There are so many opportunities coming up for Young Adult Quakers! Here are a couple, then a description of each, lower down. Please consider them, they are brought by deeply faithful and engaged Friends. I will continue to post them here as things come up!
Pendle Hill June 14-19, Continuing Rev_l_tion: Be Brought Low, and Back to the Root -- A Young Adult Friends Conference on Simplicity www.pendlehill.org/yald
YALD: YOUNG ADULT LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT Dear Friends,
Pendle Hill is delighted to announce an exciting opportunity from June 14-19, 2013 for all young adult Quakers in North America. Continuing Rev_l_tion: Be Brought Low, and Back to the Root -- A Young Adult Friends Conference on Simplicity will be a powerful, action-oriented six-day gathering offered at Pendle Hill in Wallingford, PA.This is the second year of this amazing new conference series, and it will be held at Pendle Hill from June 14-19, 2013. We hope you will share the following information and attached flyer with all young adults in your community.
We invite all Young Adult Friends (ages 18-35) to be a part of this six-day conference designed to strengthen a networked generation of awakened and effective spiritually grounded change agents. The program will include inspirational speakers, workshops and trainings, worship and worship-sharing, fellowship, discernment of gifts and ministry, service and direct action. We are calling all young adult Friends who feel a movement in our generation to create the world we believe is possible. At its core, this conference is about providing the foundational skills and training to inspire revelation -- or revolution -- as we strive to live into Spirit-led relationship with ourselves, our communities and the earth.
We are currently accepting applications at www.pendlehill.org/yald. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and applicants will be notified within 2-3 weeks of submitting their application. Program fees are $300 per participant. This year, we have a special “Bring a Buddy” discount for individuals who register before April 1, 2013!! Apply now, and encourage a F(f)riend to apply too – if they apply, you will receive $50 off your conference cost.This discount only applies to full-time participants; more details can be found on the application.Please note: there will be scholarships available for participants who need support, and interested individuals should consider asking their monthly/yearly meetings or communities for financial assistance.
Please share this opportunity with everyone you know, and encourage those with interest to apply. Any questions or inquiries should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
QUAKER VOLUNTARY SERVICE
QVS has launched our pilot project in Atlanta, GA, one house of seven QVS volunteers. We will open houses in Philadelphia, PA and Portland, OR this year. All three projects are under the spiritual care of Friends meetings and churches. Please check out our locations pages to find out more information about each city. QVS is open to young adults who are interested in living in intentional Quaker community, experiencing Quaker worship and process, and openly engaging questions of faith and service in the world. QVS volunteers live together in simple community, immersed in Quaker spiritual practices. QVS volunteers are placed in full time positions in agencies and organizations that offer direct support to marginalized individuals and communities, and that strive to transform unjust structures. Volunteers receive shared housing, living expenses, food and transportation allowances, a small personal stipend, health insurance and training and support from QVS.
WHO SHOULD APPLY?
QVS welcomes applications from young adults between the ages of 21-35, who are US citizens, and who are self-motivated, mature, and stable. Volunteers should want to grow in the areas of spirituality, justice, community, and simplicity/sustainability. Volunteers often find themselves in new and unexpected situations, so flexibility, openness, and a sense of humor are essential.
QVS is open to persons from all spiritual traditions. However, there is a strong expectation that you will engage in regular Quaker worship and practice, so volunteers who are not Quaker should be interested in exploring and learning about this faith tradition. QVS does not discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, race, creed, culture, disability, economic class, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.
Because of the nature of the work and community life, applicants are requested to be in good physical and emotional health.
I am almost at the 2 year mark for this work. I cannot believe that! It has been a time of reflection. I have finally summarized the results of the survey I conducted from September 2011- October 2012. Please feel free to circulate this and talk about it.
This is all based on the data I collected from 151 Young Adult Friends in NYYM. These are Their words and experiences.
I am excited about where we will take this information.
Peace to you all,
I conducted this
survey as the Young Adult Field Secretary(YAFS) for New York Yearly Meeting (NYYM).
collected 151 responses from September 2011-October 2012. This does not, at
all, cover the entire population of
Young Adult Friends in NYYM at this time. The responses represent MANY opinions
and experiences, and should not be used to categorize all Young Adult Friends
(YAF), the opinions of the Young Adult Field Secretary or NYYM.
administered the survey to those who 1. Identified as a Young Adult Friend (I
also explained the traditional ages of 18-35, I did not ask their age, but
allowed them to self-identify) and 2. Who wanted to take the survey.I carried this survey as I traveled through
are responses from each of the 9 Regions of New York Yearly Meeting.There are not responses from each
meeting.If Friends are interested I can
provide a further breakdown of responses from each region.
as many cases as I was able, I handed the survey to the participant, and got it
back the same day. I had a 100% return rate when I did it in person.I emailed the survey to Many Young Adult
Friends (YAF) and when I sent it out, my return rate was extremely low.I only received about 4 this way.I carried the survey with me through my
travels in NYYM, larger and smaller gatherings.Some surveys I conducted one on one.
all the fields on the survey were filled out for each survey. Many questions
were left unanswered.Some people
answered with multiple answers.
you have questions, would like to participate in the survey, or would like a
copy of all the data, graphs of multiple choice answers, and responses to the
queries I posed, please contact Gabi Savory Bailey, Young Adult Field
Note: People may select more than one
checkbox, so percentages may add up to more than 100%. Likewise, not everyone
answered every question, so the number of responses is not always equal to the
percentage of the total of individuals surveyed.
Plus Interesting facts, things that might surprise you, and queries that
we can consider as a result.
Please note:The analysis of the data is still evolving
and cannot be wholly summed up by me alone.This is the beginning of a process of knowing each other better, serving
each other better, and supporting the Young Adult Friends and Families of NYYM
better.There are more data than I have
noted here, and can supply a copy of all the data if Friends are interested in
more details.I have discerned for myself
the most pertinent pieces for this report.
·27% of those surveyed were in the 23-26 age range.The next largest group was 22% in the 27-30
age range.This is notable because I
often hear an assumption that YAF are College age, or transitioning out of college.Both of these age groups are out of the
college range.Only 21% of those
surveyed responded that they are in the 18-22 year age range.Leaving 79% of those surveyed as older than
22. 19% of those surveyed identified as being Young Adult Friends, or having a
young family, and yet were older than 35. This struck me as important.This
means that it is more likely that these YAF are settling into a job path,
family life, or settling geographically.It is also possible that they are establishing long-term relationships,
and families.The fact that 49% of the
YAF I surveyed are in between 23-30 challenges the notion that all YAF are
transient, and without permanence in their life.I have heard this mentioned as a reason why
YAF are not able to participate in the life of a Monthly Meeting, or the Yearly
I see this more as a challenge to ask ourselves how
we can serve them differently. Does this mean that we might do well to look at
the life stage that people identify with (college, single, married, homeowners,
job established, job seeking, parent, for example) as much as their age?Would these associations with Life stage,
rather than numerical age, help us to better identify needs and ways of
supporting the individuals?How does
this information change our idea of who is a Young Adult Friend?
·It is also notable that the age of YAF who attend Circle of Young
Friends, or Young Adults Concerns Committee has traditionally drastically
declined after age 24.This statistic is
anecdotal, as there were no data taken on it, but the Young Adult Concerns
Committee has found this to be the case in their conferences and Committee. So,
How can we identify and nurture the needs and gifts
of this age group differently, so that they are visibly involved?How early in the life span should this work
begin, so that the decline can be avoided?
·Only 20 individuals of those surveyed said they grew up in the meeting
where they now worship/belong 83 did not.72 responded that they grew up as Quaker, 76 did not grow up Quaker.This is significant because we tend to be
more aware of the YAF who grew up in our Meeting.We tend to know how old they are, roughly,
and have some idea of how much they do or do not know about Quakerism/Quaker
process.If 50% did not grow up as a
Quaker, I wonder how effective our Religious Education for Adults is, and if
the YAF know about the structure of the Yearly Meeting, the committees, the
larger Quaker world, and the conference possibilities that are available.Many people I spoke with said that they felt
“new” for a very long time.Many noted
how long it takes to feel involved, and how hard it is to break into existing
How do we nurture new attenders, and support their
understanding and involvement in the Religious Society of Friends?Do we assume that because someone attends
several times, that they have the information to learn and navigate Business
Worship, Regional and Yearly meeting, committees, and all of the other
information we take for granted?How
readily is that information available to all attenders and members?
·28 of those surveyed said that they were members of a meeting where they
regularly worshipped.64 said that they
were attending a meeting regularly, but were not members.9 responded that they were members, but do
not attend regularly.There were a lot
of “other” responses.These might
include how they would like to, but time does not permit, or how they haven’t
found a meeting, or how they just moved, or any number of responses.A question that comes from this is
How do we talk about and understand
membership?What are the ways our
Meetings inform attenders about membership, and the process?How do our Meetings get to know newcomers? What
·46 people responded that they found their meetings on the Internet, 64
through Friends and Family and 5 responded that they saw the sign on the
Meetinghouse. 15 said that they have known nothing else. This raises important
issues about how we are visible in the world.
What information is on the Internet about our
Meetings?Do we have an electronic
presence?Do we want one?How do we share who we are and what we
·14 people responded that they have had experiences that have left them
disinterested in worshipping with a meeting. 32 responded that they did
not.Not everyone answered this
question, obviously, but if people are having unfavorable experiences, and
leaving with no one finding out why, this could be a place of exploration.
we know how the other attenders and members experience our Meetings?Is
there a way to check in with other people, so we can be aware of conflicts, concerns, dissatisfactions, before people
·33 people surveyed said they have children.I think this is significant because families
are not always considered when people are looking to the needs of YAF.It is clear from the long answer questions
that there is considerable need for support and nurture of parents.
This issue is in need of great, and urgent,
·52 responded that they had attended Powell House Youth Programs.98 did
not attend the Youth Program.40
responded that they attended Junior Yearly Meeting (JYM), 104 did not. This is significant.Before this survey it was the assumption by many that the Young Adults
of the Yearly meeting were largely Powell House graduates.In fact, many of those I spoke to do not even
know about Powell House, or the youth program, JYM, or the existence of the Yearly Meeting.This represents many of the YAF who came to
Quakerism as adults. It is common that those who were active in Powell House as
youth, or in JYM, are more visible at the Yearly Meeting level, simply because
they grew up there and are known there.
How do we get to know those YAF who did not grow up
in the Yearly Meeting?How do they get
their information?How do we design
programming that will fill their needs?Who are we missing because we do not know their gifts and needs? Are we
consistently tapping the YAF we know through these programs, and contributing
to burn out, when there are many other YAF who have a wealth of gifts we do not
yet know?How are our youth programs
educating and involving youth, so that when they transition to Adulthood, they
know what is happening, who to talk to, how to be involved, and WANT to be
·The top 4 reasons people gave for not attending Quaker conferences and
sessions are Cost (43 respondents), distance (38 respondents), Lack of
information and time (22 respondents each).Only 12 responded that they are not interested in the topics.These are each very important to
How can we address these concerns, so that those
who want to attend can?How can we
disseminate information about events, financial aid, and opportunities more
easily so that people can know what is available and how to be able to
·The information about Committees is complicated.It is harder to quantify the
information.Of those who participate on
committees, there were many favorable responses, the highest number of responses
were that they feel heard and respected, Feel good about their work, feel
satisfied, feel their gifts are well used. (21, 17, 17, 12 respondents
respectively.)There were 13 that
responded that they felt they were asked because of their age.Only 2 said NEVER AGAIN. 11 responded that
they know why they were asked to do this work.4 noted they have no idea how they got there. 10 responded that they
feel overwhelmed.We have an opportunity
to encourage conversation about the work that we do on committees.64 people said they did not participate
because of time. 32 responded that they do not know what they are led to do. 31
responded that they were intimidated.35
do not want to sign up for too much. 31 responded that they do no know what is
available.Only 15 said they were not
interested. And only 4 responded that they had a bad experience, 5 that are
burned out from committee work.This appears encouraging and is an area that I
see as addressable. It is encouraging that people are largely staying away
because of concerns about time and over commitment, vs having had bad
How do we let people know what work is being done
at a yearly, Regional and Monthly Meeting level?How do we convey the work being done on
committees? How do we talk about our experiences?.What
forums exist for us to communicate about our committee experience? How is committee work perceived?
·When I asked how I can serve YAF best the answers pretty evenly
distributed, but a few things stood out.55 People said they wanted me to get them information. Others wanted
local opportunities to gather with other YAF, and wanted opportunities for
conferences and to get involved.24 responded that they wanted me to help
them discern their gifts.16 wanted
me to sit and listen.15 wanted me to
explain things like membership, meeting for business, committees etc.These are significant needs.It speaks that the hunger is there.It tells me that this is an individual
movement.It is a movement based on
personal relationships and Spiritual Friendships.The road to including everyone and growing
involvement on all levels is in the one-on-one Opportunities.Our strength is knowing each other, being
gathered together.People want to know
more.They want to be connected.This
gives good information that there is much that can be done at a Monthly Meeting
The question is how do Meetings understand their
role?Are there opportunities for
fellowship, and learning?How do we
discern, name and nurture the gifts of those in our Meetings?Are YAF looking to their meetings as places
where this spiritual work can be done?
I asked several long
answer questions on the survey:
you see as needs for YAF in NYYM? In your experience, what particular
gifts do YAF have to offer the rest of NYYM?
you Spiritually hungry?For what do
something that you have experienced, done or attended in Quakerism that
made a positive impact on you?How
did it impact you?
something that you have experienced, done or attended in Quakerism that
made a negative impact on you?How
did it impact you?
anything else you would like the YAFS to know?
What are some themes/topics that you
would be interesting to you?
answers to these queries were varied, and are not easily summed up here. If you would like to read them I can provide you a copy if you email me (email@example.com) They provide a
narrative that is extremely important, and that has rarely been heard.There are strengths, needs, hopes, and
disappointments.It is an act of faith
to ask people to speak openly.It is an
even bigger act of faith to actually speak one’s experience.It is the biggest act of faith to listen
openly, take in what is being said, and to respond lovingly, and openly.This listening is ideally done with the
expectation that we will necessarily have to change, grow, and know each other
better as a result.There are many
deeply committed, faithful, and active YAF in our Yearly Meeting. The news is
not bad; in fact, the life that is in these responses is impressive.These responses show us that there is a
hunger for MORE.There is a desire to be
heard, seen, connected, and engaged.People long to discern what their gifts are and how to deepen their
experiences.There is a deep desire to
include and engage families and all people, regardless of age. I hope that we can examine the assumptions
that are held by each individual about age and Spiritual experience.
often do these assumptions hold us back and keep us from engaging in the deep
way that we yearn to?Do we assume that
someone’s interests, experiences, theological beliefs and yearnings will be
different from our own because of their age?
am deeply grateful to all the Young Adult Friends who opened up to me.I am honored to have been able to participate
in this deep listening.