Epistle – YAF Gathering 2010
Dear Friends everywhere:
We send greetings from the Young Adult Gathering held at University Friends Meeting and Church in Wichita, Kansas, Fifth Month, 2010. Present were roughly 73 young adults from all branches of Quakerism, and 23 yearly meetings.
One of the great elements of this gathering was serving one another in hospitality, as we prepared our own meals and cleaned up the kitchen. We labored together outwardly and inwardly, seeking our common experience of God and Love.
We came to a place that was difficult to reach. We came to the center of this country, hoping to be brought to our Center as a faith community. It is an ongoing challenge to unite as a corporate body, and we grieve that not all felt able to participate. We struggled to hear one another and to understand one another. We struggled to speak our truths and to understand each other’s truths. We encountered differences between the branches of Friends, and within our own yearly meetings. But we came forward into worship willingly, vulnerably, and trusting in God to lead us. Despite and through these hardships, we were carried into an ongoing relationship with Love.
In our time together, God met with us, just as we asked. In our struggles and our joys, God was there, loving us. In studying Scripture together, we learned from Jesus’ example that Love requires crossing borders, going to places that are strange, foreign, and that seem dangerous. Now, like our Friend, we too are crossing borders. Jesus took risks, and now we are taking risks. But those risks are worth it because we are seeking Truth in Love, and when we find Love we are going to find God because God is Love, and that Love waits to be awakened in all of us.
The seeds that were planted this weekend must be tended and nurtured, or they will not grow. We look forward to the joy of continued labor, and to the fruit that our branches will bear. Before these seeds could be planted, we had to be plowed up through striving and struggle. We had to be broken and made tender. We were. We ask God to continue to break our hearts from all that breaks His heart, to continue to open our eyes. We have begun.
Friends gathered at University Friends meetinghouse, in Wichita, Kansas
Fifth Month 31st, 2010
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