[Sayma-Discuss] FGC YAF epistle

Quakerkristi at aol.com Quakerkristi at aol.com
Sat Jun 21 10:23:40 EDT 2008

Dear Kristi, 
We hope  that you will share the enclosed epistle with the members of 
Southern  Appalachian Yearly Meeting and Association receiving it as body at your  
annual session, or distributing it among your meetings/churches.  There is  a 
growing movement among young adult Friends interested in deepening our faith  
journeys through convergence across our many  branches.  The young  adult Friends
’ conference Living as Friends, Listening Within brought  together 109 
Friends from across the U.S. and Canada.  It was a truly  amazing experience to 
play, pray, laugh, cry and sing with such wonderful  Friends from different 
theological and cultural backgrounds. The community felt  held by a much wider body 
of Friends who we knew were praying for us over the  weekend.  Thank you for 
your support. We believe this to be important work  and wanted to share this 
epistle with you.   
The 2008 YAF conference planning committee: 
Faith Kelley, Micah Bales, Maya Wright, Casey Kashnig, Nathan  Sebens, Katie 
Terrell, Terri Johns, Emily Stewart, & Sadie  Forsythe 
Emily  Stewart 
Youth Ministries  Coordinator 
_www.Quakeryouth.org_ (http://www.quakeryouth.org/)  
1216 Arch St., Suite 2B,  Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA 
Phone: (215) 561-1700, Fax:  (215) 561-0759 
Web: _www.fgcquaker.org_ (http://www.fgcquaker.org/)  / 
_mailto:emilys at fgcquaker.org_ (mailto:emilys at fgcquaker.org)  
"It's not differences that  divide us. It's our judgements about each other 
that do." -Margaret  Wheatley 

Young Adult Friends’  Conference 
Living as Friends,  Listening Within 
Richmond, Indiana 
May 23-26, 2008 
Dear Friends  Everywhere, 
“Do not be conformed to this world, but  be transformed by the renewing of 
your minds, so that you may discern what is  the will of God—what is good and 
acceptable and perfect.” - Romans 12:2 NRSV 
In worship, in small  groups, in conversation, we have been transformed. 
Friends affirmed their love  for one another again and again. The act of coming 
together physically was a  first step to enacting loving unity. We are hungry 
for connection and growth in  grace with one another, and the healing of our 
divisions. We heard sermons and  joined voices in song. Friends had opportunities 
to experience and participate  in unfamiliar forms of worship. We felt the 
support of seasoned Friends who  provided pastoral care and the many Friends 
that held the gathering in  prayer. 
Formal small groups  gathered every day for checking in and more personal 
discussion of the  challenges and joys of the conference. Small informal groups 
treasured free time  where we found the space to address other concerns. These 
informal discussions  created a foundation for the depth at which we arrived 
in worship. Earlham  School of Religion professors, students, and alumni led 
workshops, while  conference participants held interest groups on various 
topics. On Sunday,  participants could choose between programmed (First Friends), 
semi-programmed  (West  Richmond) or unprogrammed  (Clear Creek) worship in the 
In Spirit-led worship we  found that Friends spoke to the necessity of 
continuing in conversations about  our similarities and differences. Friends were 
asked before the conference to  consider the cultural norms of others present, 
and whether certain choices may  impact our ability to find common ground. We 
began exploring scripture together  in workshops, Bible study and programmed 
worship. This invited new challenges  and opportunities to engage with texts 
important to the experience of Friends.  We were reminded by Mark Walker that 
living in unity as a Religious Society of  Friends will make us more effective in 
our work in the world. The discernment of  corporate and individual leadings 
is one of the obligations we have to one  another as a Society. We hear the 
need to acknowledge diverse leadings, such as  Gospel, traveling, vocal, and 
eldering ministries. Recording these gifts is one  way of making individuals and 
meetings accountable to leadings.   
Friends heard a call to  find ways to share the good news that has been 
revealed to us at this gathering.  We strive to carry this light with us when we 
return to our home meetings and  churches. We have invited one another to our 
respective yearly gatherings and to  explore ways of opening our spiritual 
homes. May we share with the world the  light and love that was a presence at this  
In  peace, 
The YAF Conference  Participants 

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