This March, there is a plethora of opportunities for Young Adult Friends to deepen their spiritual practice and create lasting connections with one another, both among and across generations. Are you yearning for deeply rooted community, conversations about our faith, inspiration in our practice? Read more about what we have planned!
The Spiritual Formation program is forming a new cohort, focusing on Young Adult Friends. In the program, Friends create a safe, intimate corporate community that supports participants in deepening their relationship with the Divine, in developing daily spiritual practices, in discerning spiritual gifts and ministry, and in learning the art of spiritual nurture.
On March 22nd, there will be a Spiritual Formation Interest Session for anyone who is curious about the program. The facilitators also want to know what would *actually work* for young adults (ie: YOU!) What length of commitment is feasible? (The program usually runs for 9 months.) What are topics you want to explore? What will the schedule look like? How can we utilize technology to include Friends at a distance (Google hangouts, Skype, etc.)?
Friends who have participated in the program call it transformative. Some of the small groups that have formed have continued to meet, nourishing one another’s spiritual lives for a decade after they began! The program would likely begin in fall 2014. While it will have a strong focus on young adult Friends, participants will be intergenerational and from across the yearly meeting. (Learn more)
Another opportunity for intergenerational community comes the afternoon of March 29th, when the YAF Mentorship Project will be hosting their first event, a workshop on “Friends Sharing Their Individual Gifts: Opening the door to sharing our gifts, questions, ministry, needs and community.” The idea of a mentorship project was seeded at the 2013 YAF Winter Retreat, and since PYM Annual Sessions this past July, an intergenerational group has been working on developing a program that would connect young adults with mentors to form an ongoing relationship of support, listening, learning, dialog, and challenge.
After discussions among Young Adult Friends, one thing that stood out was that YAFs are seeking more tools and opportunities to discern and articulate their own gifts. Through this discernment, we are empowered to use our gifts, and nurture those in others. On the 29th, Friends will have an opportunity to engage in this work as an intergenerational group, share their experiences, and consider how we may build an interactive network for mentoring. (Learn more)
Continuing with the exploration of growing and deepening in our faith, the theme of this year’s William Penn Lecture is “Prophetic Service as Formation and Transformation.” Christina Repoley, founding Executive Director of Quaker Voluntary Service (and a young adult Friend), will be our speaker. She’ll explore how prophetic service, grounded in our faith, “is a vital religious practice which forms and transforms people into Quaker identity and into lives committed to peace and justice.” Following the lecture, YAFs will be gathering for discussion and fellowship, building relationships that support us along our journeys. (Learn more)
As we each continue on our own paths of growth and transformation, I hope that these opportunities can inspire, nourish, and support us along the way.
Elizabeth Piersol Schmidt
Young Adult Friends Communications Coordinator