My newsletter is some days away from being ready. It might be late this month. But I did want to do a little report about my trip to Richmond, Indiana this past weekend.
I was invited to facilitate a session and speak on a panel for an Friends United Meeting ( FUM) conference on Sabbath Rest for Youth and Young Adult workers.
This was a little out of my comfort zone. I was nervous.
Friends, It was wonderful. It was a blessing to be present with Youth and Young Adult workers from different parts of the country, and across traditions. I felt accepted and supported. I heard that my experiences in New York Yearly Meeting are not so radically different from Friends in other parts of the country as I sometimes think. My time there affirmed that there are so many ways that we can support each other, regardless of the ways that we worship. The staff of FUM was warm and welcoming. They were interested in what I am doing, and about how things are going with young adults and families in NYYM. They made me feel a part of the weekend.
My experience showed me that now more than ever, we need to be in relationship with other Quakers. We need to see how God is working. I have a lot to learn. I need to keep listening.
I came out of it less afraid. I made connections that I hope will be fruitful. I am grateful for the openness that I experienced, and the faithfulness with which I was greeted. I am grateful to FUM for reaching out to me. I am excited for what may come out of this.
I was reminded that I need to rest. I am only as good at my work, as the care I give myself. I am trying to figure out how this will play out in my position as Young Adult Field Secretary in NYYM. But I have a clearer idea of the importance care is in the work we all do.
How often do you step out of your comfort zone? Do you consider visiting Meetings from a different worship tradition? Do you engage with Friends from other places in the world? How do you understand yourself in the wider world of Friends? If you tend to keep within your Quaker neighborhood, Meeting, region, Yearly Meeting, what is it that keeps you there?
I am so glad that I stepped out.