Middle School Friends Epistle, Annual Sessions 2016

Middle School Friends

Hello we are the Middle School Friends of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting

First of all, we welcomed new MSF members, made new friends, and got to hang out with Friends we only see at MSF. We also liked seeing some of our Quaker Friends who aren’t in MSF. We checked the scrolling photo wall frequently to see what was happening throughout the community. We also reallllly loved the food here at Muhlenberg.

Everyday we did worship sharing. We liked the opportunity to talk about what is going on with undoing racism, and to be taken seriously by the adults who are here with us. Some friends thought about ways they could go back to their meetings and get involved. In other worship sharing groups, we did walking meditation and explored the grounds and the church here on campus.

The pool was so fun! We formed group called the “noodle squad” that played with pool noodles. We played marco polo, colors and had a good time together. There were some issues with having enough life guards, but in the end, we all got plenty of time in the water

As always, we loved playing foursquare and played it a lot. Many of us even came early in the morning so we could hang together and play a few extra rounds. We were careful to respect the space, and made some new rules to make sure we were being careful.

Friday rained, which threw a wrench in our plans for the annual hike that many of us were looking forward to. But we rallied! And came up with a plan to watch a movie. We voted for Guardians of the Galaxy, and followed it with a discussion on racism, sexism, ableism and classism in movies and TV. It was eye opening for many of us, and we were really happy that we ended up having this discussion.

On Saturday, some MSFers went to the undoing racism work and witness workshop. We learned a lot from that experience, including looking at how PYM evaluates itself. This helps us think about our communities at home, and what we can do to evaluate all the communities we are a part of, not just Quaker community. When we heard about the action that was being planned, we were surprised to see how many people did stand up, and how many people didn’t stand up.

We did a few arts and crafts activities, including making origami butterflies, and a string art activity where we made pictures with nails, board and string. We played Frazzlyram during a break from the rain. We sang.

We did three vespers activities. We liked planning an activity for the whole community. But we were a little bummed that many of the adults who came didn’t volunteer or participate. And our last activity didn’t really go as planned. But! Some things went really well, like Quaker Jeapordy, which was a big hit.

Finally, thoughout the week some of us tried out new leadership roles. This felt really good and allowed us to be part of the group in new ways.