Bookings to open for Quaker Gathering
This summer, Quakers across Britain are set to explore a three-week festival of their faith. An adventurous Yearly Meeting Gathering will be online, with worship and sessions for all ages.
The theme is: “For our comfort and discomfort: living equality and truth in a time of crisis." Sessions will focus on Quaker work for climate and racial justice, as well as ongoing discernment around gender diverse people.
Already a myriad of special interest groups have signed up to host small sessions on Quaker faith in action. These are spread over a couple of weeks so participants can engage at their own pace. From 19 July, there will be worship, welcome and community building activities, theme-related and fringe events. YM in session will be over the two weekends from Friday 30 July to 8 August.
Registration will open on 1 June on www.quaker.org.uk/ym
All those taking part must register in advance for YMG. Once a registration has been processed, participants will be able to select the events and YM sessions they wish to attend. This will be necessary to gain access to any event or session as there are technical limits on the number that can attend individual events.
Yearly Meeting Gathering is about listening to the promptings of love and truth.- Clare Scott Booth, clerk for YMG
“This year, the Covid-19 pandemic presents us with a challenge and an opportunity." explains Clare Scott Booth, clerk for YMG. “Moving the whole YMG online makes the event accessible for some who wouldn't be able to attend in person. Less travelling cuts our carbon footprint. And we're printing fewer documents. We're hoping as many as possible will work electronically. However, we will print copies for those with particular need. Be sure to indicate on registration if this applies to you."
“Yearly Meeting Gathering (YMG) is about bringing Quakers together to see each other's faces, to listen to the promptings of love and truth and to share them with the wider world," explains Clare Scott Booth. “This will be a delightful time to build our Quaker community together."
For Young Adults at YMG (aged 18-35 years old) there will be online spaces to connect, socialise and to worship together. This includes meetings in the run up to the event to explore the themes together. During the Gathering there will be epilogues and other opportunities for community building.
Children & Families sessions, Young People's Programme (YPP) and Junior Yearly Meeting (JYM) will run in the final week of Yearly Meeting taking place from Monday 2 to Friday 6 August. Bookings open on 1 June and close on 13 June.
The theme of all of the Children & Families sessions is “Let's explore our world and find who we are". Under 11's will all take part in worship and engage with the theme through craft, games and stories. The intention of Under 7's sessions is a family experience, and this age group will join with an adult family member. The intention for older children is an online space where they can engage independently with each other, whilst recognising that family members will be around.
YPP and JYM are a space for young people and are suitable for those who have recently discovered Quakerism or someone who has been a Quaker all their life. They offer everyone the opportunity to connect through community activities. Young people will explore the theme through main sessions and workshops. As well as engaging with spiritual practices and ideas in small groups and worship. These small groups, will also provide a place to explore the theme, build relationships and have fun.
YPP will explore their theme of: “Exploring Truth, Finding Hope" through sessions on truth, hope and climate action.
JYM will explore their theme of: “For our comfort and discomfort: how can we use Quaker testimonies to live faithfully?" following the threads of anti-racism and climate justice.
So that children of different ages in families can be included, the Children & Families will run three separate sessions in the morning only. Young People's Programme for 11 to 15 year olds will run in the afternoon to early evening. Junior Yearly Meeting for 15 to 18 year olds will run from 10.00am until 9.00pm.