The FURY Moderators are elected by the URC Youth Assembly to lead the FURY Advisory Board in its work and to provide a representative voice for the young people of the URC.
In this blog post, we wanted to introduce ourselves a little bit, so here goes!
I’m Matthew (AKA Matt) and I have just come to the end of a long and tedious time at University, leaving with a degree in Youth Work, Communities and Practical Theology. Shortly after General Assembly, I will be starting as a church youth worker at Woking URC in Surrey which happens to be in the Wessex Synod. This will be a change from the National Synod of Wales where I am originally from, and have been for the past two years whilst finishing my degree. Before working within the URC, I was born and bred attending a URC in Rhyl, North Wales. It was here that I became involved in FURY at the age of 14, and I haven’t looked back since! At 16 I became the Welsh Synod Youth Rep and I held this position for 4 years before I was elected onto the FURY Advisory Board (FAB) as the Task Group Convener. This role involved me being the link between FAB and the people who were working on the resolutions that had been passed at each Youth Assembly. Once I had completed this post I was elected as Moderator, serving a year as Moderator Elect beforehand. I have learnt so much already and am privileged to be able to assist the young people of the URC in having a say.
Outside the URC, both FURY and my job, I love spending time outdoors, mainly on a rugby pitch but as long as I am outside that is all that is important. When not playing rugby or outdoors, I used to say I could normally be found in the workshop, cooking, or relaxing with friends and a DVD, but I believe that this will soon change: I have recently moved house and become engaged, so believe that most of my time will now be taken up with making furniture alterations and wedding planning.
Through my time as Moderator elect and the past six months as Moderator I have challenged the URC by asking where the young people of the church sit within the denomination, and where it is the ‘adults’ want them to sit. I have been asking this question for 18 months and will continue to ask it, as it will enable us as young people to have a bigger say in the background decisions that are made; as young people it is our Church as well as it is for the ‘adults’. I also want to challenge the young people of the URC to think about how, on a local level, they can share the Word and love of Jesus in their own communities.
I’m Andrew, and I’m about to graduate from the University of Southampton having spent a fantastic three years studying for my undergraduate Law degree. Later this summer I’m going to begin working for the Christian Aid Collective as their Digital & Events Intern based in London for a year, which is really exciting! I was brought up belonging to the URC, and have been a member at Park URC in Reading for quite a while now; whilst I was in Southampton I was blessed to be a part of the fellowship at Avenue St Andrew’s URC. I’ve loved being part of FURY, and have got involved with various things at a Synod and Assembly as well as local church level over the years, and so it’s a huge privilege to now be serving as FURY Moderator Elect.
When I’m not working I love getting into the great outdoors, whether it’s out on my road bike, off on a walk or relaxing on the beach. I also love being on the road, whether it’s around the UK or further afield (I’ve got various bits of Europe, China, Thailand, Zambia and South Africa under my belt so far and looking forward to expanding this list as much as I can!).
I’m starting to feel more settled in the role now that I’m about six months in, and I’m feeling particularly passionate about a couple of things. The first asks how we as the URC, at an Assembly, synod and local church level, disciple all of the young people in a way that both supports and stimulates in their journey with Jesus, but also that leads to an equipping for mission in both evangelism and social action – and there are certainly no easy answers to this! The second is more broad but is, I believe, very much linked to the first – and asks how we as the URC change our attitude from managing decline to growing the church and Kingdom.