This was a gathering of 16 people from 14 different Provinces within the Anglican Communion. A further 7 people from 6 Provinces (and one of the ACC youth reps) were unable to attend due to lack of finance to attend, inability to gain an entry visa, or difficulty in taking time off work. Given the difficult times we live in both for the Communion and economically, this showed that interest in the work of this Network is still strong, and we continue to fulfil a vital role in encouraging those working with young people at the Provincial level, and in advocating for youth ministry and those who work with them across the Communion.
It was a privilege to be present, both representing youth ministry in this Province, and as one of the organising group. It was inspiring to meet people from around the world who share our passion for youth ministry, getting to know them, learning from them, and to be able to offer what we have learnt from doing youth work in our context. We are one of the best resourced youth ministries in the Communion, and at the moment one of the most experienced. It confirmed for me the importance of people from our church being present and playing a significant role in these events. We have a lot of wisdom to share, and it is incumbent on us to share it.
One of the highlights was the time we spent at engaged with the church in Hong Kong: attending a revolutionary youth service, dinner with the Archbishop, and meeting with the Diocesan Youth Officers and some young people from the three Dioceses and the Macau Missionary Area. It was important to engage with the local church and get to know some of their issues. All of these people are full time parish clergy, in busy parishes who work hard to ensure good programmes are in place for young people across their Diocese and the Province. It was impressive to see how well they worked together and supported each other.
The meeting occurred in three parts. In the first we heard reports from each of the Provinces present, and were able to celebrate with them their highlights, and to share the issues of concern. The issues that arose out of those reports shaped much of the rest of our time together.
We had two large sections of time working in small groups, the first to address several of the agenda items including: ACC Resolutions from IAYN, IAYN statement of purpose with terms of reference for the Steering Group and Regional Steering Group Representatives, and a rewriting of the introduction to ‘Ending Violence Against Young Women and Girls’; and the second writing articles for the next edition of Buenas Nuevas. These articles began to address some of the issues raised in the Provincial reports. Being collaborative efforts written by people from a variety of cultural and theological perspectives they offer a rich contribution to our understanding of and practice of youth ministry across the Anglican Church. I am really looking forward to this edition being publish early next year.
Other highlights for me included the daily rhythm of prayer that was led using the languages and prayers and songs from each of the Provinces present. This was a rich and life giving experience, more so than if we had just used the common language of English.
We were shown a moving DVD was shown outlining the devastation of the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the response by NSKK. The ‘let us walk together project’ which was set up by the Nippon Sei Ko Kai (NSKK), a workshop for mentally handicapped people in the Miyagi Prefecture to make Madoka crafts to sell and raise funds. We were each given samples to sell. IAYN decided to make this a Network project for the next year to support this ministry. The suggested minimum donation is $10 each for the crafts. Orders can be made through John.
The Archbishop of Canterbury recently said that the real work of the Communion happens through the Networks. This meeting was a good example of the truth of this statement. Many Provinces struggle to fund youth ministry, and to adequately support those who work in this most important ministry. Those that were able to attend were greatly encouraged and supported by being able to participate in such a gathering. Our understanding of the huge variety of issues facing those working in this ministry was expanded, along with work on ways to address some of those issues. As a Province have a lot to offer this network, and I hope that we continue to play our part.
 This was held in the Cathedral for Eastern Kowloon Diocese. It was the first time they had used modern music with guitars and drums in a liturgy of the Eucharist. There were 500 young people present from the three Dioceses in Hong Kong, along with the local Bishop, the Dean, and other clergy, all of whom seemed very supportive.
 Hong Kong Island, Eastern Kowloon, Western Kowloon.
 Natural disasters - response in provincial youth work context; Combination of children and youth work (ministry); Lack of practical application of promises to take youth work seriously – priority of youth work and training; Sexuality- HIV & AIDS ; Emigration of young people; Impact of Technology and secularism; Moving youth ministry from ‘priority’ to consciousness of the church; Developing youth leadership; Ensuring that youth ministry practitioners are cared for appropriately/holistically; Violence and young people in their communities and what is being said by them through this - paying attention to the voice of young people; Issue of human trafficking; Suicide and its causes – creating sense of purpose in the lives of young people; Communication across the communion.
 The region most affected by the earthquake and tsunami.