Next generation of Church of Scotland assembles for 20th youth gathering

The next generation of the Church of Scotland gather tomorrow (August 15) in Stirlingshire for the 20th National Youth Assembly.

100 delegates aged between 17 and 25-years-old are set to discuss a wide range of topics including conflict in the Middle East, new ways of worship and how the Church spends its money.

The Moderator of the National Youth Assembly, Rachel Hutcheson (24), said: "This forum, over 20 years, has become the best way for young people within the Church to have their voice heard.

"It is all geared up to be an exciting four days where we will really find out what young people are thinking in the Church."

The Church of Scotland has recently addressed the war in Gaza with the Moderator of the General Assembly, Rt Rev John Chalmers, calling for peace.

Rachel said she was looking forward to hearing how delegates on Monday would address this complex issue.

She added: "I think young people are better informed about these issues now thanks to social media.

"I have visited the Holy Land and received wonderful hospitality from both Jews and Muslims.

"I'm aiming to moderate a respectful dialogue, which the Church of Scotland has such a rich history in conducting, on Monday."

How worship can evolve to resonate with the younger generation is also on the agenda.

Rachel said she acknowledged many young people enjoyed traditional methods but that new ways should be explored.

She added: "There are more and more people interested in new forms of worship so it will be exciting to explore this in the next few days."

Funding the National Youth Assembly itself is to be discussed with alternative streams through Church of Scotland Councils, other than Mission and Discipleship, being explored.

Agreed positions on these topics form the basis of a report which will be presented to the General Assembly in May 2015.