7.23.2006

Off to PYM as a blogger

It was about this time last year when I decided to start this blog - and then I realized that I could not begin blogging while at Yearly Meeting. It's too hectic and I have too much responsibility as the assistant to the clerk of the children's program committee (aka "wife"). I'm not on the nominating committee's list, but I nonetheless take the responsibility seriously.

So seriously, in fact, that I am going to plug the children's program right now. All children's programs. If you're going to a Quaker gathering soon, whether that be PYM or another yearly meeting, I strongly recommend that you try to volunteer for a few hours with the children there.

You could do this for entirely selfish reasons. For example, if you have a difficult session in the plenary, maybe you could use a couple of hours of art or sand tray therapy. As in painting with preschoolers or building and smashing sand castles - very therapeutic! If you get tired of sitting inside all day, perhaps you could commune with God and nature at the playground or on a nature hike. If you are relatively new to Friends, perhaps you would learn some interesting Quaker history with the middle school Friends. If you are finding yearly meeting expensive, and you have gifts and experience in this area, find out if the program still needs paid staff. If you are interested in this at Pacific Yearly Meeting, read this from Chris M. If nothing else, it could become fodder for your blog!

If you carry a concern for the spiritual nurturing of the Religious Society of Friends, one way to gauge the health of the Yearly Meeting is to find out what the young people really do when they're together. Find out how young people experience being Quakers. You will gain a better sense of what is being taught to the next generation of Friends. Don't assume its just what you've always heard, good or bad, or that it will be like your own experiences of religious education.

I always enjoy spending time with the children's program. But this year, lo and behold, I have become known as a blogger. In fact, I have been invited to speak to the Junior Yearly Meeting about blogging. I'm a little bit scared that half the teens will know way more than me about the technical part of blogging and the other half will just not want to hear about it at all. But I'm going to invite them to consider blogging as a spiritual practice. I'm also going to talk about convergent Friends, because I can't help it. This is one of the true fruits of blogging for me.

I am still fleshing out my two hour session. One of the questions I want to work in: If it were illegal to be be a Quaker, would there be enough evidence to convict you? But I am interested in other bloggers' experience.

If you were telling Quaker teens about blogging, what would you say?

If you are a Quaker teen, what would you want to hear about?

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Chris M. said...

I am a Quaker parent of younger children, so I can't tell you what teens want to hear. (Though I might have some thoughts about what they need to hear, partly sparked by what the youth told us in the plenary last year.)

Mostly, I want to say thank you for the plug! For Pacific Yearly Meeting and for other gatherings.

And yes, PYM still has a couple of slots for teachers! Leave a comment if you're interested & we'll get in touch with you. :)

In peace and friendship and love,

Chris M.
Tables, Chairs & Oaken Chests

7/23/2006 8:53 PM  
Blogger Rebecca Sullivan said...

Robin

I would love to go to the JYM when you go to talk to them. I will be going to the adult plenaries except for when I go and talk myself.

I hope to help with the kids in the afternoons because I would love to and my parent is going to make me volunteer since I am registered as an adult.

see you at PYM
peace
rebecca

wish i could come to the convergent dinner but I have to clerk a Teen Business Meeting the next afternoon.

7/23/2006 9:09 PM  
Blogger Lovin' Life Liz said...

Thank you for the comment on my blog. I loved that post about cookies! I will save it for next time I need to do children's church etc and also send it to my mom, who is doing 1st day school back home!!

7/24/2006 11:02 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

Hi Robin,
I hope that more teens are inspired to start blogging. One of the benefits of joining the Quaker blogosphere is that people who don't have the chance to talk to each other face to face (because of either physical or psychic distance)can engage in dialogue. We all get to learn more about our faith the more that Friends of different backgrounds share their experiences.

7/25/2006 1:37 AM  
Blogger Kody Gabriel said...

Cool! Thank you! I really appreciate it. I must have known at some point that you lived there (it's right there on your profile, now that I look).

Even if someone only has space for two or three days, so that I could have some stability while I'm recovering from surgery, that would be really helpful.

Thank you again.

7/27/2006 9:15 PM  
Blogger Liz Opp said...

Hey, Robin. I hadn't realized we'd be traveling around the same time. Maybe this means that we are back home around the same time...

I like the way you connect yearly meeting stuff with opportunities for adults to be with young(er) Friends... which would mean the reverse is true, that young(er) Friends could have opportunities to interact with a few more adults.

I also wonder if any young(er) Friends might choose to stay in worship, or in MfWfB, if they were given the option and the support to follow that leading. (I think I would have been one of those kids, and I think I know of another pre-teen who would have at least liked the invitation...)

Anyway, I think this post is great and wonder if you would consider sending it onto something like Friends Journal or the FGConnections (FGC's quarterly newsletter type thing).

Blessings,
Liz, The Good Raised Up

7/31/2006 9:22 PM  

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