On October 16th, folks from the PYM community celebrated the second Friendly 800’s event. Friendly 800’s is an opportunity for people from all around the PYM region to come together for an evening of food and fellowship. This year, there were over 120 participants of varying ages that were split up between 11 separate host locations. Guests and the different host locations represented a variety of different Meetings. During the evening, each group was encouraged to write an epistle (listed below are just a few):
To Friends everywhere:
- This evening, Friends of several Meetings gathered in celebration of community and enjoyed food wine and fellowship, sharing constructive ideas, fun Quaker stories and a sense of mutual closeness in an oasis devoid of talk of politics.
- LOTS of sharing of personal journeys into and within Quakerism. Luckily, not much on the election .
- Friends from Newton, Wrightstown, Chestnut Hill, Central Philadelphia, Arch Street, Westfield, Abington and Gwynedd met in West Philadelphia to break bread and share about ways we do, and seek to connect with one another: openness free of judgment, reciprocal support and commitment, skills-building, unity within diversity across the generations, and working past our shortcomings into opportunity.
- Over hors d’œuvres, the discussion centered around how each of us came to Quakerism and, out of a group of twelve, the eight practicing Qs present discovered that they all, with one birthright exception, had come from the usual panoply of Protestant-like backgrounds; a magnificent dinner commenced, talk of religion ceased, the last of four bottles of wine quaffed, and brownies and sweet smoothness finished off a most enlightening evening.
- We find it’s important to listen and to share how Spirit moves in our individual and communal lives and when necessary, or not, sing.Within the PYM community, we are thankful that events like this give us the opportunity to come together and connect in ways that don’t always happen organically. The PYM community is full of life, and the more chances we have to interact with each other outside of our usual networks, the more we broaden our sense of community and find enrichment within it.