FWCC 2010, Day 2
Nancy Irving, the General Secretary of the World Office, also gave the first part of her report. She told us more about the initiative to consider a Quaker response to global change (which includes elements of climate change, migration, economics, etc.) which she had just hinted about last year. They have just sent information to all the Yearly Meetings to invite them to organize cluster meetings to consider six queries. These clusters can be as small as a few Friends from a Monthly Meeting or larger gatherings. First, they seek to understand the varied experiences of Quakers of global change. Secondly, what is the faith basis of our responses? And finally they will consider whether there is a distinctive Quaker response to global change. Responses can be submitted in writing or in video. An international committee will collect and edit a first version of these responses. Then an international gathering in Fall 2011will meet to consider these responses, including people who have deep knowledge of global change issues, people who have participated in the clusters, and people with more theological perspectives. Where it goes beyond that, they don’t know yet. But should be interesting to see. Nancy said that this initiative has been proposed and then met with great enthusiasm from Friends in many parts of the world.
The other thing she told us about is the World Gathering of Friends in August 2012. 1,000 Friends will gather in Kenya. More details will be forthcoming. Yearly Meetings will be responsible for naming the majority of delegates to the Gathering. There will also be approximately 300 places that any Friend can apply to attend. Check the FWCC World Office website for more information if you’re interested. Everyone who’s been to a World Gathering before (the last one was in 1991) says that they are amazing, life changing experiences. I think we should really try to send people younger than me, honestly. If we’re going to change lives, let’s start young.
I had lunch with the Finance Committee, who are really very nice people. I asked a couple of questions, got sensible answers and a promise to get me more information soon. I really appreciated their welcoming of my questions and I resisted their efforts to get me to volunteer for more work.
After lunch, I went to a discussion of the future of the Quaker Youth Pilgrimage. Have you even heard of the QYP? I’ve heard about it since I’ve been involved in FWCC, but not really otherwise. But it’s been around for about fifty years, happening every other year or so, and mostly has involved groups of teenagers from the US visiting the 1652 country for a month, and teenagers from the U.K. visiting Quaker communities in the US. The next one will be this summer in the Pacific Northwest. This is one of the programs that FWCC is considering whether they can continue or not. This was not a decision making meeting, just an opportunity for a random group to hear the state of the program and share some ideas.
Then we had worship sharing. Then I had a nap. Dinner. And now I’m typing while people are singing before the keynote speaker, Deborah Suess. Probably more tomorrow.
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