"What are you afraid of?" began Ricardo ("Rick") Cuellor, a 19-year-old member of Sanger United Methodist Church and one of five young people under the age of 24 taking classes to become a Lay Leader to the Conference.
On April 24, Rick spoke about change and the future of young people within The United Methodist Church during the "Rethink Conference" event at Visalia United Methodist Church – where Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr. also spoke of change, as he cast a vision for the California-Nevada Conference and outlined some key pieces of legislation which will be before Annual Conference Session in June.
Rick went on to say that the fear people and churches have in common is change: "something new – something that's going to come in or go out." But during this time of change, he added, "God is going to open the doors for youth in your church."
He emphasized that the youth in churches are not just the future, but are and should be part of the present – and that churches need to embrace that change, embrace the future, and open their doors to the gifts and talents that young people can bring to them.
So what began as a question, quickly became a challenge: "What are you afraid of?"