Today was the longest walk day, we covered 23 kms in total. In a sense it was good that we had a little lighter time yesterday due to the storm. We left Apohaqui this morning and walked to Trinity in Sussex. We were lifted to Jeffries Corner for a beautiful lunch, then it was a walk back to Trinity for supper. As always, we received a warm welcome and have been well treated. I think we have had more laughs on this pilgrimage than any so far. It has been great to meet up with many old friends.
This morning in Medley Hall, Apohaqui, high up on the wall, I spotted a charter certificate for the Anglican Young People’s Association. The AYPA was started in this country by Canon Brown in 1930. The document I read today was dated 1937 and was signed by Archbishop Richardson. The Association had five principles: worship, study, witness, service and fellowship. As I understand it, the only place where AYPA exists today is in Myanmar. I know that many people in our Diocese recall it with fondness and would say that it played an important role in their Christian formation.
It is always important to reflect upon what has gone before and to learn from it, though we cannot necessarily replicate it. The importance of putting resources into youth ministry is vital to the flourishing of the church. Historically we as Anglicans have not invested as much, in terms of both financial and human resources, as others in this ministry.
In this Archdeaconry a new initiative is taking place at St. Paul’s Hampton led by Amy Hoyt and Dan McMullen. It is a youth drop in on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Although very new it has had a good response from young people and the community. Donations to help with the set up have given the ministry a great start.
Thinking back to the AYPA, it was the initiative of one person, yet it spread across the country. Innovation usually begins small and then is adopted more widely. What is the AYPA for today?