[saymaListserv] Fwd: World Gathering of Young Friends 2005 Epistle
freepolazzo at comcast.net
Mon Sep 19 15:14:36 JEST 2005
An Epistle from the World Gathering of Young Friends.
> You can find further information about this at http://www.wgyf.org/ .
> To All Friends Everywhere
>To all Friends everywhere,
>Greetings from the World Gathering of Young Friends 2005. 226
>Friends gathered together in Lancaster University, United Kingdom,
>from 16th - 24th August 2005. Our theme was 'I am the vine, you are
>the branches. Now, what fruit shall we bear?' taken from John 15;
>and William Penn's challenge 'Let us then try what love will do'.
>Among us, 58 Yearly Meetings and 9 monthly meetings and regional
>groups were represented, with speakers of more than twenty different
>languages. We were called to be gathered together at the place where
>our Quaker movement first bore fruit, the heart of 1652 country. We
>returned to our shared roots, to the birthplace of our collective
>spiritual identities. Through climbing Pendle Hill as a community,
>to live out George Fox's vision of a great people gathered together,
>we found a unity with the place and one another, among the bright
>green hills, surrounded by grazing sheep.
>We felt great joy in being together and many Friends gave thanks for
>being here. However, our hearts were filled with sadness too. In the
>hall where we met there were many empty chairs, and we were always
>aware of those Friends who could not join us here in Lancaster. Many
>were absent because they were denied visas, others because they
>found when the time came that they could not join us after all.
>Their loss is our loss as well, for without their presence we could
>not feel their truth reflected in their words, their experiences,
>their faces and their smiles. However we could feel their presence
>in our hearts. We have selected 2 representatives from each region
>to go to a post-WGYF gathering in Kenya to share with these brothers
>and sisters the Love and Spirit that we felt in this gathering.
>Twenty years have passed since the last World Gathering of Young
>Friends, held in Greensboro, North Carolina, USA. To what purpose
>were we summoned once more?
>Here we tried each others' forms of worship, silent and programmed,
>songs in many different languages, scriptural readings, hand
>holding. We were open, amazed, stretched and blessed. We learned
>that the great presence in our lives can be called by many names,
>Jesus, Christ, God, Inner light, Spirit, Love or many others.
>Ultimately, through listening to the Spirit that moved us, not the
>words in which we expressed our movement, we strived to become one
>organism, one body made up of many different parts (1 Corinthians
>12:13). We were united not so much in the expression of our faith as
>in our common desire to be unified and by the power of the Spirit
>amongst us during these 9 days. We were challenged to put aside the
>labels we hide behind, programmed, unprogrammed, liberal,
>evangelical, and come together as Friends of the Truth, seeking
>together for the common truth behind our language. We have not
>finished this process. We are only at the beginning of a long path,
>but the love and joy we have felt in being in this place together
>have allowed us to come this far, and we pray that they will lead us
>The time here has been a chance to reflect on our lives. We have
>been challenged to recognize ourselves as God's children, and
>respond in willing devotion. The love we have found here is not for
>us to own but to share. We desire to show our love by doing good and
>avoiding harm to all people and to all the Earth. We must let others
>see this love and know its source so that they may come to share it.
>The Spirit present in our gathering summoned us to be a gathered
>people, and spoke through the many different people and cultures
>here to remind us of its glory, power and purpose. The Spirit is at
>work in all of us, and it is calling us not to judge one another's
>forms of worship but to examine our own hearts, find our own
>calling. We are called to take what we have experienced here and
>give it back to our communities.
>Far away meetings now have faces, stories and friendships that make
>them real to us. Bridges have been built at our Gathering which we
>call on Friends everywhere to nurture and support. We will keep this
>contact alive through exchanges, more frequent gatherings and
>opportunities to work together. Through this contact we will give
>strength to each other and share our gifts. We must face the future
>challenges of the Religious Society of Friends together.
>Where we explored the theme of the vine and the branches we found
>that its fruits are born from love. We have experienced what Love
>can do in this Gathering, now let us try what it can do in the world.
> WGYF Epistle
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