At our Spring Retreat at Newtown Meeting on April 7-9, 2017, the Young Adult Friends community created and approved the following minutes of appreciation for our outgoing Young Adult Friends Clerk, Allison Letts, and for our outgoing Young Adult Friends Coordinator, Elizabeth Piersol Schmidt.
Minute of Appreciation for the service of our outgoing Clerk, Allison Letts
The Young Adult Friends Community of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting minutes our appreciation for the faithful service of Allison Letts, who has served as a clerk for this community for 3 years. Soon after Allison joined the Young Adult Friends community, she stepped up into leadership as the community was experiencing a leadership transition. She started serving as the Recording Clerk for Young Adult Friends in the summer of 2014. When the community realized we weren’t doing intentional care for one another during retreats, we created a new Pastoral Care Committee with Allison as the clerk. Allison’s perceptiveness, care, focus, and mantra of kindness above all has strengthened that committee and the way that the YAF community cares for one another and works to include those who may have not always found a spiritual home in monthly meetings.
When our previous Young Adult Friends clerk stepped down a year ago, Allison stepped into that role as well. She has done so with great skill, and has guided the YAF community through difficult discernment.
Allison has been an amazing resource for our YAF Coordinator, and Allison’s insight, both strategic and relational, has been greatly valued. Allison, while a member of this community and a grounded Friend, is not a member of a monthly meeting. She has been an advocate for the needs of young adults and the YAF community. Allison lives a life full of Spirit, and she has served the Young Adult Friends Community and the wider Philadelphia Yearly Meeting community excellently, with grace, centeredness, and a listening ear. We will miss her dearly, and send Love and prayers with her as she transitions into the next phase of her life.
Friends minuted approval that the YAF Community will write a sojourning letter or travel minute for Allison, recommending her to the care of her new community in Chicago.
Minute of Appreciation for the service of our outgoing Coordinator, Elizabeth Piersol Schmidt
The Young Adult Friends (YAF) Community of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting minutes our appreciation for the faithful service of Elizabeth Piersol Schmidt, who has served us for two and half years as our YAF Coordinator and previously for three years as our YAF Communications Coordinator & Retreat Planner. Before her paid service to the Yearly Meeting, Elizabeth was already an incredibly dedicated leader of our community, and served as both Recording Clerk and Presiding Clerk of YAFs.
Elizabeth will be irreplaceable—there are no words to describe her dedication to the YAF community; she is magic. However, we will try to give some words, because they are more than due.
Elizabeth’s love of this community is evident, and she has a talent in helping us grow as individuals and as a community. In her role, she has developed amazing relationships with Young Adults as well as intergenerationally. She is detail-oriented, exceptionally organized, and amazing at herding cats (YAFs).
Elizabeth is a friend and a mentor to us. She made us feel welcome and included when we moved to Philadelphia, and continues to make us feel connected to the community when we are away. She has worked tirelessly above and beyond her job description to knit our community together, ensure an inclusive community, and advocate for the Young Adult Friends to the rest of the yearly meeting. When we get too serious, Elizabeth makes sure that we remember the importance of joy.
As such a long-term member of our community, she has institutional memory that has been invaluable to us. She is a seasoned elder and spiritual nurturer. She has graciously balanced the personal and professional, for which we are in awe. We have seen Elizabeth grow in her own faith over this time, including growing ever more grounded in Spirit, and we wish her continued growth as she moves into other roles.
Again, Elizabeth is irreplaceable. We know that the next YAF Coordinator will have large shoes to fill, and they will have to make the position their own with different gifts. We will miss Elizabeth, and could not be more grateful and blessed to have had her with us in so many capacities, and for so long.
Thank you, Elizabeth.