesh Fire and Safety Accord:

COMPANY SIGNATORIES:
Abercrombie & Fitch
Aldi Nord
Aldi South
Auchan
Bay City Textilhandels GmbH
Belotex
Benetton
Bonmarche
C&A
CAMAIEU
Carrefour
Charles Voegele
Comtex
Daytex
Debenham
El Corte Ingles
Ernstings's Family
Esprit
Fat Face
Gstar
H&M
Helly Hansen
Hema
Hess Natur-Textilien GmbH
Horizonte
Inditex
JBC
John Lewis
Juritex
Kik
Kmart (Australia)
LC WAIKIKI
Lidl
Loblaw
Mango
Marks and Spencer
Metro
Mothercare
N Brown
New Look
Next
Otto Group
Primark
PUMA
PVH
Rewe
S Olivier
Sainsbury
Scoop NYC
Sean John Apparel
Shop Direct Group
Stockmann
Switcher
Target (Australia)
Tchibo
Tesco
V&D
We Europe
Zeeman
http://www.industriall-union.org/global-brands-pull-together-on-bangladesh-safety-deal

My plea isn't to ask you for lump sums of money, or to boycott any clothes stores as this would not do any good for the economy in Bangladesh. My plea is this:

-Pray for the situation: The United Society who are part of the church of Bangladesh group provided this prayer:

Lord of all,

For the times that we buy without thought of those who have produced our clothes, when we have sacrificed ethics for economy, we ask forgiveness;

God of Justice,

Help us to hate injustice as you do, to speak up for those with no voice, and to stand with those who are forced to work in clothes factories for little reward in Bangladesh;

King of Kings,

We pray for leaders and politicians in Bangladesh, for lawyers and for business leaders, that you would not let them rest until there is justice for the garment workers in that country.

Amen.

-Tell your friends/families/colleagues, organise a meeting at work, or on your campus.
-Send a letter to your local store selling clothes made in Bangladesh:

Model Letter:



Dear Colleague,

I recently bought some clothes at your store.

It made me think back to the loss of at least 1,127 lives of garment workers and others when the ninestorey

Rana Plaza collapsed in Savar, Bangladesh. So, before I buy more clothes from you, I wanted to

ask you about where your clothes are manufactured and what conditions are like for people working in

those factories.

Please let me know:

1 Does your company import clothing made in Bangladesh or other developing countries?

2 Do you set minimum workplace standards for your suppliers?

3 Do you ensure they pay their workers a fair wage?

4 Does your company support the international Accord on Fire and Building Safety?

5 What assessments have you made recently of your supply chain to ensure significant and sustained

improvements in the working conditions of garment workers?

I look forward to your reply and being able to share it with my friends and colleagues, many of whom

have similar concerns about the working conditions of people who are making our clothes.

Signed
 
......................................................................................................................

FROM: ................................................................................

ADDRESS:..........................................................................

..............................................................................................

..............................................................................................

..............................................................................................

 
 
 
TO THE MANAGER
 
STORE: ......................................................................................................

ADDRESS: ................................................................................................

......................................................................................................................

......................................................................................................................
 
-Talk to bodies to put pressure on the Bangladesh garment manufacturers and Exporters Association and the Bangladesh knitting manufacturers and Exports Association.
http://www.bgmea.com.bd/
-Write to your elected representative in local, state or national government to ask for representations to be made to the retailers selling garments made in Bangladesh, and also to the Bangladesh government to improve conditions for workers in the industry.
--
We all need to gather and help our brothers and sisters in Bangladesh as right now they are in a desperate need and this is a Global issue. The little changes that we make can and will make a difference to their lives.

"Promote justice! Give the oppressed a reason to celebrate" Isaiah 1:13-17

http://www.methodist.org.uk/news-and-events/news-releases/a-church-call-to-action-justice-for-bangladeshi-garment-workers

Until next time...
 



Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2013/09/a-plea-to-the-wider-church/

Sep 07 2013

Methodist Youth President: Checking in

Original post at http://methodistyouthpres.blogspot.com/2013/09/checking-in.html


Hello! 
 To those who may know me/not know me I would like to formally introduce myself, my name is Tamara and I am the Youth President of the Methodist church for 2013-14. For those of you that know me, may know that at University I studied Journalism. So therefore I must be absolutely awesome at blogging...sorry to disappoint! I've have had one blog before but it become stale after about a month. But, I will make much more of effort to keep this one updated and fresh. 
 (At the time of writing this blog) It was day two in the office and its been such a surreal experience, I feel as though I am a mini adult in an adult world that's full of acronyms and coffee breaks. During this time, I have experienced the most warmest of welcomes and a strong sense of belonging in Methodist church house. As I sit at my desk currently, I'm daydreaming of how to make my little desk look more pretty and homely...something of which I'm really and I mean REALLY excited (sorry for the caps I just wanted to emphasise my point, payday cannot come soon enough).
Last Wednesday at the Methodist church house we had a new year service for the new workers of the Methodist church, which I had a small part in. It was hosted by Ruth Gee (President) and Vice President (Daleep Mukerji), the theme was 'Your Kingdom Come'. Which for me, instantly draws my mind to the Lord's Prayer, but the words all mean something individually. "Your" refers to God, "kingdom", is something that we have all heard of, Jesus also spoke about the kingdom of God, but he never defined what it was. Although he told stories and gave images as to what the kingdom was like, this is where the surprise comes, so therefore makes it the more endearing. Finally there is the word "come", this is not meant to be considered as a final term, but rather a process, something that is revealing. This reflects on the kingdom of God, as its not static, but ongoing.
 This made me think of my job role for the year, although it is not the kingdom of God (although this job is amazing)!! The service reminded me once again that God should be at the centre of everything that I do and that all my work should be for Gods glory, I can't do anything in my own strength. It also reminded me that this year is going to provide me with lots of surprises and I don't know what lies ahead of me. But it's a challenge that I am very much looking forward to. I'm looking forward to meeting the people of the Methodist church and listening to their views. Most of all I'm looking forward to 3Generate!!!! 
 At the end of the New Year Service, the message was emphasised by a video of a butterfly emerging from chrysalis. This video was so beautiful and also made me think of my own faith, we don't know how beautiful through Jesus Christ that we may become. Like the caterpillar stepping into the unknown, we don't know where our own lives are going to take us. So I encourage you all to be like the butterfly and take a step into the unknown within your faith. 
 Until next time...

xxx
 http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Gt-5lS9hJFA





Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2013/09/checking-in-2/

Aug 31 2013

Methodist Youth President: Signing off

Original post at http://methodistyouthpres.blogspot.com/2013/09/signing-off.html


This blog has had more than it's fair share of hellos and goodbyes as it has been the home of five Youth Presidents. I have been thinking about what to say in my last blog for a while and have been humming/wailing a variety of goodbye related songs as I've tidied my desk, cleared out the room I stayed in in London, sent last emails and tried to type up comprehensive and comprehendible reflections and notes on my year.

Actually I'm not very in the mood for goodbyes so instead this is a signing-off blog. I'm signing off as Youth President this evening. This role has finished for me. I've had a wonderful year, and I'm completely satisfied to hand this privilege of a job on to Tamara as I know she will be absolutely brilliant.

I will miss it, though.

I'm signing off as Youth President but I'm not saying goodbye because I will continue to be a Christian, a member of the Methodist Church, and a wholehearted, sometimes overly-zealous sort of person. Therefore no goodbyes needed :)

I have so much enjoyed working for the Methodist Church as the Youth President. It has been a joy.

With no beating around the bush, one of the things I most enjoyed was being listened to. A reason I decided to stand for Youth President was because it looked like an amazing opportunity to have a voice. And it was! Throughout the year I felt like my opinion mattered. I felt listened to and, most of the time, like I could make a difference. This shouldn't end now that I leave this official position! Is it human instinct, to want to be listened to? I hope and pray every single member of the Methodist Church feels like their opinion is valued and that they are heard. We won't always get our own way but we should always feel that we have been listened to with respect. I don't think we the Methodist Church are always as good as we say and think we are at this. There are going to be varying views within our church and to me it's really important that we respect each other even if we strongly disagree. I have experienced viewpoints at what felt like every end of every spectrum within our church this year and I have really tried to not only respect viewpoints which differ from my own but to represent them fairly. I hope we can be our best at this in our decision making and the way we do things. Today, my last day as Youth President, was spent at a British Youth Council meeting where we discussed the new Ethical Partnership Policy. It was clear that the many different member organisations will have differing ethical values and it's not a straightforward thing. It's not straightforward in the Methodist Church, but if we say we are a family I would like us to be a good one; one where all are valued and respected. I think this is easier said than done! But let's strive for it.

So to continue with the signing off before this blog gets too long ...

Most of all, thank you. If I have met you, I enjoyed meeting you. If I have argued with you, I enjoyed arguing with you (is that allowed?!) If I have connected with you via social media, I enjoyed it. If you made me laugh or cry, thank you. If you sent me an encouraging email or card, thank you. If you sent me a challenging email or even a letter to the Methodist Recorder, thank you. If you picked me up from a train station, or made me cheese toasties late at night, or baked fairy cakes in honour of my visit, or allowed me to speak with your youth group, kids club or congregation, thank you. I loved it all. This year was frustrating sometimes, funny sometimes, invigorating always. It was a challenge and I love a challenge. I feel more rounded. It was life to the full for me and I loved it. Thank you.

I will finish with my current favourite bible verse

1 John 3.1
See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are.

I pray that you know that you are a child of God, loved by him.

Hayley Moss, Youth President 2012/13, signing off ... 




ps

If you care to partake in some of this week's cheesy goodbye themed favourites ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ln8Sj_BDUrs (wow that one's sadder than I thought now I've listened to the whole thing - I'd just been singing the chorus!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eegDtyrSUZw (nice hat Mel B)
And of course, not to be missed - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNs3nK31DKc

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2013/08/signing-off/

Jul 10 2013

Methodist Youth President: Conference days 6 & 7 – including the whole family of God

Original post at http://methodistyouthpres.blogspot.com/2013/07/conference-days-5-6-including-whole.html


I have felt that both yesterday and today have been interesting and productive days. I've enjoyed the debate, the getting up to speak in front of people, the speed of the business and the pressure of keeping up with which of the many pieces of paper we're on. For me, now that I've got the hang of it, it works. However I know that a lot of people do and would struggle to engage with the last two days. We are all different and all need to be enabled to contribute, which is why yesterday Sam (ex Youth President) and I brought a notice of motion aiming to create space for the way Conference is done to be reconsidered. You can find the text of the Notice of Motion here : http://www.methodistconference.org.uk/media/198578/noms%20yellow%20tuesday%209%20july.pdf (208, second one down)

(A notice of motion is an idea which is brought by people during Conference and is voted on by Conference. Sometimes they are related to report which are already part of the agenda, sometimes they are a new thing, like ours)

I am really excited that the Notice of Motion was passed and felt a huge sense of achievement. Yes the work hasn't been done yet but I do actually feel like I've made a difference now as this important topic will be seriously thought about. It could be something that makes a significant difference to our church governance.

In society big advances have been made in the field of learning and the way people are naturally best able to understand things. We know that people learn in different ways - for example through listening, through doing, or through discussing. When I have worked in schools recently I have found that there is much more variety in the way things are taught than there was when I was a pupil. The church needs to pay attention to these advances.

For some standing up and speaking in front of 300 people is unimaginable. For some focusing on a debate style meeting from 9.30am to 7pm (with breaks) is impossible. Many lay people work during the week and therefore find it difficult to attend Conference. There are other ways of doing it. 3Generate has drastically changed the way that the voices of children and young people are heard, now including varied, active, creative and ever improving forms of conferring. I really believe we need to take this experimental attitude and give it a go within the whole church. The Methodist Church in Britain needs to seriously consider how effective it is in enabling the ordinary 'person in the pew' - young, old or in between - to engage with the decision making processes of our church, which are meant to be accessible to all. I quote from the Methodist Church website:

'decisions are made as openly as possible, giving opportunities for all to contribute. It is important for all views to be heard and taken seriously, especially where Christians disagree'

We need to make more of an effort to include the whole family of God in our governance structures and processes - at all levels - so we really are creating opportunities for all to contribute. The majority of our church members are switched off to the decision making processes of our church and if we really are who we say we are, we need to try harder to hear those voices.  I am grateful to the members of Conference for supporting this step.

Back to the general update - so yesterday was a good day, and today was also a good day. Lots discussed and excellent contributions from the 3Generate reps, including a successful Notice of Motion from Roxanne which means that the Larger than Circuit discussions will now include consultation with children and young people. Both days included a profile-raising event for our partnership with the Street Child World Cup, along with the Methodist Churches in Nicaragua and Brazil. Yesterday we did a flash mob blowing whistles and saying a prayer and a poem, and today was the Methodist Celebrity vs Methodist Children and Youth football match. I am sad to say that the Celebrities won 10-7, but pleased to say that it was hugely fun and got a good amount of attention for the Street Child World Cup. You can find out more about our work with SCWC here: http://www.childrenandyouth.org.uk/big-sleepover/scwc/ You can also see the blogs of the last two days from the 3Generate reps here http://3generatereps.wordpress.com/ and their video blogs here http://twitter.yfrog.com/315crksbdgrexrhcmorrpmavz?sa=0 and here http://twitter.yfrog.com/17x46ebmdnatvrwtcwcebvsrz?sa=0

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2013/07/conference-days-5-6-including-the-whole-family-of-god/

Jul 08 2013

Methodist Youth President: Conference days 4 and 5

Original post at http://methodistyouthpres.blogspot.com/2013/07/conference-days-4-and-5.html


Yesterday morning we attended the Conference service at Westminster Central Hall.  It started with an interactive clapping thing where different parts of room had to do a different clap. There was also drama and a sermon and singing. During the service the ordinands (people training to be ministers)  were 'received into full Connexion'  which means that they enter into a relationship of service and support with the church. 
 
It was super hot so we went to St James' park and found some shade to eat our lunch in. Pretty soon I headed across the city because I was helping at one of the ordinations. It was a lovely service at Wesley Chapel with about 650 people. One of the OPPs, Sarah, and I distributed communion. Another OPP Matt valiantly tried to direct people from their seats to us in the right order - not much space, wonky pews, music so they couldn't hear his instructions = very confused people! Made me smile :) There were about 8 people being ordained including the first Welsh first language minister! The service was enjoyable but I was feeling much too tired. I hope it was a really meaningful moment for the ministers which they remember forever. I've heard or seen on social media a lot of ministers saying 'this day__ years ago I got ordained' which I've loved - a reminder every year of that special day and the calling from God to be a minister.  
 
Went out to a nice pizza place for dinner and then went to bed without blogging as I didn't have my laptop at the accommodation.
 
Today was a full on day of business. It included a long and well supported report about ministers with ill health. There are some really challenging points in this paper - I think it needs a change of culture in a lot of places, as there is a lot of pressure put on people. I hope the paper is taken seriously and we become better at looking after each other.
 
We also discussed the Faith and Order report (Faith and Order do theological thinking), heard a bible study, heard some great stories from world church friends and also I seconded a Notice of Motion which was about ensuring the work on a resource about the topic of Cohabitation asked for by 3Generate does not get overlooked and dropped unintentionally. You can find it here if you're interested:  http://www.methodistconference.org.uk/london-2013/2013-07-08/1700-pm/notice-of-motion-205 and the debate will be online soon.

Had some really interesting conversations with people today during the breaks. They are never long enough and I'm rushing back to my seat having not got a drink or gone to the toilet because I've got caught up in an interesting discussion!
 
In the evening we had dinner at Central Hall as usual and then got taken on a tour of the impressive building by some of the stewardy/tour guide people. They took us all the way up to the dome - a lot of stairs and up very high. The view was incredible. My phone battery had died from all the tweeting & emailing I'd been doing so I didn't take any pictures to put on here but Abby and Roxanne did. My day was finished off with lots of laughing with friends old and new - one had gone back to their room to find no bedding, another no towels and another had had his toiletries taken out of his toiletries bag! Luckily everything is where it should be in my room and I have now caught up on blogging so off to bed. Tom did a video blog but it hasn't uploaded properly so that should get put on tomorrow. Roxanne's (sideways) video blog today can be found here: http://twitter.yfrog.com/c9qsfzmwrzbfiehpzqkvuxiez

Looking forward to tomorrow as Sam (ex Youth President) & I are bringing what I hope is a 'challenging in a good way' Notice of Motion so we'll see how that goes. I'm really excited about it.

Good night!
 
 

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2013/07/conference-days-4-and-5/

Jul 06 2013

Methodist Youth President: Conference day 3

Original post at http://methodistyouthpres.blogspot.com/2013/07/conference-day-3.html


Today was a fantastic day! Myself and the 3 children and youth reps really enjoyed it. In the morning was the induction of the President and Vice President of Conference. I thank God for Mark and Mike who are now the ex President and Vice President; I have valued their companionship this year. Mark's message that we are lovely and worthy of love has stuck with me, and I appreciated Mike's astute observations, for example when he picked up on the need for churches to look after their lay workers better. I wish Ruth and Daleep all the best in their roles and am excited to see and hear of their adventures.

In the afternoon we did some practical businessy stuff to set us up for the week, including the first discussion of the budget.

At 5pm was the 3Generate Children and Youth Assembly report. I was feeling really quite nervous but trying hard not to be! I presented the main report and got some interesting questions as well as lots of encouragement. Questions included how will things like 3Generate will be staffed within Discipleship and Ministries Learning Network, why hasn't 3Generate brought more challenging resolutions, and why can't the 18-23s bring resolutions through 3Generate. Then Tom presented the second and third resolutions which are about churches supporting young people through exam stress. Quite a few people agreed that young people - in fact people of all ages - face stress and the church can do something about it. The fourth resolution was proposed by Abby and was about churches creating space for children and young people to ask big questions. Again people were supportive and it was highlighted that this issue affects people of all ages. It's exciting that children and young people can be leading the way bringing up these issues.

The positive reactions in person and over social media were very positive - it was overwhelming how many people have been so supportive.  There were many encouraging and moving comments but one in particular brought tears to my eyes: 'think the debate from 3Generate reps has been the best so far and may turn out to be the best in the Conference. ' Wow - I am so proud to have been part of the work with the reps. How exciting to be away from home for a week in London involved in shaping a movement of 8 million members at 15 years of age!

I thought the atmosphere of the debate around the 3Generate report was good in the fact that it was very much about action; not just agreeing to the report and patting the young people on the head but going home and doing something about it. I think the next step is some sort of accountability on these resolutions - wonder how that would happen? It was also good that people were asking challenging questions about the report. It's my prayer that Conference would critique this report in the same way they would any report.

Roxane tweeted through the presentation and I recommend you look at @3genreps on Twitter to see a really good narrative of the debate. The reps did such an amazing job today - we are so blessed to have them as part of our church and our Conference.

Bed time now! You can find the reps blog for the day at www.3generatereps.wordpress.com and the video blog is at http://t.co/s722rzV6VD



Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2013/07/conference-day-3/

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